Word out of Seattle is that the Mariners were expecting Cano to accept their original $225-million, nine-year offer, but the talks collapsed after Jay Z and CAA's Brodie Van Wagenen upped the ante, sources told the New York Daily News.
When Jay Z demanded 10 years and $252 million – the same deal Alex Rodriguez took more than a decade ago when he left the Mariners for the Rangers — Mariners chairman/CEO Howard Lincoln apparently “exploded,” according to one of the sources, ending the meeting.
“It doesn’t look like we’re getting him,” a Mariners source said, adding that Seattle did not seem inclined to reignite talks with a player that clearly didn’t want to go there.
Cano and Jay Z flew up from Los Angeles for the meeting and, apparently, there was high expectation from the Mariners that both sides were close to a deal.
Cano, the top free agent available this year, now finds himself back where he started: without a second team bidding for his services and the Yankees waiting in the wings as his lone suitor.
Throughout recent weeks of this process, Cano has reportedly been traveling with Jay Z during parts of his tour.
“It makes you wonder whether this guy wants to be a rap star or a baseball player,” a baseball official said.
The Mariners’ original $225 million offer had dwarfed the Yankees’ current seven-year offer of $165-$170 million, leaving Seattle more than $50 million ahead of the Bombers, who are believed to be willing to go as high as $175 million.
That would have matched the average annual value of Seattle’s nine-year offer, though it would have been two years and $50 million behind the Mariners overall.
As of late Thursday, the Yankees had not heard anything from Cano’s camp since earlier in the week, though a team source said it was likely because of the huge gap that remained between the two sides.
An industry official told the Daily News earlier this week that a $200 million offer from the Yankees was “never going to happen,” adding, “If that’s the offer and he wants to go there, he’s going to be a Mariner.”
Cano’s father, Jose, hasn’t been impressed by the Yankees’ pursuit of his talented son this offseason.
"The Yankees don't seem to want him," Jose Cano said on Thursday.
Brian Cashman confirmed that he’s met in recent weeks with both Van Wagenen and Jay Z, whose Roc Nation Sports inked Cano as its first client back in April.
One American League executive wasn’t surprised to hear Seattle pushed its offer past $200 million, as the Mariners are desperate for a big-name signing to spark the sagging fan base. But apparently, even the Mariners were drawing the line on Cano and Jay Z's overplayed hand.