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Sunday 17th Dec 2017

The rise of social media has caused traditional media overreaction on business-as-usual hot stove league news to reach all-time levels of ridiculousness.

The latest, but far from last example is the Robinson Cano sweepstakes, which apparently came to a close on Friday morning when the free agent second baseman agreed to terms on a 10-year, $240 million contract with the Seattle Mariners.

Cano’s agent, entertainer Jay-Z, reportedly had a Thursday night face-to-face meeting with Mariners officials, including team chairman Howard Lincoln. Expecting to close the negotiations with an offer that exceeded that of the New York Yankees in money and years, instead the club officials were supposedly stunned when Jay-Z countered.

The reports had Lincoln storming out of the meeting and his team moving on, closing off negotiations.

Some national writers, who should have the experience to know better, hopped all over the “news,” attacking the agent and assuming the worst for his client. Tweets such as these were common on Friday morning.

"Jay-Z badly overplayed his hand"
"Boras > Jay-Z"
"Livid Mariners break off talks"
“M’s were simply used to leverage Yanks”

I get that some people simply dislike Jay-Z and others marginalize him because of his background. But it seems to me that within just an hour or two, these over-reactors should have been eating heaping helpings of crow when the deal was disclosed.

Anyone with any experience in negotiations has seen this scenario play out time and time again. Still, the cattle respond as if each sliver of “news” is gospel and seem surprised when there are major twists and turns literally by the hour.

Those who predicted Jay-Z could not function effectively within MLB’s good-old-boy fraternity are going to have to seriously adjust their position. Cano was the best free agent out there and his agent secured him the richest deal. It is about as simple as that.

In terms of the contract itself, it appears clear that Seattle had to overpay to get a top free agent to play there. With lots of Nintendo money backing them, there seems little need to fear for the risk assumed by the Mariners, though.

In fact, this situation seems quite reminiscent of another wealthy West Coast owner shelling out big bucks for the services of an age 30-something star for the next 10 years. Of course, I am referring to Arte Moreno of the Angels and his signing of Albert Pujols two winters ago.

Time will tell if Cano delivers on his mega-deal better than has Pujols to-date. In the initial analysis of this transaction, however, Jay-Z is the clear winner.

Brian Walton was the 2009 National League Tout Wars champion, scoring the most points in the league’s 15-year history. Though he is the only one to remember or care, he also finished second in each of the two subsequent seasons. His work can also be found daily at TheCardinalNation.com and thecardinalnationblog.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.


0 #2 Brian Walton 2013-12-09 15:49
I am guessing that Cano doesn't know/care who Lazzeri and Gordon are. Maybe he is familiar with Randolph. By the way, that isn't a knock on Cano personally. My experience is that baseball history is irrelevant to many players of today.

But the real focus of the article was not Cano, but instead was to point out that the establishment was dead wrong about Jay-Z.
0 #1 Ryan Carey 2013-12-08 20:02
I don't know Brian. Jay-Z wants to be a big-time player in the sports arena, that much is clear. And I will concede that he found his "sucker" owner/franchise in the M's - but despite getting his player the boatload of cash he wanted, he didn't keep him in NY, which was the real goal I believe.

Glad to see the Yanks not cave in negotiations. Fine - Cano gets the dough, but it cost's him his Yankee pinstripes and a chance to go down in history as the greatest second baseman for the franchise. No, he can't pass Lazzeri, Randolph or perhaps even Joe Gordon on the All-Time Yankees list since those guys all won multiple titles to Cano's one. Yes, he gets his money - but gives up his Yankee legacy, and the chance to take the leadership torch from Jeter next year. Now he gets to play in anonymity on the West Coast. Can't wait til he is whining about wanting to get traded back to humanity.

I think an easy argument can be made that he loses almost as much earning potential as he gained by leaving Yanks for bigger contract. I don't call this a clear win by Jay-Z at all. So long Robinson, hope you enjoy the rain.

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