Bombers Have Big — And Potentially Pricey — Decision To Make

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Second baseman Robinson Cano is the big fish in the looming free-agent market, and fans understandably want him back in the Bronx.

So do the Yankees, though apparently not at “all costs.”

“Robinson Cano is a great player,” team president Randy Levine told Bloomberg Television on Tuesday. “We will sit down and talk to him. Hopefully he’s a Yankee. Nobody is a re-sign at all costs, but we want him back and we feel good about negotiating something with him. But nobody is a re-sign at any cost.”

The Yankees have a stated goal of getting under the $189 million luxury tax threshold by 2014. But Levine insisted that the team’s philosophy hasn’t changed since the passing of owner George Steinbrenner.

“The Yankees are the Yankees. We’ve been around for a long time,” he said. “I think our fan base understands that we’re going to put a championship-caliber team on the field.”

Both Cano and general manager Brian Cashman, who in late February acknowledged the Yankees made a significant offer to the 30-year-old, responded to Levine’s comments.

“Let’s just see what happens when the season is over,” Cano told the New York Daily News. “There’s nothing I can say. Right now, I’m not paying attention to any of that.”

“Certainly not going to disagree with my president,” Cashman told the paper. “His comments stand. Whatever his comments are, they represent us.”

The Yankees are facing a potentially pricey decision. It’s possible that Cano, batting .308 with 26 home runs and 98 RBIs as the Yankees battle for a wild-card spot, could command upwards of $200 million over 10 years in the open market.

Cano told WFAN radio in February that he’d let his representatives handle the proceedings. He signed with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports this year, leaving super-agent Scott Boras.

“You know what? I just let my agent handle that, because myself, I don’t want to keep talking about the same thing,” Cano told WFAN during spring training. “I just want to keep my mind in the game.”

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