By Shannon Drayer
5 p.m. update: A source confirms that full Cano's representation, including Jay-Z, is also traveling to Seattle to meet with the Mariners.
One thing is certain: The fact that Robinson Cano is making a trip to Seattle means negotiations for the prized free agent are at a new level. For exactly who is impossible to say.
At first look, the fact that the player is ready for a face-to-face meeting with the Mariners would indicate that there is genuine interest. There very well could be, but make no mistake-- in situations like these, an agent wouldn't hesitate to put his client on a plane if it could ultimately make him tens of millions more. This could be a shot across the bow to the Yankees. I think the biggest question in the Cano saga is whether or not the Yankees will blink.
It would be hard to believe that staying a Yankee is not the preference of Cano or Jay Z who owns the agency that represents him. Cano can be what they both want him to be in the Big Apple. The Yankees have drawn a line in the sand, however. They will go only so far for Cano and for now it appears they are not interested in going over $200 million. I think we all understand that the only way the Mariners will have any chance of signing Cano is if they over-pay him. Over-, over-pay him, most likely. Just what are those extra dollars worth to Cano? As I have said before, I don't think it is just a matter of Cano's interest in this case.
This is also about Jay Z's new agency. He needs to make a splash with this client. It would appear that there was some face-saving going on last week when all of a sudden a denial of the initial $300 million pricetag came out. Cano is going to come up shy of that number. That number could be $100 million off. How does Jay Z look coming up that short in his first negotiation? What about $30-$40 million short?
If the Yankees stick to their guns and the Mariners' guns are a-blazing, will Cano and his representation take the more lucrative deal?
At this point we do not know what the Mariners' offer or ceiling is. The ESPN Deportes report indicated that the team would be willing to pay $230-$240 million. Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com is reporting that Seattle has not offered over $200 million. That's not to say the first number is not right or the second will not go up. It still could be somewhat early in the game. Or not.