Mariners, Robinson Cano stop short of confirming 10-year deal

Staff writerDecember 6, 2013 

The whirlwind continues regarding the bombshell that greeted Mariners' fans as they awoke Friday morning — that the club is close to an 10-year deal with free-agent second baseman Robinson Cano for $240 million.

Officially, neither side is confirming an agreement, which is believed to be merely contingent on Cano, 31, passing a routine physical examination.

Indications suggest that will take place Monday.

The Mariners released a statement late Friday morning that seemed encouraging but not definitive.

"We are not able to confirm any news regarding Robinson Cano at this time," it read. "If and when an agreement is completed and finalized, we will announce."

A source close to the Cano camp, which is headed headed by his agent Jay-Z, would not comment beyond saying "the last 48 hours have been productive."

Enrique Rojas of broke the news of a deal early Friday, but it was quickly verified by other outlets.

The apparent agreement came after after talks seemed to break off late Thursday when Jay-Z asked the Mariners to boost their offer of nine years for $225 million to 10 years for $252 million.

The two sides then bridged the gap.

Cano, 31, is a five-time All-Star who produced a .314/.383/.516 slash last season while hitting 27 homers and driving in 107 runs. He has averaged 28 homers, 103 RBIs and a .314 average over the last five seasons.

While Cano indicated all along that he preferred to remain with the New York Yankees, he showed increased interest in other clubs when the Yankees showed little inclination to offer more than $160 million for seven years.

The Mariners’ move, while a major long-term financial gamble, initially fits easily into their payroll structure. Their pre-Cano outlay projected at roughly $50 million for a budgeted $100 million.

Accordingly, the club is expected to remain active in efforts to improve a club seeking to break a string of four straight losing seasons.

They have been linked this week in possible trades with Tampa Bay for former Cy Young winner David Price and Kansas City for All-Star designated hitter Billy Butler.

The Mariners have also shown interest in a number of free agents, including pitchers Bartolo Colon, Matt Garza, Ervin Santana and Ubaldo Jimenez; and outfielders Nelson Cruz and Carlos Beltran.

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