Just Say No to Cano: An Imaginary Conversation with a Seattle Mariners Fan
Apologies in advance for this exercise in dialogue.
- Hey, I read the Mariners are interested in this Cano Robinson character.
- Robinson Cano.
- Right. He must be great. What with the money they’re offering him?
- I heard $225 million over nine seasons.
- A quarter of a billion dollars! Wow. He must be great.
- He is.
- He must be the most valuable player in baseball. He probably wins those awards all the time, right? The MVPs?
- Actually he’s never won one. He’s come close the last couple years. Third in the voting in 2010, sixth in 2011, fourth in 2012 and fifth in 2013. But no, nothing on the mantle.
- But he’s always good, right? Perennial All-Star.
- Five All-Stars in nine years. So half-perennial.
- But a league leader.
- He’s never led the league in anything.
- Games played once. In 2009. But that’s, you know, the attendance award. Although attendance does matter. But he’s often in the top five in many categories, both offensive and defensive.
- So is he young then? With the chance to improve?
- He turned 31 in October.
- Is that young?
- That’s when players begin to decline, generally.
- And we’re offering how many years?
- Until he’s 40?
- Why are we doing that?
- I don't know.
- Do we think we have a chance to win in the next few years? When he’ll still be in his prime?
- Doubtful. The Mariners won 71 games last year. There’s a stat, WAR, or wins above replacement, that measures how many wins a particular player is worth over an average replacement. Cano had one of the highest in the league last year: 7.6. But the Mariners primary second baseman, rookie Nick Franklin, had a 2.3 WAR, so the swap wouldn’t even be worth seven victories. It wouldn’t even make the M’s a .500 team.
- Are long-term deals like this common in baseball?
- Do they work out?
- So ... why?
- [Shrugs] To be honest, I was hoping the Yankees, Cano's team, would offer him this kind of deal.
- I thought you didn't like the Yankees.
- I don't.
- So you thought such a deal would ...
- ... hurt them in the long run.
- And now your team is offering such a deal.
- The irony.
Opinions may vary.
Cano watching his 2011 season end early. If he comes to Seattle, he should get used to this feeling.
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