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Free Agent Frenzy

By Eddie Castro

For just the second time in the past 19 seasons, the New York Yankees missed the playoffs. Going into next season, there are sure to be many changes to the team for the 2014 campaign. Although it would be a sure thing that the team would look different come April, the Yanks were looking to keep a few of their key players. One player General Manager Brian Cashman had a significant interest in keeping in pinstripes was all-star second baseman Robinson Cano. Cano, who is represented by Jay-Z, was reportedly seeking a 10-year deal in the range of around $300 million. It was then reported that Cano’s campaign was willing to settle for around $250 million. Although Cano would appear to be the face of the team when Derek Jeter decides to hang it up, Yankees management did not budge to meet his demands and offered Cano a deal of 7 years, worth $175 million. Days later, it was reported that there was another team in the run for his services. Cano traveled to Seattle and inked a 10-year/$240 million dollar contract from the Seattle Mariners thus leaving the Yanks with one less bat and no second baseman. The team also let Curtis Granderson go as he signed a 4-year/$60 million dollar deal with the Mets.

A few hours after the Cano deal was reported the Yankees wasted no time doing some holiday shopping. After signing catcher Brian McCann to a 5-year/$85 million dollar deal, the Yankees struck again coming to terms on a 7-year deal worth $153 million dollars with former Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury. You would think the Yankees would be done acquiring players right? Think again! A few days later the team came to terms with another former all-star in Carlos Beltran (deal is for 3 years, worth $45 million), and was able to bring back pitcher Hiroki Kuroda on a 1-year deal worth $12 million. With those players alone, nearly $300 million dollars was dished out by the Yankees in free agency. The team must now address their pitching as there are holes to fill for both their starting rotation and their bullpen.

With the Cano saga, in my view there are two sides on why the Yankees letting Cano go was right and wrong. Why was it wrong? During his press conference in Seattle Cano thanked the Yankee fans for their support throughout his 7 years in the Bronx, however, he said he felt disrespected by Yankee management citing that they were playing hardball with his contract offers but seemed willing to sign a player like Ellsbury (again, played for Boston last year) to a long-term deal. The Yankees will not get the offensive and defensive production from anyone they bring in to replace Cano. It was the right thing to let Cano go because, believe it or not, the Steinbrenner’s seem to be hesitant to throw money at players now. At the end of the day, the team wanted to have money to sign other players as well as address other holes such as at third base, and with the pitching rotation. Point-blank, Cano is 31 years old. 10-year deals appear to be overrated for ball players. We all are witnessing how Albert Pujols’ career is spiraling downward after leaving the Cardinals for the Angels upon signing a 10-year/$250 million dollar deal. The Yankees are poised to do whatever it takes to have October baseball back in the Bronx for 2014.

Sports Notes: (Basketball) The Knicks are at home to battle with the Memphis Grizzlies in a Saturday matinée at the Garden.  The Nets seem to be turning it around of late winning four of their last five. The team heads to Philadelphia on Friday night to play the 76ers. Any comments? E-mail me at