Robinson Cano’s agent (Jay-Z) shopped his client to the cross-town New York Mets yesterday, most probably in an attempt to woo more money out of the New York Yankees. So let’s cut to the chase – would Cano be someone after whom the Baltimore Orioles might want to consider going after? The fact is that the Orioles have a question mark at second base going into 2014 right now. It’s unclear if Brian Roberts will be retained for another year, and thus the Orioles are at a loss regarding that position right now. Cano is obviously an all-star second baseman that might make an immediate impact with the Birds; so…why not?
First off, his asking price is well above the threshold of rationality for most reasonable franchises. While that sounds more like a situation where an owner wants to achieve a certain bottom line (translated: doesn’t want to spend the money), in this case that’s a
good thing if it’s true. Cano is an impressive talent and on paper he would make one heck of an impact on the O’s. However consider the flip side; what does that do to the team? This is an Oriole team that has a core of guys who have “come up together,” be it in the minors or the majors. Even the likes of Chris Davis and J.J. Hardy, who came from other teams, were able to indoctrinate themselves easily.
So why couldn’t Cano do the same? Again, if the Orioles gave Cano the numbers he wanted, does one not think that other guys might not indirectly resent that? I suppose that “resent” is a bit of a strong term, because it’s obvious that most of the guys in that clubhouse are high character guys. However in situations as such players certainly wouldn’t be outside their realm of rationality to think to themselves, gee, were we really that bad that they had to throw THIS much money at an outsider? Ultimately sports are littered with examples of big ticket players coming into a situation with an established team nucleus only to disrupt that a bit. Albert Haynesworth did just that when he was signed to play for the Washington Redskins of the NFL. Lebron James’ first couple of seasons in Miami didn’t exactly go according to plan either. And one could even say the same thing about Albert Belle when he came to the Orioles.
In fairness, it also matters the franchise and the mix of guys involved. However the aforementioned Belle situation kind of tied the Orioles’ hands in terms of spending for quite some time. However I suspect that there are fans out there who are saying that they should get someone like Cano regardless of the cost. And if you feel that way it’s certainly understandable. However as the Orioles found out when Albert Belle was on the team, it’s not necessarily how much you spend but how wisely you spend it. The Birds would be much smarter to use their money to resign the players they already have in place.
So where does Cano end up? The Yankees are for once not jumping at signing someone who’s on the market, and it’s interesting that they’re doing it with one of their own. I think that ultimately Cano will stay in the Bronx, although it would be fascinating to see him go to the Mets. However having him stay in pinstripes isn’t the worst thing in the world for the Orioles, as it merely keeps the status quo in tact when it comes to the Yankees. If he goes anywhere else (with the exception of Boston, Tampa, or Toronto), it’s a big bonus for the O’s – especially if it’s an NL team.