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 is reportedly 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.”
You also don’t make money because someone else says you’re the second coming of His Airness.