Robinson Cano Targeted by Yankees for Contract Extension, Team Hopes Avoid Free Agency After 2013 Season

Robinson CanoRobinson Cano may not be a free agent until after this season, but the New York Yankees aren’t wasting any time.

Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner has reportedly already spoken with Cano’s agent, Scott Boras, about extending Cano’s existing contract to avoid having to bid for him on the open market, according to ESPN.com.

“There’s been a conversation or two,” Steinbrenner said on Friday at the Yankees’ minor league complex in Tampa. “We’ll get into that and we’ll talk about that at a later date. But he’s been a great Yankee and [we] hope he’s here his entire career.”

This kind of declaration isn’t common for the Yanks and it hasn’t always worked out in their favor. In 2007, general manager Brian Cashman offered to discuss a contract extension with Alex Rodriguez, but he turned down the preliminary talks, opted out of his deal and signed a new 10-year, $275 million contract.

But the second baseman has proven himself valuable for New York — offensively and defensively. The four-time All Star batted .313 in 2012, blasted 33 home runs and contributed 94 RBIs. Cano also committed only six errors last season and posted an impressive .992 fielding percentage, leading him to his second Gold Glove.

Cano, the highest-paid second baseman alongside Ian Kinsler, will enter the 2013 season under a team option that will pay him $15 million. However, if he enters the free-agent market he could land a deal earning him $200 million or more.

The Yankees would like to avoid that scenario, but whether Cano is willing to re-sign with New York rather than determine his value on the open market remains to be seen.

Yardbarker

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