New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano warms up before a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium in New York, Wednesday, April 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Thursday, April 04, 2013 12:39 am
After agent switch, Cano focuses on field, not rap
By RONALD BLUMAP Sports Writer
The New York Yankees manager loves the Rolling Stones, not rap.
"I haven't heard that he's putting out an album - yet," Girardi said Wednesday before chucking. "If he did, I won't be the first one to buy it, I can guarantee you that."
A day after getting rid of agent Scott Boras in favor of Jay-Z's Roc Nation Sports and baseball agent Brodie Van Wagenen, Cano said he's known Jay-Z since he was a rookie in 2005 and that he made the decision last weekend.
Cano said teammate Alex Rodriguez, a Jay-Z pal, didn't play a part in the switch.
"That was a family decision," Cano said in front of his locker before the Yankees lost to Boston 7-4 and fell to 0-2. "I feel happy with the company, and now all I want to do is just focus on baseball and just what I do best. I don't think it's going to be a distraction, because this is the last time I'm going to talk about this."
Cano, a three-time All-Star with a .308 career average, has a $15 million salary this year in the final season of what became a $57 million, six-year deal. He can become a free agent after the World Series, and Boras prefers his clients to go free to increase their values.
First baseman Mark Teixeira, a Boras client, said he and Boras looked ahead to free agency years before he went on the market in November 2008.
"In 2005, I was already fitted for pinstripes," he said. "The Yankees at the time were one of the only teams that could provide the type of contract, the type of stability - I wanted a no-trade clause - winning every year. Now it seems like every team has that kind of money, but when I was a free agent, not that long ago, there were only a few teams you could really go to."
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said in February that New York already had made an offer for a new deal - even though the team usually prefers not to negotiate until a player's contract expires.
Van Wagenen has worked out $100 million-plus packages for other clients to keep them with the teams they came up with: San Francisco's Matt Cain and Buster Posey, Milwaukee's Ryan Braun and Washington's Ryan Zimmerman.
A-Rod has been criticized by Yankees officials for appearing in gossip pages and on tabloid TV too frequently. Girardi predicted Cano's focus will remain on the field.
"When a guy changes agents, I don't really think it necessarily changes the guy," Girardi said. "Everything I've seen from Robby is that he loves to play this game and is prepared to play every day. I don't see why changing agents would change that unless he's got some recording issues that he has to deal with."
NOTES: There does not appear to be a timetable for SS Derek Jeter to rejoin the Yankees as he recovers from a broken ankle sustained in the AL championship series opener last October. Jeter, eligible to come off the DL this weekend, was at the Yankees' minor league complex in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday for about 2 1/2 hours but was restricted to throwing from distance and strengthening exercises. "Our expectation is that he is going to be an everyday player again," Girardi said. "When is what we're concerned about and how long it takes for him to get through what he needs to get through to be that everyday player." ... OF Curtis Granderson, recovering from a broken forearm, stretched and did conditioning work with extended spring training players. He shagged fly balls one-handed. ... The Yankees released RHP Clay Rapada, who was designated for assignment last week.