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.