Mariners sign Robinson Cano

I just dumped about 550 words into a half-done article about the talks between the Seattle Mariners and Robinson Cano breaking down last night.

I have never been so happy to waste so many words.

You may be privy to this, but $240 million over 10 years is a lot of coin for a lot of years that come with a lot of risk. However, I am firmly in the camp that this isn’t a disaster for the Mariners. Yes, he’s knees could explode tomorrow or he could stop hitting like a first baseman that plays a premium defensive position. But, at some point a franchise has to start taking risks if they plan to do big things.

 You can argue cart before the horse all you want, but you eventually need that horse. This horse was expensive, but he’s an awesome horse and I’m glad to have him. I have absolutely zero problem with the Mariners signing a bone fide superstar in the prime of his career as the first action with their new Scrooge McDuck vault of money.

The Mariners likely were backed into a corner — having to go up to that 10th year — and made the choice to go for it. A club that has traditionally been outbid, outspent and out-everything when it comes to chasing down the big fish decided to make this happen.

In a world where a real life baseball team took on all of Vernon Wells’ salary, I’m just not horribly concerned about how the back end of this deal looks. It’ll probably be heavily back loaded, so there’s a chance this is still one of the bigger AAV contracts in baseball several years from now. Maybe I’m just too excited right now, but I think that this player signing for this contract isn’t something we should worry about.

Plus, the Felix Hernandez window. If the M’s continued to sludge through his career trying to figure out how to patch-work a winning team together, it would have been a crying shame. They have now handed The King and Cano massive deals that show they aren’t the penny-pinchers of old.

Remember when Pudge Rodriguez signed that deal with the Detroit Tigers several years ago? One of the worst teams in history investing a significant portion of their payroll into one player were called fools for thinking it would save them. There’s no garuntee that the Mariners fortunes will turn the way those of the Tigers did, but this signing could very well be our culture changer. There is absolutely no way that this is all the M’s do.

They aren’t done. This is just the beginning.

There will be many more words — with deeper thought and value — to come. But right now, Mariners fans, celebrate.

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Jason A. Churchill

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