Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Heyman: Jay-Z Looking To Keep Cano In The Bronx

From Jon Heyman:
The Robinson Cano negotiations changed course faster than you can say "Empire State of Mind.''

A Yankees deal might not take much longer than that.

Cano's negotiations with the Yankees seemed destined to be a drawn-out affair when agent Scott Boras was handling things. But now that Cano has switched from the notoriously tough Boras (who's flown to New York to try to meet with Cano, so far to no avail) to hire rapper, native New Yorker and self-proclaimed Yankee fan Jay-Z, everything has changed.

The focus has gone from free agency and the spectre of a record contract to a certain in-season re-start of negotiations with the Yankees now that Cano is repped by the Brooklyn-reared singer and entrepreneur who's obtained a temporary agenting license from the union and enlisted CAA to help professionally steer negotiations. Jay-Z, who will be "intimately involved,'' according to CAA Baseball's co-head Brodie Van Wagenen, only knows about another type of records. The rhetoric borders on the rosy now.

An in-season deal only months before free agency, a rarity for a superstar player, seems like a goal now. And that goes for both sides, not just the Yankees.

"Of course it's possible given that he won't be a free agent until November,'' said Van Wagenen, who will lead negotiations.

"There's a lot of time between now and then.''

And while there's no word yet that Van Wagenen (or for that matter, Jay-Z) has reached out yet to the Yankees, signs point to a strong effort to get a deal done before Cano hits free agency. Although Cano told some friends at the time he wasn't thrilled with how the Yankees handled the Derek Jeter negotiations, that he wanted to go for the biggest deal and that he was at least open to a move from New York, there seems to be no sense hiding Cano's heart now.

"New York and the Yankee fans have been great to Robinson. He's cherished his time in pinstripes,'' Van Wagenen said. "He loves the fans and the city. He has a great sense of pride as a Yankee. Though ultimately, whether he stays a Yankee remains to be seen.''

The Yankees aren't about to celebrate yet, but it's hard not to think Cano's at least tipped his hand that he wants to stay in the Bronx. Yankees president Randy Levine said, "Robinson Cano is a great Yankee, and we're hopeful he remains a Yankee for many years to come.''
Based on this move, I personally believe Cano is happy with the offer he reportedly received from the Yankees and wants to get that done. Knowing Boras, he probably wanted to continue negotiations after the season to try to drive the price up, which could be the reason he's no longer Cano's agent.

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