2014 MLB Free Agent Profile: Robinson Cano

Bruce Bennett

Robinson Cano is among the best players in baseball. Do the Mets have a chance at landing him?

Since his first full season in 2005, Robinson Cano has put up more fWAR (Wins Above Replacement) than all but eight players in baseball. Over the past four years, only Miguel Cabrera has been more valuable. Over those four season, Cano has hit .312/.373/.533 while playing a difficult defensive position well.

Cano was never a highly touted prospect and never ranked among Baseball America’s Top 100 prospects, but he hit .342 in his sophomore season and quickly established himself as an excellent player. His game has improved since his early years, as he’s learned to walk more, play better defense, and hit for more power.

The Cost

Cano is easily the best free agent on the market and will likely receive the most lucrative contract. Earlier this year, Cano left Scott Boras and signed with Roc Nation Sports, Jay-Z’s agency. It has been reported that Cano is seeking a 10-year, $305 million contract, which would be the largest contract in baseball history. The Yankees are reported to have offered Cano a seven-year, $161 million contract, which Cano did not accept. Fangraphs’ contract crowdsourcing project recently estimated that Cano would receive an eight-year, $196.2 million contract. Given that Josh Hamilton, an inferior player who hit the market at an older age, received a five-year, $125 million contract, it would not be surprising to see Cano get a contract north of $200 million.

The Fit

Cano would give the Mets a second certifiable superstar and, despite the fact that second base is not nearly their position of greatest need, adding a player of Cano's talents would be a huge upgrade. Nevertheless, the chances of the Mets signing Cano are virtually nil. For the time being, Cano offers the Mets fans little more than the relief that their own superster, David Wright, is locked up for the next seven seasons at a relatively reasonable price.

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