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Yanks say Cano got respect, just not $200 million

Yanks say Cano got respect, just not $200 million

December 13th, 2013 in News

NEW YORK - The Yankees had plenty of praise for Robinson Cano, just not the money he wanted.

"Bouquets. Bouquets. Bouquets. I'll throw him bouquets all he wants," general manager Brian Cashman said, "But I couldn't throw him $235 million."

Cashman and Yankees officials spoke Friday, a day after the All-Star second baseman finalized a $240-million,10-year contract with the Seattle Mariners.

At his news conference in Seattle on Thursday, Cano was critical of the Yankees, saying: "I didn't feel respect. I didn't get respect from them, and I didn't see any effort."

New York's final offer was $175 million over seven years.

"We made an offer we were comfortable with making. It fell far short of obviously where Seattle was," Cashman said. "So, in terms of respect, they showed a lot more respect financially than we did."

A season from free agency, Cano asked last spring for a $310 million, 10-year agreement. Cashman said before the deal with the Mariners, agents Brodie Van Wagenen and Jay Z called Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner and the GM, then said Cano would accept a $235 million deal to remain with New York.

Cano's contract matches the fourth-largest in baseball history. New York's offer, while for less guaranteed money, would have equaled the third-highest average salary of $25 million.

Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner wasn't disappointed with Cano's remarks but was "a little surprised."

"There was nothing disrespectful about the last offer that was on the table," Steinbrenner said. "Not quite sure why he feels that way."

New York officials spoke after a news conference to introduce outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, who agreed to a $153 million, seven-year deal. Steinbrenner said there was always "significant distance" in talks with Cano.

"I think he was very disappointed that he's not a New York Yankee anymore. I think anybody would be disappointed when you leave the New York Yankees," team President Randy Levine said. "We treated him with the utmost respect. We respect him to this day."

After watching Alex Rodriguez sidelined in each of the last five years of his $275 million, 10-year deal - which has four seasons remaining and takes the third baseman to age 43- the Yankees didn't want to make that long a commitment to the 31-year-old Cano.

Levine said Derek Jeter's $189 million, 10-year contract in 2001 was different.

"For players over 30 years old, we don't believe in 10-year contracts. They just have not worked out for us. They have not worked out, I believe, for the industry," Levine said.

"When we signed Derek Jeter to a 10-year contract, I believe he was 26. In that context, it makes sense. If Mike Trout was here, I would recommend a 10-year contract. But for people over 30, I don't believe it makes sense."

Trout, a 22-year-old star on the Los Angeles Angels, was second in AL MVP voting in each of the last two seasons. He is eligible for free agency after the 2017 season.