Surely Dustin Pedroia (left) and Robinson Cano can get alongside well on the Red Sox infield. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images).
Ben Whitehead Contributing Writer
There is a buzz surrounding this season’s Hot Stove. The “hot question” everyone is asking themselves is, “Will someone sign Robinson Cano to a $300-plus million deal?”
That answer is likely, “No.” But there is a team that could pay for, and use, his services.
Hear me out on this, as I do my best to explain the three reasons why Cano should sign with the Red Sox.
1) Cano is under pressure in New York. He’s the type of guy that WANTS to have fun and “let it all hang out” so-to-speak. But he can’t under the Yankee umbrella. Look at how comfortable he was in a relaxed environment at the Home Run Derby when he beat Adrian Gonzalez in 2011. Look at how well he played for the Dominican Republic in the 2013 World Baseball Classic. He was able to be himself, not some stiff uptight person the Yanks want him to be. Sure Boston's not the easiest place to play, but come to Boston, grow a beard, hug your fellow countryman Big Papi and just play ball.
2) Maybe it’s the baseball you’re worried about. And yeah, he can get lazy and miss a ground ball or two. But you’re telling me you don’t want to sign a 30-year-old who’s hitting a career .303 with a .860 OPS, will hit 25 home runs and drive in over 100 RBI? Who doesn’t want that? Seriously though, the guy is a machine at the plate, has a sweet swing, has dominated at Fenway Park and can be a great middle-of-the-lineup bat for the Sox. Not to mention he’s reliable; since 2007, Cano has played, in order, 160, 159, 161, 160, 159, 161 and 160 games each season.
3) OK, so where does he fit? Well, Boston sure does need a shortstop right now and Dustin Pedroia was a heck of a shortstop at Arizona State. Slide Pedey over, put Cano at his natural second base, let Xander Bogaerts grow into third – as Manny Machado has done in Baltimore – and figure out what to do with Will Middlebrooks. You can platoon two young players (Bogaerts and Middlebrooks) to decide who has the hot hand or who has the future there, or move Middlebrooks across the diamond and set him up at first base for his future. Cano also is on the verge of becoming a pure DH in many minds, and he could take over for David Ortiz when Big Papi’s time in Boston is (sadly) over.
Is he worth the money and the glamour that is going to come with it? That will be determined in the future. With Boston’s past of big money signings not panning out and with Ben Cherington’s vision, this likely won’t pan out. But don’t shoot it down before it even has a chance of taking off. All things considered, it’s really not a bad option.
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