Thursday, December 12, 2013

'Ecstatic' Mariners welcome Cano to fold

Robinson Cano was officially introduced on Thursday afternoon at Safeco Field, and the All-Star second baseman opened his news conference by saying, "You can't be more happy than this."

Cano last week agreed to a 10-year, $240 million deal with Seattle, matching the third-largest contract in Major League history. In signing the top free agent on the market this year, the Mariners landed a five-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove Award winner.

"Needless to say, it's a very special day here in Seattle," executive vice president of baseball operations and general manager Jack Zduriencik said. "We are ecstatic about the signing of Robinson Cano."

One of the most consistent offensive forces in today's game, Cano batted .314 with 41 doubles, 27 home runs and 107 RBIs last season, and he has averaged 28 home runs and 103 RBIs per season since 2009.

He has also notched four consecutive Silver Slugger Awards while earning All-Star honors and finishing in the top six in American League Most Valuable Player voting each of the past four years.

Cano had multiple suitors, but ultimately decided on Seattle.

"I decided to play here because I think we have a good opportunity with all this young talent," Cano said. "This team, this organization, is going to put a great team together. This isn't just about the 2014 season. It's about the future."

Part of that future includes a young nucleus of players that Cano wants to help mentor.

"I feel like with all this young talent, bringing all the experience that I learned in my career -- winning championships, being in playoff situations, winning the [World Baseball Classic] -- my goal, besides winning, is to share all those things I learned," Cano said. "I was a young kid before and I got a chance to learn from a guy who has been there for 10, 15, 20 years. And now's the time for me to share it with the young kids."

In nine Major League seasons with the Yankees (2005-2013), Cano has hit .309 with 375 doubles, 204 home runs and 822 RBIs in 1,374 games. He has five consecutive seasons with 40 or more doubles and 25 or more home runs, the only player in Major League history to record those statistics in five straight seasons.
Only Albert Pujols (seven times), Lou Gehrig (six), Miguel Cabrera (five), Stan Musial (five), Hank Greenberg (five) and Cano have recorded five or more seasons with 40 or more doubles and 25 or more home runs.

Cano admitted he was surprised to leave New York.

"Honestly, yeah, I'm not gong to lie," Cano said. "But now is the time where you have to turn the page. I'm happy to be here and am excited."

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