Top free agent Robinson Cano is meeting with the Seattle Mariners on Thursday night, reports Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times, and one industry source told me he believes Cano may make the Pacific Northwest his new home before the start of next week’s winter meetings.
This meeting comes on the heels of a report that the Mariners were prepared to offer the star second baseman a nine-year contract valued in the neighborhood of $225 million. Cano’s former team, the New York Yankees, has been unwilling to go any higher than a seven-year, $170 million pact after adding both Jacoby Ellsbury and Brian McCann already this offseason.
“If that’s what the [Mariners] offer is, he’s gone," a source familiar with the Yankees’ thinking told ESPN’s Wally Matthews on Thursday. Matthews’ source added that if the five-time All-Star left New York, the Yankees would renew their efforts to sign either Shin-Soo Choo or Carlos Beltran.
Matthews’ source also indicated that the Yankees would likely use newly-signed Kelly Johnson as their regular second baseman if Cano left in free agency.
Earlier on Thursday, Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner indicated that he hoped Cano would give the Yankees an opportunity to match any offer from the Mariners before signing a contract. However, General Manager Brian Cashman expressed that there would no guarantee that Cano would provide the team with that opportunity.
“There’s no understanding that they’ll come back again in the end," Cashman said. “There’s been nothing like that.”
Cano led the Yankees with a .314 batting average, 27 home runs, and 107 RBIs in 2013.