The Internet loves some hot stove speculation, especially when it involves the New York Yankees and one of the biggest names in baseball. The New York Daily News' John Harper wrote the other day that Robinson Cano has told at least one friend he is unhappy in Seattle and would welcome a return to New York.
So why not? Well, maybe the Mariners will ship him out, but, as of right now, it seems unlikely it would be to the Bronx. Here's why:
1. The Yankees don't seem to want him. When asked Monday what the chances of a Yankees reunion with Cano are, a person in the know said, "None." Two winters ago, the Yankees balked at a 10-year, $240 million contract, instead offering Cano a seven-year, $175 million contract. Cano took the extra $65 million, which even Yankees GM Brian Cashman said was the smart move.
2. The Bombers have moved on. The Yankees do need a second baseman, but while they very well might add someone this winter, right now their second basemen are Rob Refsnyder and Dustin Ackley. Refsnyder has some promise, but he and Ackley are not sure defenders. That said, the Yankees don't seem to want to pick up Cano's contract, which is only in Year 3. By the time Cano's contract ends, the next president could be finishing up a second term. It will be 2023. The Yankees are working on getting under the luxury tax, maybe as early as 2017, and Cano's contract wouldn't help that.
3. A different Steinbrenner runs the show in the Bronx. The rules of baseball have changed, and so has the lead name on the Yankees' ledger. Maybe if George Steinbrenner were around, he would be impetuous enough to go get Cano. But Baby Boss, Hal, is not his father. While this may not fit with the narrative, Hal may be wiser than his old man. The idea of adding Cano's contract when the Yankees, under Hal's directive, are trying to shed deals like that doesn't make sense. Plus, these free-agent deals for 30-something players seldom work out -- especially at the end.
4. The Mariners don't want Ellsbury (do they?). Jacoby Ellsbury is from the Pacific Northwest; Oregon to be exact. So how about Ellsbury for Cano? Who says no? Well, maybe everyone, but if Cano to the Yankees were ever to gain traction this is probably how it would happen.
Cano is owed $192 million over the next eight years, while Ellsbury is due $105 million over the next five seasons. They both have no-trade clauses. If the Mariners wanted to get rid of Cano -- and there is no evidence that they do -- there could be a trade there if Seattle ate a significant amount of the monetary difference between the two players. But why would Seattle want to do that and take back an inferior player, who is on the field a lot less? I don't know, do you? They do have a new GM, who didn't sign Cano, so, at the least, the loyalty factor would be gone.
5. Cano is house-hunting in Seattle. A person in the know said Cano is looking to buy a house in Seattle. So maybe he is just starting to settle in with the Mariners. Since he has eight years left on his deal and probably has the financing, it seems like a good time to buy, not rent.