Friday, December 06, 2013

Robinson Cano Leaving AL East (written after Cano signed with Seattle)

I was literally a second away from publishing a post bashing Jay-Z and Robinson Cano for trying to make the Mariners bid against themselves for Cano's services. Cano had been offered $225 million over 9 years, then Jay-Z reportedly demanded $252 for 10 years, and outraged Mariner ownership stormed away from the proverbial table. The Yankees had offered Cano $170 million for 7 years.

And just as I was on the verge of clicking "publish," I heard that the Mariners and Cano had agreed to a 10-year deal worth $240 million. And that makes sense based on the other numbers. Cano gets less per year, but gets an additional year.

It's an insane deal. Cano is a great player, a potential Hall of Famer, but this pays him until he's 40. Many baseball contracts are becoming insane. It's only a matter of time before we see $300 million deals for top players. One day we will see a $400 million deal.

Making the deal more insane is that Cano has only hit 30+ HRs once in his career. He's never slugged .600 or had an OBP over .400. He's only slugged .550 or higher once (.550 on the dot in 2012), and only had an OBP of .380+ twice. He turned 31 in late October so he's at his peak right now. And he's a damn good player. But if he didn't play second base I don't think people would drool over him as much as they do. Because his numbers are not shattering.

But the Mariners are much, MUCH better with him. And the Yankees are much worse without him. And the Yanks also look quite dumb for giving Ellsbury $21.9 million a year but not giving Cano $24 million a year. Cano was the entire Yankee offense last year. And now Ellsbury is their best hitter. Taking Cano out of the 2013 lineup and putting Ellsbury's numbers in, Ellsbury would have led the Yankees in average, OBP, SLG, and OPS. Cano has hit almost as many homeruns in the last 2 seasons as Ellsbury has his entire career.

Anyway, I'm just happy Cano is out of the AL East. That's really all that matters.

In 156 career games against the Sox, Cano hit .308 with 21 homeruns and 104 RBI. I don't mind him moving to another division. Not one bit.

BORAS > HOVA: Jay-Z Costs Cano Millions (written before Cano signed with Seattle)

If you're a baseball player and you want to make the most money possible, why do you hire anybody but Scott Boras? The guy gets his clients paid. He may not be as cool as Jay-Z, but he shows his clients the money.

I don't know why Jay-Z decided to go into the world of sports agency. I think he watched a few episodes of Entourage and wanted to be the sports world's Ari Gold. And if the rumors out of Seattle Friday morning are true, it seems like he doesn't know what he's doing.

According to sources, Robinson Cano's representation had been able to convince Seattle to offer him a 9-year deal worth $225 million ($25M/year). Then Jay-Z wanted more, and demanded 10-years at $252 million. By the way, that's the same deal A-Rod took, which left a bad taste in Seattle's mouth. Mariner ownership reportedly flipped out, ending negotiations.

What Jay-Z did was ask Seattle to bid against themselves. The Yankees have stayed firm with their offer of $170 million over 7 years ($24.3M/year). Nobody was close to Seattle's offer. And I have to say that it's more than generous. Yet Jay-Z demanded more.

Imagine being at an auction, and you bid $225 for a Robinson Cano autographed baseball, and the next highest bidder was $170. Then the auctioneer demands that you increase your bid to $250. Even though you've already bid the most and nobody is close to your bid. That's BS.

I just can't imagine Boras making a team feel so blatantly disrespected. Boras is conniving, scheming, sneaky. And I'm sure owners don't enjoy dealing with him. But he is a born negotiator. He's too clever to do something as brash and dumb as this. Cano's representation essentially told Seattle to get on their knees, open their mouth, and swallow whatever they put in it.

Don't forget, Cano's camp initially wanted $300 million for 10 years. I think Jay-Z literally pulled that number out of his ass. That number was not based on market value, or relative contracts, or anything real. It was a big, loud, flashy number. There was no substance behind it, just lots of noise and self-promotion. Exactly like Jay-Z's music.

Photo Credit:
Getty Images, Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE

Bruins Drop First Game Against Montreal

The Bruins seemed to approach this game waiting to see what Montreal would do and then react to it. The Canadiens came into Thursday night riding an 8-game point streak. And, surprisingly, they've also been fighting a lot. This was a different Montreal Canadiens team than the Bruins were used to. And the B's didn't seem to know what to expect. So instead of being assertive, they reacted.

Montreal was physical, selectively so. PK Subban frequently jousted with Brad Marchand, for example, not with Milan Lucic. There were some penalties, and a few post-whistle scrums, as well as a fight, but it wasn't the bloodbath some had anticipated/dreaded/hoped for. I wouldn't say that the Habs won the physical matchup, however they were not scared by the Bruins. They didn't let the Bruins affect how they played. Historically, when they've been able to play unaffected like that, they've been a difficult opponent for the B's to beat.

It helps that Carey Price had an amazing game. None of the Bruins were able to truly beat him. Gregory Campbell scored on a breakaway and Price had no chance of moving side-to-side fast enough to stop the shot. He stopped the 32 other shots he faced, carrying the Habs to 2 points, and to first place in the Atlantic Division.

Some good news from the game is that Johnny Boychuk was released from the hospital and cleared to travel. In the first period Max Pacioretty hit him at an awkward angle from behind near the boards, and Boychuk went into the dasher collar-bone first. He was taken off the ice by stretcher and transported to the hospital. Pacioretty received a 2 minute minor for the hit. I would have given him 4 (2 for boarding, 2 for roughing). I don't think he should be disciplined further. It was a weird hit, somewhat reckless, but not worth throwing the book at Pacioretty.

There's no word how long Boychuk will be sidelines for. At least he's out of the hospital.

It was a cleaner game than I thought it would be. I don't think the Bruins took the initiative. They let Montreal dictate things. Hopefully they will be more assertive when these teams meet again. Which isn't until January 30th. Isn't that lame?

Bruins host the Penguins Saturday night. That's quite unlame.

Photo Credit:
AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Paul Chiasson