Jay Z trying to sell Cano as the next MJ, and Yanks ain't buyin'
NOV 19, 2013 11:14p ET
Jay Z wants Robinson Cano to be like Mike.
According to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News, Cano’s agents have big things in mind for their client. Rather than simply marketing Cano as a very good second baseman, which he clearly is, it appears that the five-time All-Star’s camp is swinging for the fences in free agency.
“They’re selling him as Michael Jordan, not as a baseball player,” a major league official familiar with Cano’s situation reportedly told Feinsand. “As a guy that’s going to be a big rock star and bring all these fans in. Last year, that wasn’t the case.”
It’s safe to assume that Feinsand’s source is referring to the MJ who won six NBA titles, earned five MVP awards and became a global superstar throughout his basketball career, not the guy who hit .202 with the Birmingham Barons in 1994. And that seems a bit crazy, even if Cano is the best second baseman in baseball and the best free agent available this winter.
Feinsand writes that Cano’s representatives — Jay-Z included — are trying to sell their client as a franchise player, both on and off the field, but that could be a tough sell considering the Yankees’ ratings and attendance numbers were down in 2013 while Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter remained sidelined with injuries. It might become even more difficult of a sell if other teams don’t join the Cano sweepstakes. As Feinsand notes, no other team has stepped up to make a run at Cano to this point, which isn’t really too surprising given that the 31-year-old reportedly is looking for a 10-year, $310 million contract.
“He’s a great baseball player,” the official reportedly said. “But you don’t make extra money because you hired Jay Z.”
Jay Z had dinner Monday night with top officials of the New York Mets to talk about the free agent.
Some of the big wigs in attendance included Mets COO Jeff Wilpon and general manager Sandy Alderson. Even sports agent Brodie Van Wagenen, whom Jay Z's Roc Nation Sports formed a partnership with this year, came through to chow down and talk business.
The only person who matters not in attendance was Cano.
So far reports are the Yankees won't go that high to keep him. In fact, according to ESPN NY, Yankees President Randy Levine thinks Robinson Cano and Co. need to get real.
"We want Robbie back; we think Robbie is terrific," Levine said Tuesday to ESPNNewYork.com. "But we have no interest in doing any 10-year deals and no interest in paying $300 million to any player. Until he gets a little more realistic, we have nothing to talk about.''
And it looks like the other boys in New York who wear the orange and blue are thinking the same thing. Alderson said last week he doubted the Mets would offer any nine-figure contracts. FOX MLB Insider Ken Rosenthal agrees.
What Rosenthal doesn't agree with however, is the multitude of Cano free-agency myths. According to our FOX MLB insider, Cano isn't even asking for $300 million anymore, so these GMs might want to calm down.
With all that said, the dinner reportedly was initiated by Cano's camp. So look on the bright side, Mets fans. At least there is some interest there.
NESN and The Associated Press contributed to this story