SARASOTA, Fla. -- If Robinson Cano's real desire is to remain with the Yankees while being extremely well compensated, then he should make his deal now. Because they will give him a whopper contract right now, if he seriously engages them, and he can avoid the inherent injury risk that comes with the last season before his free agency. If he stays in New York, then he will become the natural heir to a lot of the commercial riches that Derek Jeter eventually will leave behind -- the endorsements and the prominence that comes with being the most well-known player for one of the most well-known teams in the world.
The Yankees are reaching a crossroads in their history. Mariano Rivera is likely to retire after this year, and Andy Pettitte and Jeter won't be far behind. They want Cano, and as the richest franchise in the sport, they'll pay him.
But if this drags out, they will not hesitate to move in another direction.