New York Yankees president Randy Levine was not shy about making his feelings known about Robinson Cano bolting for the door and signing a 10-year, $240 million deal with the Seattle Mariners last week.
The team was not willing to go any higher than their seven-year offer for $168 million, especially after the team's deal with Alex Rodriguez almost seven years ago for 10 years and $275 million has been seen by many as an albatross of a contract being that he's 37 and on the downside of his career with four years remaining on it and will pay him until he's 42 years old.
During the team's press conference to announce newly acquired center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, Levine made headlines with his comments on not only Cano, but on a certain player he'd feel that would be worthy of a 10-year contract if he ever hit free agency in a couple of seasons.
“When we signed Derek Jeter to a 10-year contract (in 2001) I believe he was 26; in that context it makes sense,” Levine said. “If Mike Trout was here, I'd recommend the 10-year contract. But for people over 30, I don't believe it makes sense. I don't think Hal thinks it makes sense. We're very clear about that.”
Levine's comments irritated the Los Angeles Angels, Trout's current team, to the point where they contacted Major League Baseball to determine if any tampering rules were broken, but Levine called the Angels to clarify his comments and apologize if they were taken the wrong way and for now, the issue is resolved for the time being.
“When I was talking about Mike Trout, I was using it as an example of the type of player because of his age, we would consider giving a 10-year deal to,” Levine told the Daily News. “I realized it could be misconstrued, so I called John Carpino, the president of the Angels, and apologized to him for any inconvenience. I spoke to Major League Baseball and apologized to them and my understanding is the matter is over.”
Trout won't be a free agent until the end of the 2017 season when he's 27 years old, and only Ellsbury would be the current outfielder on the squad at the time, so if the Yankees wanted to make a run for the New Jersey native in free agency, it would make sense for the Yankees to offer him the kind of deal that Cano was looking for and instead, give it to Trout, that is if the Angels don't lock him up first.
The Angels might have some trouble doing so considering they have tied up a lot of money to Albert Pujols' 10-year contract plus to guys like Josh Hamilton, C.J. Wilson and Jered Weaver, even though Trout is the Angels best player right now.
In his first two seasons, Trout has averaged .323 with 30 home runs and 90 RBI with 40 stolen bases and has finished second in the American League MVP voting in 2012 and 2013, so if Trout were to get to free agency without being locked up by the Angels at that time, it would almost be a foregone conclusion to see the Yankees be players for Trout's services.
Until then, he's still a part of the Angels and the Yankees will still need to find a second basemen with the money saved from Cano's deal.
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