NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Robinson Cano may have been sincere when he took to social media on Thursday to thank Yankees fans for all their loyalty during his nine-year run in the Bronx, but they were in no mood to return the love.
No mood, whatsoever.
On the day Cano’s hefty 10-year, $240 million contract with the Seattle Mariners became official, a deal that includes an iron-clad no-trade clause, the former Yankees second baseman took to Twitter and Facebook to say goodbye to New York.
What he got in return was part predictable and part priceless.
On Facebook, he wrote: “I’m looking forward to the future and joining the Seattle Mariners! I want to thank all my fans in New York for an amazing nine years. It was truly an honor to play for you.”
From there, venom flowed.
One person commented: “have fun never making the world series again. Money over winning.”
“You made the worst decision of your life. People remember winners, not the people who get paid the most,” wrote another.
“At least you get every October off now,” wrote another.
And they were just getting started.
“The only #24 we acknowledge on the Yanks is Tino Martinez.”
“See you in October .. Oh wait.”
“It’s time to unlike you bro. U a nobody now.”
“(W)orst decision an MLB player has made in a long time.”
“The only Robinson we acknowledge in NY is Jackie.”
There were more than 250 comments on the post a little more than an hour after it was put up by Cano, who was formally introduced to Mariners fans later Thursday.
“I am really happy to be here in Seattle,” Cano said, “and look forward to helping the Mariners organization win a championship and bring a World Series trophy to the Pacific Northwest.”
Cano will wear No. 22 for the Mariners because No. 24, formally worn by Ken Griffey Jr., may be retired by the Mariners this season.
“He’s a Hall of Famer. You have to show him respect,” Cano said of Griffey.
Cano was one of the best players in baseball during his nine years in pinstripes. He was part of the 2009 World Series championship team, several other playoff teams and hit .309 with 202 home runs, 822 RBI and 1,639 hits with the Yankees.
But the 31-year-old was determined to get paid as a free agent. He hired Jay-Z as his agent and set out initially to get a 10-year, $300 million contract. And while most agreed he’d never get that amount of money, many figured at the end of the day Cano and the Yankees would somehow meet somewhere in the middle and the new face of the franchise would be back with both sides no worse for wear.
The Yankees, though, never budged from their offer of seven years and up to $175 million. Cano lowered his asking price to nine years and up to $260 million, but the Bombers never blinked. Having been burned by ridiculously long contracts before, they set a limit of seven years for new deals, as evidenced by their offer to Cano and the contract signed by free agent outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury.
Then the Mariners jumped into the fray. Badly in need of run-producers to help get the buzz back into now-dormant Safeco Field, Seattle backed up the Brinks truck to Cano’s doorstep, giving him basically everything he wanted.
Asked why he ultimately chose Seattle, Cano on Thursday offered a veiled response, one that likely has 65 million interpretations.
“They showed me love. They showed me they wanted me from Day 1,” Cano said.
The Yankees have since tried to patch the enormous hole left in the lineup by Cano’s departure. It appears they have already made up for his .314 average, 27 home runs and 107 RBI from last season with the signings of Ellbury, Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann, but not one of them is a second baseman, let alone one as extraordinary with the glove as Cano is.
General manager Brian Cashman has thus far signed veteran infielder Kelly Johnson to a one-year deal and was close to acquiring three-time NL All-Star Brandon Phillips from the Cincinnati Reds, before Phillips demanded his contract be re-done. The Yankees also offered Omar Infante a three-year contract, but it’s believed they are a year short of getting a deal done.
Usually, when former Yankees return to the Bronx with their new teams the fans set aside the uniform change temporarily to shower them with adoration, especially players who contributed to championships. If the social media reaction is any indication, April 29 cannot get here fast enough.
The Mariners will be in the Bronx for the first time that day — and Cano will almost certainly be in the lineup and reminded every waking second of the legacy he left behind for the almighty dollar.
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