Robinson Cano
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Seattle Mariners Should Admit Failure; Trade Robinson Cano Back to New York Yankees


Remember when the Seattle Mariners signed Robinson Cano and it was supposed to be the start of their huge success in the American League West?

The city of Seattle is still waiting for that success to come. Robinson Cano’s signing in December of 2013 to the 10-year, $240 million deal was one of the first big deals that Seattle landed. In order to do so, they had to outbid the New York Yankees by three years and $65 million to get him. But with Jay Z and Roc Nation leading the negotiations, the deal got done.

Since then, there hasn’t been much winning in Seattle. Robinson Cano is hardly to blame for it since he’s been an All Star twice and finished in the Top 10 in the MVP voting twice. With that said, he is also taking up a decent amount of the payroll with $24 million owed to him. This move was supposed to signal a new era of baseball for the Mariners. But it hasn’t.

They’ve had one winning season in the last four years, which was in 2014. Since then, nothing but losing baseball and no trips to the playoffs. They’ve developed some decent players like Kyle Seager, but the reality is not a good one for the Mariners.

They’re not a good baseball team and they aren’t looking like a contender anytime soon. And now that the Houston Astros have taken over, it pushes Seattle even further back in the division.

So it’s time for Jerry Dipoto to admit failure with this franchise and blow it up. As nice as it would have been to have a winning team with Robinson Cano, it’s not happening and they need to figure out a way to start over by getting Cano elsewhere.

Where to? Who’d want a 34-year-old second baseman making $24 million a season?

Simple. The New York Yankees. The team that Robinson Cano should have signed with back in December of 2013.

Now, why would the Yankees want Cano considering they do have infield options right now and waiting in the minor leagues? Because Cano is still a top level player who can still help a team like the Yankees. Pairing Cano with Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez, the Yankees offense would be that more lethal. And even if you kept Starlin Castro to play second or third base, it makes the lineup even deeper.

Yes, Cano’s contract isn’t exactly a must-have, as the Mariners are paying $24 million a season until the 2023 season, in which Robinson Cano will be 40 years old. Even the Yankees didn’t want to pay that, which is why they offered only seven years in a deal.

Seattle should take the advice given to them by Yankees television announcer Michael Kay when he said the Mariners should pay the final two years of Cano’s contract in a trade. At the time, he also said the Yankees and Mariners should swap Cano for Jacoby Ellsbury, a trade that still makes sense, but if Seattle is going to blow it up like we are suggesting they should, then Ellsbury’s deal for the Mariners makes no sense.

But with that said, if Seattle ate the final two years and $48 million to trade Cano back to New York, it could entice things. Remember, the Yankees are in contention for the playoffs and having players like that would easily help them contend for a championship.

So lets say that the Yankees were interested, what would they give Seattle? Here’s the proposal:

Yankees get Robinson Cano with Seattle paying the last 2 years of the deal.

Mariners get Jorge Mateo, Miguel Andujar, Dillon Tate, Tyler Wade and Chase Headley.

With this proposal, the Mariners would get the Yankees two of the top 10 prospects (Mateo at #3 and Andujar at #8) and all of them in the top 15 (Wade at #10 and Tate at #13.) So this isn’t exactly an offer of low-level prospects being given the Seattle in this proposal.

The Yankees obviously wouldn’t part with guys like Clint Frazier or Gleyber Torres, who are considered the jewels of the system. But Mateo is a top prospect who might not find a place to play in the Bronx; he could in Seattle. Same goes with Andujar, who got to play in one game for the Yankees. They did part with Blake Rutherford in the deal with the Chicago White Sox, so obviously, he’s long gone.

Now on the other side, why Cano with Starlin Castro already there? Really simple.

You can move either Cano or Castro to third base and then take newly acquired Todd Frazier and move him to first base for the remainder of the season. By trading Headley, you’ll have removed another veteran contract from the books that the Yankees really aren’t in need of and would expire after 2018. Who knows, maybe Headley could rejuvenate his career with the Mariners by playing in a less stressful environment. The Yankees have tried to deal Headley before, something they attempted to last winter with no success. With Todd Frazier now in New York (temporarily) to play third base, the Yankees could find even more incentive to deal Headley since has been moved from his original position.

What this deal would also do is give the Yankees back the player they should have never lost to begin with and given them a player who could help them get to that 28th World Series championship. On the flip side, it would free Seattle of Cano’s salary and a chance to start over again.

Sure, they’d be taking Headley’s deal. But a season and a half of Headley’s deal looks better than six and a half of Cano’s; at least from a rebuilding side of things.

The sooner Seattle realizes that they aren’t winning anytime soon with Cano’s salary on the books, the better off they will be, especially for their future. And they will be better off unloading Cano back to the Yankees.


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Doug Rush
Doug Rush is a 13-year professional journalist who found his way to the Inscriber Digital Magazine in September of 2016. Before graduating college, his first ever job in the industry was with the Asbury Park Press in 2004 covering high school sports. After graduating from Ocean County College in 2007 and Ramapo College of New Jersey in 2009, he became a featured writer for Bleacher Report, covering both the New York Yankees and New York Giants from June of 2009 until his departure in 2013. In March of 2013, he joined Sports Media 101, where he was a featured writer for Giants 101 and the lead writer and editor for Yankees 101 and Knicks 101. He served there until leaving in July of 2016. Rush is current members of the Pro Football Writers Association of America and the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America.

9 thoughts on “Seattle Mariners Should Admit Failure; Trade Robinson Cano Back to New York Yankees”

  1. How are you evaluating Cano’s contract? The reason Kay said Yankees and Mariners should swap Cano for Jacoby Ellsbury is because that is a bad contract for bad contract with the mariners eating 2 years to make up the difference.

    Jacoby Ellsbury contract is worth -50ish $million , Cano’s is worth -120 to -80 $million.

    No one is giving up prospects for the right to pay a cano $96 million dollars for his age 35-40 seasons. If he was a free agent this winter, I doubt he would do better than 3 years / $45 million.

    This is why you are a member of Internet Baseball Writers Association of America. not the BBWAA.

  2. Great article love what you wrote although I’m not sure they should give up Jorge Mateo especially with reports of him possibly being moved to centerfield.

    1. Appreciate the comment. Jorge Mateo’s name has been mentioned in several trade rumors for a few years now, so I think the Yankees may be willing to deal him in a potential trade.

  3. Unlike other comments on here, I think you do understand what you are writing about. With one mistake. You said Mateo and Andujar were the only Top 10 prospects in the deal and then included Wade (apparently ranked #10), as well. So that would be 3 (not 2) of the Yankees’ Top 10 prospects in addition to other assets for taking Cano’s albatross contract off Seattle’s hands. That is where I tend to disagree with you. I can see Mateo in the deal along with another couple of prospects, but only if the Mariners take both Ellsbury and Headley (or Castro) from New York. The Yankees want to get under the tax line, so keeping Ellsbury while bringing back Cano would severely hinder any chances of that happening. So, instead of Seattle eating the last 2 years of Cano’s deal, maybe they could reduce that amount significantly (maybe half) by taking back more now in the form of current (but shorter term) contracts along with a few decent prospects to make it work long-term. That is just my opinion, but I can’t see any way the deal works without Ellsbury going to Seattle.

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