Robinson Cano is set up for the first laugh, if not the last laugh, on the Yankees. Cano got his money and so far has gotten the better end of his deal.
As the Yankees open a three-game series in Seattle, Cano’s Mariners lead the AL wild-card standings. They are five games over .500 overall and 27-16 in their past 43 games. Cano and the Mariners already have a three-game Bronx sweep over the Yankees in their pockets.
Now, the 31-31 Yankees arrive at Safeco after losing two of three in Kansas City. They haven't scored more than four runs in any of the past 10 games. So the Mariners, who have been pitching lights-out, have a chance to make this road trip ugly for the Yankees. After Seattle, the Yankees go to Oakland to face the first-place A's.
Cano is not having a great individual year. He has not hit for power, bidding adieu to that right-field porch in the Bronx and moving to Safeco Field, a pitcher’s park. He has just two homers. Still, he is hitting for average and taking his walks. His .330 batting average is the third-best in the American League. His on-base percentage of .381 is sixth-best in the AL.
What Cano’s signing has likely brought to Seattle is a belief that the franchise wants to win. When a struggling organization makes such a bold move, it can change the expectations around the club.
For 2014, Cano is winning the deal so far. That said, there is still a lot of baseball to be played.
As far as shelling out 10 years and $240 million, the Yankees were right not to lock themselves into a deal that will last through 2023.
In the long run, not signing Cano was probably the right decision. In 2014, with an offense that is struggling, the Yankees miss Cano badly; especially with his replacements not doing enough.
Pitching matchups: Here are your updated pitching matchups for the Seattle series: