Robinson Cano is about to learn a hard lesson: Money can't buy happiness.
ESPN's Enrique Rojas reports that the second baseman has agreed to a 10-year, $240 million deal with the Seattle Mariners, scoffing at what was reportedly a seven-year offer in the $165 million to $170 million range from his former team, the New York Yankees.
On its face, this deal looks like a win for both Cano and his green (in more ways than one) agent, Jay Z, who needed to make a huge splash to prove his negotiating prowess and attract future clients. And Cano will never have to worry about money or job security again; he'll still be making $24 million a year even when he's old-for-baseball at 41.
He'll also never again have to worry about where to keep all his World Series rings. The Mariners haven't been relevant in a decade, and even the addition of this offseason's most talented free agent isn't going to change that. Cano also lost out on his chance to cement his legacy as a Yankees lifer, which sounds superfluous until you recall that Mariano Rivera was willing to take a $5 million pay cut in order to retire in pinstripes. There are tangible benefits to playing the country's largest media market -- heck, Mickey Rivers is still making money signing autographs.
As for the Mariners, it'll take a lot more than just Cano to put them into playoff contention, and they'll be paying a heavy price for him when he's long past his prime. The main bone of contention for the Yankees during their negotiations was Cano's insistence on a 10th year. It seems New York actually did learn something from not one, but two terrible contracts with Alex Rodriguez, as well as watching the Los Angeles Angels and the Detroit Tigers get lukewarm results from long-term deals with Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder, respectively.
But the Yankees are also losers here, as they and their fans say goodbye to one of the sole, shining beacons of their dilapidated farm system, throwing another wrench into an already tenuous infield situation. The only silver lining of losing Cano is that the team can now use the money to sign a much-needed pitcher (or three) -- little comfort to a fan base that is used to getting all the toys under the tree.
So best of luck, Cano, and thanks for the memories. The bright lights will miss you -- just not as much as you'll miss them.