Jack Z Jay Z and a lot of Zeros
To borrow a phrase from Mr. Niehaus, My oh my what a long night. As most west coasters were waking up in anticipation of a TGIF day at work Mariners Jack GM Jack Zduriencik and Robinson Cano‘s agent Jay Z were finishing up details on a block buster deal for Robinson Cano to play in the Emerald City.
The deal is reportedly for 10 years and $240 million dollars.
That’s just $12 million off of Alex Rodriquez original deal to leave Seattle and join the Texas Rangers. It’s actually more money per year than the M’s gave Felix Hernandez to start off the 2013 season.
But what a ride it was to get this deal done.
The Journey Begins
For those of you that weren’t up all night following this story as it changed, literally by the minute, let me give you some of the highlights.
It all started a few days ago when rumors broke that the M’s were now “seriously pursuing” Robinson Cano. I, along with many others, didn’t put a lot of stock in the theory because the Mariners have been linked to every free agent this offseason.
I also didn’t think Cano, a guy who loves the NY lifestyle, would ever agree to play so far away from that.
Essentially, most thought Cano and Jay Z were using the M’s to get a better deal out of the Yankees.
It’s the oldest and most common trick in the sports agent’s bag of tricks after all.
Then yesterday evening things started to change.
A story broke that Jay Z and Cano were actually on a plane set to arrive in Seattle in just a couple of hours to meet with the Seattle brass. In other words, this was a far more serious discussion between these guys than anyone originally thought.
At that point it was thought that the M’s were offering 8 years for $200 million but were willing to go as high as 9 years and $225 million. That’s where the story stayed until very early this morning.
A story broke out of the NY Daily News at around 6am that Jay Z had overplayed his hand by demanding 10 years and $250 million. Mariner’s Chairman and CEO Howard Lincoln reportedly “exploded” and that the deal was dead.
Cano, agent in tow, were leaving Seattle without a deal.
90 minutes later things started to change again.
Contradictory reports started to surface discrediting the NY Daily News story and just like that the deal was done; 10 years & $240 million dollars.
Oh what a night!
But does the deal make sense for Seattle?
I guess this question depends on your point of view. For fans of practically every other team in MLB the answer is a resounding no. The Mariners over paid. There is no question about that.
Robinson is a great player, don’t get me wrong but the M’s did over pay here, big time.
Cano is a career .300+ hitter. He’ll hit 30 homers, drive in over 100, play brilliantly at 2nd base and he’ll do it every year until his age starts to catch up to him.
He’s 31 so that day is sooner rather than later and it’s certainly not more than 10 years from now.
For Mariner fans, this deal does make sense and everyone, including me, needs to give Jack Z and the Mariners a lot of credit here. They did what they had to do to try and make the Mariners a winner again. They did what it took to be relevant again.
Yes, it’s too much money and too many years for a 31 year old. Jack Z simply had no choice and I give him a ton of credit for making the move because quite frankly, I didn’t think Zduriencik, Lincoln and the M’s, had the guts to go all in like this.
This move is reminiscent of a Mariner’s offseason of several years ago. Then GM Bill Bavasi went all in and signed Richie Sexson and Adrian Beltre to huge deals in the same offseason.
Ultimately that plan failed as we all know but still, at least Bavasi stepped up to the plate, something I thought Jack Z was incapable of doing until this morning.
The best part is I don’t think the M’s are done yet. Already more reports and rumors are circulating about other possible deals involving the M’s.
Be proud to be an M’s fan today. Your team just became relevant and newsworthy again.
Jack Z came up to bat and even if he strikes out, at least he went down swinging.