The New York Yankees have maintained throughout this season that they hope to re-sign Robinson Cano. But the Yankees may not be willing to do whatever it takes to retain the star second baseman.
Yankees president Randy Levine indicated that the organization would be willing to lose Cano in free agency if the slugger received a contract offer that New York did not want to match or exceed.
"Robinson Cano is a great player. We will sit down and talk to him," Levine told Bloomberg Television during an interview Tuesday.
"Hopefully he's a Yankee. Nobody is a re-sign at all costs, but we want him back and we feel good about negotiating something with him. But nobody is a re-sign at any cost."
Cano, who turns 31 in October, is enjoying another outstanding season with the Yankees (77-68), who are battling for an American League wild-card spot.
Cano entered play Wednesday with a .308 batting average, 26 home runs and 98 RBIs -- all team highs. He also leads the Yankees in hits (167), walks (63) and total bases (277).
Cano declined to address Levine's comment when questioned by the New York Daily News, telling the paper that he will not focus on a new contract until the offseason.
"Let's just see what happens when the season is over," Cano told the Daily News. "There's nothing I can say. Right now, I'm not paying attention to any of that.
"We have 18 games left, so that's my focus right now. We'll see what happens when that day comes."
Cano's representative, CAA's Brodie Van Wagenen, and the Yankees have held informal talks throughout the season in an effort to reach an agreement before the All-Star becomes eligible for free agency. Van Wagenen has been the point man for negotiations, even though Jay-Z was instrumental in landing Cano through his group, Roc Nation's partnership with CAA.
A five-time All-Star, Cano is expected to command a lucrative multiyear contract this offseason and figures to receive interest from multiple teams.
But Levine reiterated that,although Cano remains a priority, the Yankees will not stray from their planned strategy in negotiations.
"The Yankees are the Yankees -- we've been around for a long time," Levine told Bloomberg Television. "I think our fan base understands that we're going to put a championship-caliber team on the field. ... Great players come and go, but the commitment to getting great players continues."
Information from ESPNNewYork.com's Andrew Marchand was used in this report.