A quote was making its way around LinkedIn recently.
I bring this up because I was overjoyed to see that the Seattle Mariners and Robinson Cano have agreed to a reported 10-year, $240 million contract. Yes, it’s a lot of money. And it’s a lot of years. And then I start to hear the gloomy Mariners fans saying: “How can the Mariners do this? Long deals like this always go bad. Or, General Manager Jack Zduriencik is only signing this deal to save his job.”
My answer to these concerns is “what if the Mariners did nothing?”
How long did the Mariners play keep you engaged last year? I know in late May and June the conversation had shifted from can they compete for the playoffs to how well can these kids play.
Getting your first hit in the big leagues is a rite of passage for players. Many teams will have a couple of guys reach that milestone each year. When you look at a Mariner team with 5 or 6 players getting their first major league hit in 2013, they’re just not a great hitting team. You can have a great pitching staff, but you still need to score at least one run to win.
And Cano can hit. In a nine-year career, he has a batting average of .309 and for the last 5 years has had over 25 home runs and 85 runs batted in each year.
There’s also an interesting twist with this signing. The Mariners have been close, but not quite there, with a number of these deals in the past with Chuck Armstrong as president of baseball operations. Now that he’s gone, a large deal goes through. Had Armstrong been vetoing the deals or is this just a coincidence?
And as for Zduriencik, maybe some fans protest this signing in years to come. But I’d bet you have a stronger reaction if nothing was done.