Mariners Sign Older, Popular Player

It should come as no surprise that the signing of Robinson Cano would bring some attention to the struggling Mariners. In near synchronistic fashion, once Cano had signed with Seattle, ESPN released its schedule of televised games and showed that the channel will televise the Mariners season opener.

After his signing for $240-million over 10-years, Cano’s signing is huge to say the least. According to the Seattle Times, the game will be the first Mariners game on ESPN, “In recent memory.” Of course, the second baseman could have brought nothing but excitement in Seattle and confusion in New York.

The losing of the second baseman who bats .300 with 30 homers form the left side of the plate a year stings. He was one of the most feared hitters in all of baseball in New York (especially with New York’s short porch in right). However, the move seems a bit perplexing to many who look at it closer, especially when considering Cano’s age and the Yankees record when compared with that of Seattle.

According to USA Today, the Yankees offered Cano a $175 million, seven-year deal to stay in New York. However, Cano who is 31 years old opted for the ten-year deal with Seattle. While ten years is a long time, especially for a player as old as Cano, nobody can deny the premier player that Cano is. As thus, for now the move makes more sense for the Mariners than the Yankees.

By signing Cano, the Mariners could gather much needed media attention (as indicated by the televised season opener) and ticket sales. Surely, a Seattle fan base will be more inclined to watch and attend games if a star like Cano is present. This effect could be even more potent with an energized fan base after the success of the Seahawks.

Seattle general manager Jack Zduriencik said in a statement, “We have made a major commitment to a player who is one of the most dynamic in Major League Baseball … And Robinson has made a commitment to the Seattle Mariners organization and to the City of Seattle.”

The move however also adds a significant contract agreement, in that money in the Marininers organization must be a bit thin after such a huge singing. Plus, Cano will require money every year and without immediate success, the contract could look foolish in hindsight. The Giants made the blunder in signing Barry Zito to a long term contract and watching him struggle to perform over many seasons (though many would say he made up for those sorry years in the 2012 championship run).

Time will tell if Cano’s contract will pay off. Still, in the meantime, the Mariners could use all the attention they can get, and a televised season opener against the Angels can’t hurt. Hopefully Cano can stay healthy and productive in his time with Seattle, and work to better the organization in a way nobody has since Ken Griffey Jr.