Who is Robinson Cano and How is He Worth 1/4 Billion Dollars?

It doesn’t matter and he isn’t. Period.

But first, a couple of good things to say about Cano:

NBC has a report that one of the big influences on Cano moving on was that he did NOT want to play for Joe Girardi, in great part due to Girardi’s batting him at the top of the order, rather that in the power slots where Cano feels he belongs. AND a hats off to Cano for his immediately growing a beard, showing the absurdity of the stupid, asinine yankee policy of no beards or long hair. There is NO place for such an anti-social, anti-personal rights policy in today’s society. Did any of you dead steinbrenner yankee jerks in charge take your head out of your ass and just happen to see who won the World Series and what they looked like, with their BEARDS? You will RUE THE DAY that you refused to sign a bearded Brian Wilson who was the perfect closer to fill that opening you seem to have developed.

Now, on to the other, even more absurd issue, why in the world did Robinson Cano become the most overpaid human being in the history of the world?



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Historians will ponder that for centuries.

Is it because he is a wonderful human being, deserving of being awarded untold riches and enduring love and admiration? Uh, no.

Is it because he is a magical, spiritual being ,whose very proximity evokes feelings of elation and happiness? Also, no.

Is it then, perhaps, because he is the best baseball player in the world? Hate to break it to those Mariners’ bigwigs, but also, NO!

Is he even the best second baseman in baseball? Perhaps, but not by much. More about that momentarily.

It is, in this dawg’s humble opinion, because he is a decent ballplayer who is the best of a very average group of largely aging and injured hitters, in a marketplace where fiscal stupidity reigns? With no 25-year-old Alex Rodriguez, with no Albert Pujols or Josh Hamilton, and certainly with no Mike Trout or Bryce Harper in the free agent pool, general managers with virtually unlimited bank accounts needed someone on whom to outbid each other, dangling obscene amounts of money. Cano was all there was.

Back to that best at his position stuff. How would one make such a comparison? Well, this is baseball, so stats must be the answer. Looking around MLB, I see three second basemen with whom Cano can logically be compared, and while he does come out on top, not by much, and no where near so far on top to justify a ten year
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contract paying him two-and-one-half to five times as much as the next guy or two.

I’ve take a bit of liberty in aggregating stats to compare, but it is what it is. Since some of the top second basemen around have had some injury problems in recent seasons, including Chase Utley, 34 and the LAST guy to be called baseball’s best second baseman, in some comparisons I’ve take an average season of 600 at bats (dividing lifetime at bats by 600 and then dividing that number of 600 at bat seasons into their career totals) and we find that the 31-year-old Cano averages for a 600 at bat season 23 home runs and 92 RBI, to go with his .309 average. Utley, who makes a bit more than half ($27 M for two years) of what Cano signed for has career averages of 27 home runs, 88 RBI and a .287 average. But, if you look at his great five year stretch of 2005-2009 before injuries, his numbers for that period were 29 home runs, 101 RBI and a .301 avg.


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Then there is Aaron Hill, who has missed half or more of a couple of recent seasons, so again looking at that average 600 at bat season, his numbers are 23 home runs, 80 RBI, and a.269 average. His average is

brought down by a horrendous .205 in 2010, and if that is eliminated from the mix, his lifetime avg. goes up to .283. The stats are very good, but not quite Cano-ish, but figure in the fact that the also 31-year-old Hill is being paid $5.5 M per year, less than one-quarter of Cano’s pay rate. Sounds like an amazing bargain to me, and the guy I might choose out of the whole mix.

But there is one more to consider, Brandon Phillips, 32. He has played every day for eight years in Cincinnati and his actual yearly averages are 20 home runs, 83 RBI and a .276 average. But also consider that while Cano has earned two gold gloves for his defensive excellence, Phillips has won four, and he is a year into a six year, $72.5 M contract, that averages out to much less than one-half of the Cano average salary rate. Another MAJOR bargain in the world of Robinson Cano.

Cano may be the best second baseman in baseball, but on the basis of what you get for your buck, Utley, Hill and Phillips are all better deals.

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