Source: USA TODAY
Robinson Cano is headed to the Seattle Mariners, agreeing to terms on a 10-year, $240 million contract, according to a person with direct knowledge of the negotiations.
The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on condition of anonymity because the deal has not been announced.
The agreement comes just hours after talks between Cano, his representative Jay-Z, and the Mariners asked for a 10th year from the Mariners.
But cooler heads apparently prevailed and the sides found common ground, as the pact represents Jay-Z’s first major transaction as a sports agent.
He didn’t do too badly: Cano’s deal equals Albert Pujols’ as the third-largest in baseball history, behind only the two contracts Alex Rodriguez signed with the Texas Rangers (in 2000) and the Yankees (after the 2007 season).
Cano’s agreement with the Mariners was first reported by ESPN Deportes.
The Mariners’ winning offer was $80 million more than the Yankees’ seven-year, $160 million offer two weeks ago.
Cano and agent Jay-Z, who received an eight-year, $200 million contract earlier from the Mariners, met Thursday night in Seattle with Mariners officials. Cano requested a 10-year, $260 million from the Mariners in the meeting, according to a high-ranking Mariners’ official, and reached a compromise Friday morning.
The Mariners, who signed a lucrative TV contract in the off-season, have not reached the playoffs since 2001 and have averaged 92 losses a season the past six years.
Cano’s defection from the Yankees will accelerate the off-season re-tooling with his old team, which now will set its sights on an outfielder such as Shin-Soo Choo to make up for Cano’s power void, and a second base replacement such as Omar Infante.
It also signals that the Mariners, long scorned by free agents due to a decade of futility and a hitter-unfriendly ballpark, are back in business.
Meanwhile, the Yankees will have a drastically different look in 2014, one year after an 85-win season ended with them missing the playoffs for the second time in seven years.
They signed catcher Brian McCann to a five-year, $85 million deal and agreed to terms with outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury on a seven-year, $153 million pact. And they hoped to retain Cano, but on their terms.
It became clear, rather quickly, to Cano’s camp that the gap between his suitors and his old club would be too large, even when factoring in the expanded marketing opportunities that remaining a lifetime Yankee would afford him.