It was in the best interest of free-agent second baseman Robinson Cano to find a team besides the Yankees willing to make him a serious offer. Even if Cano preferred to remain in New York, he'd need a second team to up his price, in case the Yankees realized that bidding against themselves was unwise. Cano is represented by Jay Z's new sports agency, and it appeared that Jay Z and fellow agent Brodie Van Wagenen had found their team: The Mariners reportedly made Cano an offer of $200 million over eight years, and according to Mark Feinsand of the Daily News, they were willing to go as high as $225 million for nine years. Then Jay Z screwed it all up. Or so Feinsand claimed.
According to Feinsand, talks collapsed when Jay Z demanded his client get $252 million over ten years. The Mariners chairman and CEO reportedly "exploded" at the demand, according to Feinsand, and talks collapsed. Said a Mariners source to Feinsand, "It doesn't look like we're getting him."
But it looks like Jay Z knew what he was doing. This morning, the Mariners and Cano reached an agreement on a whopping ten year contract worth $240 million, tied for the third-largest contract in baseball history.
This post was updated throughout as the story developed.