Corey Sipkin/New York Daily News
Robinson Cano seen in Yankees pinstripes had a bid to join the Seattle Mariners blown by super-agent Jay Z, according to sources.
Robinson Cano‘s chances of landing in Seattle have apparently ended on a sour note.
According to two sources briefed on the situation, negotiations between the free agent second baseman’s lone stalking horse — the Mariners — and Cano’s camp — led by rapper-turned super-agent Jay Z and CAA’s Brodie Van Wagenen — collapsed after Jay Z apparently overplayed his hand in a negotiating session with the Mariners Thursday.
Cano and his camp arrived in Seattle with what sources described as basically an eight-year deal for $ 200 million in hand and the assurances that Seattle would go to nine years and $ 225 million. But when Jay Z then upped the ante to 10 years for $ 252 million, Mariners president Howard Lincoln apparently “exploded,” according to one of the sources, and ended the meeting.
Cano, the top free agent available this year, is now back to having the Yankees as his lone suitor.
The original $ 225 million offer had dwarfed the Yankees’ current seven-year offer of $ 165-$ 170 million, leaving the Mariners more than $ 50 million ahead of the Bombers, who are believed to be willing to go as high as $ 175 million.
That would have matched the average annual value of Seattle’s offer, though it would remain two years and $ 50 million behind the Mariners overall.
As of late Thursday, the Yankees had not heard anything from Cano’s camp since earlier in the week, though a team source said it was likely because of the sizeable gap that remained between the two sides.
The Yankees have maintained for weeks that they won’t give Cano 10 years or $ 300 million as his agents requested during the season, but even as his demands have dropped — he recently asked for a nine-year, $ 260 deal with a $ 28 million vesting option for a 10th year — the Yankees have steadfastly held to their seven-year proposal.
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images
Jay Z was helping to negotiate Robinson Cano a spot with the Seattle Mariners, but it appears the eight-year deal has fallen apart, sources told The News.
An industry official told the Daily News earlier this week that a $ 200 million offer from the Yankees was “never going to happen,” adding, “If that’s the offer and he wants to go there, he’s going to be a Mariner.”
Cano’s father, Jose, hasn’t been impressed by the Yankees’ pursuit of his talented son this off-season.
“The Yankees don’t seem to want him,” Jose Cano told the Daily News on Thursday.
That isn’t what Hal Steinbrenner was saying earlier in the day, though the Yankees owner acknowledged that the team’s current offer and Cano’s asking price remained far apart.
“Look, we’re still talking,” Steinbrenner said. “Nobody has given up. We’re still talking, but obviously we’re a decent distance apart. We’re just going to have to see, day by day. That’s all we can do.”
General Manager Brian Cashman said the Yankees have been trying to sign Cano, though he added that his club has “a lot of needs” he’s had to focus on at the same time.
“We would love to have him,” Cashman said. “Just like we took Brian McCann right now from the Braves and every other suitor because we were willing to pay a certain amount, that certainly could happen to us in the Robbie Cano sweepstakes. That’s the way the process works.
“Some people wind up signing elsewhere for more money than the home club was willing to give and other players can take discounts to stay if they have better offers. Sometimes you find common ground and get a deal done. I can’t tell you how this is going to shake out just yet. He’s a great player, he’s been a great Yankee, I’ve got nothing but good things to say about him.”
Cashman confirmed that he’s met in recent weeks with both Van Wagenen and Jay Z, whose Roc Nation Sports inked Cano as its first client back in April.
One American League executive wasn’t surprised to hear Seattle pushed its offer past $ 200 million, as the Mariners are desperate for a big-name signing to spark the sagging fan base. But apparently, even the Mariners were drawing the line on Cano.