@DaveCameronFG Weighs in on Yanks and Robinson Cano

This morning on Fangraphs, the always insightful Dave Cameron (@DaveCameronFG — a must follow if you aren’t already) has a piece on the Yankees and Robinson Cano, whom the Yankees purportedly have made a contract extension offer to.  I’ve previously weighed in with my opinion that the Yanks ought to let Cano walk, based primarily on two factors, (1) the questionable aging of other great 2B, and (b) the fact that the Yankees roster is loaded with holes.    Dave ultimately concludes that Cano is about to become rich (no question) and that the evidence of poorly aging 2B is questionable.  Read his article, because as always it is well written and well-reasoned — I guess I had a few reactions:

(1)  Looking at Joe Morgan is of course the gold standard — Morgan debuted somewhat late, but played 2B forever and aged well — the best ever.

(2)  I’m skeptical of the use of Rod Carew in this discussion — he was basically a full time 1B from age 30 onward, which limits his utility as a comparable for aging 2B

(3)  Biggio and Utley are interesting modern comparisons.  Biggio did play two seasons in his mid 30s in the OF, but largely did stick at 2B (I had thought he spent most of his “decline” phase in the OF).  Utley, however, has missed half a season per year since turning 30 and while elite when he plays, seems headed down the path toward premature retirement.

Ultimately I agree completely with Dave regarding what Scott Boras has planned for Cano’s contract extension — though I’m equally convinced the Yanks will make a mistake by extending him.

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About Bill Porter

Bill is an aspiring sportswriter (attorney by day) born in Washington DC, raised in New York, and currently living in San Francisco with his wife Kirsten and two spazzy labs, Fletch and Bear. Follow me on Twitter at @wfporter1972
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2 Responses to @DaveCameronFG Weighs in on Yanks and Robinson Cano

  1. john says:

    Whatever contract Cano signs next winter will overpay him on a per-win basis, but the game is not about efficiency, it’s about wins. The Yankees can get (Pittsburgh’s own) Neil Walker or whomever for a far more reasonable price, but he won’t help them win more games than Cano would.

    New York (finally!) seems to be being burnt by its profligate spending, but Cano at 31 is a bit different from A-Rod and Jeter in their late 30s. Was Russell Martin worth what the Pirates paid him? No, but if the Yanks are going to spend $200m anyway, they might as well throw in a little extra for a decent catcher. There are no points for half-measures.

    Thanks to the Dodgers and certain other regional sports networks, the Yankees at the moment no longer enjoy an overwhelming financial advantage and it is unclear what a win will be worth over the course of a Cano contract. The Dodgers have surely paid way too much per win, but that doesn’t mean they won’t compete. What are the Yankees’ priorities? They have no middle infield prospects.

    Also, you hate Cano because you think he plays half-assed. He’s done pretty well that way so far, though.

    • Bill Porter says:

      No question I’ve never believed in Cano and he’s one of the best in the business. The problem with the Yanks is all the holes they have to fill — even if Pineda is healthy (and shoulder injuries are not promising) they in the next few years need to develop or add 3 pitchers, revamp their entire infield (even if they sign Cano, Tex is their youngest at 33), hope that Austin Romine can hit enough at C and add two OF. Overpaying Cano is certainly something they can afford — but they limit other moves by committing money there and even if they can afford it, it limits the value of the asset by overpaying (ie making it less attractive for someone else to acquire him down the road). Admittedly, I would probably not be as pessimistic if their developing young pitching (Banuelos, Betances etc) hadn’t gone so south so quickly.

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