Thursday, December 5, 2013

Cano reportedly flies to Seattle for meeting with club

SEATTLE -- Free-agent second baseman Robinson Cano flew from New York to Seattle to meet with Mariners officials on Thursday, according to an ESPN Deportes report, as negotiating tactics for the five-time Yankees All-Star kicked up a notch.

Cano, 31, is regarded as the premier free agent on the market and is coming off a season in which he hit .314 with 27 home runs and 107 RBIs in 160 games for the Yankees.

ESPN Desportes quoted a source as saying the Mariners would be willing to go up to 10 years and $230-$240 million for Cano, who reportedly has been offered seven years at about $170 million by the Yankees.

FOXSports.com is reporting that Cano asked for $240 million, but the Mariners have not offered more than $200 million.

Only Albert Pujols and Alex Rodriguez have signed Major League contracts larger than $225 million.

MLB.com has not confirmed that the Mariners have talked any specific figures with Cano and the Mariners declined to comment on the ESPN Deportes report, as is their policy with all free-agent negotiations.

What the report doesn't say is whether Cano and his agents are truly interested in signing with Seattle or are leaking news of his dalliance with the Mariners as negotiating leverage to drive up the Yankees' offer.

The Yankees have already signed free-agent outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury (seven years, $153 million) and catcher Brian McCann (five years, $85 million), but are trying to keep their 2014 payroll under the $189 million annual luxury-tax threshold.

Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner told reporters at an introductory news conference for McCann in New York on Thursday that his team is still talking with Cano and his agents and he hopes the Yankees are given a chance to match any offers.

"Nobody has given up," Steinbrenner said. "We're still talking, but obviously we're a decent distance apart. We're just going to have to see, day by day. That's all we can do."

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