Cano to Seattle - Dominoes falling as Winter Meetings approach

(Photo courtesy of Rap Basement)
Ben Whitehead
Contributing writer

In a span of 24 hours, Robinson Cano went from Seattle to not Seattle to Seattle. And pending a physical, which is expected to be Monday, it's all but finally official.

Cano and the Mariners have reportedly agreed to a 10-year, $240-million contract to bring the free agent to the Pacific Northwest. 1) This is good because he's out of the AL East and 2) Well, the rest of it is a mixed bag.

How does this affect the Red Sox? That's where the mixed bag begins.

Boston now must move quickly on Mike Napoli, as the Mariners, Rangers and Marlins are all reportedly in heavy talks with him. One team has an offer on the table, and according to Ken Rosenthal, the Red Sox must match or exceed that offer if they expect to retain Napoli. With the Mariners adding to the intrigue in the AL West, Texas may push hard for a Napoli return.

There is a much bigger concern with the Sox rivals, the Yankees, who lost out on the Cano sweepstakes. The jist of the story is that Jay-Z, Cano's agent, flew Cano to Seattle to up the ante. Cano had a nine-year, $225 million deal from the M's and Jay-Z wanted that extra year and $15 million. He got it, left Seattle, called the bluff of Yanks GM Brian Cashman - who said he wouldn't go above $200 million - then hung up the phone to call Seattle right back and accept.

(Editor's note: That's just a poor man's version of what happened. What really happened, we may never know, but accept it for what it's worth.)

Now the Yankees have money. Lots and lots of money. And they have needs. Lots and lots of needs.

The Winter Meetings are only a weekend away. There have been a lot of transactions already - most notably with the Yankees former players and new signees. Out are Cano and Curtis Granderson (who reportedly had a four-year deal with the Mets). In are Brian McCann and Jacoby Ellsbury. Also, Hiroki Kuroda has agreed to a one-year, $16-million deal to return to the Bronx and Kelly Johnson has signed to play in pinstripes as well.

The transactions are different, but this offseason feels similar to last year when Cherington sat back and made a few "ho-hum" signings. A.J. Pierzynski feels like the Napoli signing, Edward Mujica is the equivalent of Koji Uehara, and a few others are likely to come and go without much notice from the big-wigs at ESPN and MLB Network.

That's all good and well with Red Sox Nation. Cherington built a championship team in 2013 the exact same way. Don't expect anything to change.

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