Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Driving himself at a merciless, inhuman pace, Joggy Cano is preparing to dominate 2018

Bringing delight to Mariners fans everywhere - (thanks, Buhner's Ghost) - Jet-Set Joggy has undertaken an incredible, physically exhausting, body-hardening workout trip to the Holy Land, chronicled here. 

In October, the wandering smile turned an ageless 35. His Mariners contract runs for six more merry and mirthful years - at a meager $24 million per season. He isn't even halfway through his long, joy-filled jog!

Sadly, Jogginson has yet to play in a post-season game with Seattle. Last year, he hit .280 with 23 HRs and 97 RBIs, ranking 10th offensively among MLB secondbasemen, according to ESPN. Think of it this way: The Mariners paid slightly more than $1 million for each home run. Cano also contributed 18 grounders-hit-into-douple plays last year - that's about $1.2 million per GIDP. He ranks 4th on the career GIDP list among active players. Getting a little chubby out there. Last year he stole one base - one more than in 2016!

Someday, maybe Yank fans will forgive Cano for putting the cold, hard dollar first, for choosing an extra season of pay and jettisoning NYC after nine great years. I won't be feeling that way. Nor will I ever think it was good deal for Robbie to make with Mephistopheles. Come 2023, the final year of his contract, Cano will be 40 and fodder - viewed in Seattle as human bloat, blamed for the Mariners fiscal austerity, and likely performing the role that A-Rod did last year for Hal and Cash - a glorified Wal-Mart greeter, smiling up at the camera from a swimming pool inflatable duck.

I raise this because all Yankee talk this winter rides on an air mattress understanding that - by cutting payroll now - the Empire next year can sign Bryce Harper or Manny Machado to some jazillion dollar deal, which will extend beyond the next ice age. Both players are 25, so a 10-year contract might not seem so Canoesque - unless, of course, their agents demand a 12 or 15 year commitment. And if so, how many great seasons can the Yankees expect, compared to the dog years at the end, presumably tying us up through 2030. And because - hey - I might be dead or in La-La Land, why should I care?

Listen: Even if dead, or playing with my stool in some nursing home, I will still root for the Yankees. And Hell is hot enough without adding daily Satanic whiplashes from having to watch the last hobbling vestiges of Harper at age 44. (If the Yankees are bad, I imagine Hell offering YES broadcasts.)

What I'm getting to - in my roundabout, Joggie-globetrotting way - is this: 

In the modern age, there is only one way to build baseball teams, and it's from the bottom up. You want a star's first five years - not the last five. To do this, most teams need to "tank," to orchestrate a collapse. But the Yankees have a distinct financial, historical and cultural advantage over the others. This should not mean we must own every superstar's last five years. Unless the Players Association shows spine in the next union deal, the Yankees cannot simply outspend everyone else - the luxury taxes will kill us - but we can build the best development and scouting system in the game. We have the money to do that.

Today, the Yankee farm system is considered one of the deepest in baseball. I know that I'm viewed as a "prospect hugger," and there are times when young players should be used as trading chips. But come next winter, Yankee fans should ask one central question:

Over the next five years, which outfielder would be more productive - Clint Frazier at the MLB minimum, or Harper at $35 mill per season, through eternity? 

And that, my friends, is why I don't want Red Thunder traded.


Parson Tom said...

I agree with you on nearly everything you post here except the hate you have for Cano and his decision to go to Seattle. The Yankees want loyalty, but they didn't show him loyalty, just like they made Jeter out to be a money-grubber during his negotiations. Cashman likes to negotiate with insults in the newspapers. Cano took generational wealth to play for somebody else. In so doing, he accelerated the Yankee's rebuilding process and the new youth-centric approach to team building. We should salute him for that.

When Cano was with the Yankees, he was very good -- never quite as good as the ESPN blabbermouths made him out to be, but they always need someone to fawn over and somebody else to kick like a bum. Cano's long career will provide him plenty of time at both ends of that equation, after which he will take his Mega Millions and his What Me Worry smile and watch his kids frolic by the pool. Happy for him.

Masked Editor said...

Geez, the Mariners blogger seems to take it pretty easy on Cano like his vacation and "coolness" are better than winning. They just seem to be happy that he "chose" to play in Seattle. Like an ugly man who is just happy he found someone to marry him....???? I don't know if I'd call what Cano did "choosing."

13bit said...

Parson, I respectfully disagree with you. Negotiations can be ugly - and they were with Brutus Jeter, as well - but the Yankees were offering him "generational wealth," as well. It's a a matter of degree, but it was not even close to being chump change. Plus, he could have retired a Yankee.

Frankly, we dodged a bullet with Joggy. It's a shame we didn't just allow A-Rod to opt out when he wanted to. Think of how different the following years could have been with that money to spend on other players, plus without him flailing away at the plate.

Everything is clear in hindsight, but we don't have that luxury while living in the dark present.

John M said...

13, I still remember the horror of that A-Rod resigning announcement. It left a small scar on my brain that showed up in an MRI years later.

Parson Tom said...

13bit, mostly we agree. But I don't think Cano felt the Yankees deserved a $60-70 million hometown discount, and I don't blame him. The big price he's paying is not being a mythic Yankee for Life and won't get a plaque in Monument Park, but what's that really worth? He'll still be invited to Old Timer's Day, eventually. It worked out well for the Yankees because they exercised the restraint they were unable to muster when A-Rod and CC had opt-out options. Cano did what was best for him and moved on. My point was that I don't hate him for it.

Love the "Brutus Jeter" tag!

HoraceClarke66 said...

I disagree regarding A-Rod. It was only AFTER the re-signing that 2009 World Series title, our only one since 2000. Think of how bleak and miserable this winter would be without that memory to keep us warm.

Again, the problem with A-Rod wasn't A-Rod. He gave us 8 years of 30-plus homers, etc., and let's not get into exactly how he did it for now.

Nothing in the A-Rod contract forced Cashman to acquire bad pitchers for 10 years. Nothing in it forced him to respond to the Sox signing Dice-K with Kei Igawa (say it soft, and it's almost like praying), or spending the big bucks on the Wrong-Headed Trio of Ellsbury, McCann, Beltran, etc.

HoraceClarke66 said...

That said, this was a terrific piece, and right on the money, going forward. Save Red Thunder!!

HoraceClarke66 said...

Okay, so as the headline on the next item indicated...once again, no Yankees news in the Times.

There was, however, a huge piece on how FIFA is pledging to reform, something it's been doing since roughly 1936, without actually reforming.

That puts our score this year at Soccer 6, Yanks 0.

There WAS a wire service piece on the Mets. It seems that they've signed reliever Jenrry Mejia to a one-year contract, for $1.729, even though Mejia is banned for life for failing 3 drug tests. Also, since banned players do not get paid, the Mets will not be paying out any of that money.

That's right, folks. The New York Mets just agreed to pay money he can't accept, to a pitcher who can't play. Really, it's the perfect Wilpon deal. I also love the precision of the deal involved:

'No way you're getting $1.730 mill! We have a strict budget on fantasy salaries! It's $1.729 mill or you can walk!'

Ah, the Mets. A team Franz Kafka would've adored.

Oh, and the Joggy article IS hilarious. The Seattle blogger is overjoyed that Cano is...cheerful. That's what it comes down to for these poor, pathetic sham franchises out there. The man is being paid $24 million a year to play baseball—under absolutely no pressure—in a beautiful city. And they're happy he's cheerful.

13bit said...

OK, point taken. I don’t hate him, either, and I probably would’ve taken the money, as well. Nobody is breaking down my door to give me anything, so I should just shut up. I’m glad he’s happy out there in Seattle. I’m glad the Seattle fans are happy. We’re all happy.

Cletis Boyer said...

Cano is no Willie Randolph.