This year's free agent class isn't a blockbuster one, and the typically free-spending New York Yankees won't be counted upon to set a bar in the market this year.
That isn't just because of the quality of the players on the market -- there's a pretty steep drop-off after Josh Hamilton and Zack Greinke -- it's a new, less expensive reality for the Yankees.
Just look at a few of the headlines coming out this week:
- Mariano Rivera may be insulted by Yankees' upcoming contract offer (NorthJersey.com)
- Newly frugal Yankees not hot for top-tier FAs (New York Post)
- And perhaps the most interesting one: Cashman will take hard line on Cano
That latter one is from ESPN's Buster Olney, who relays that Yankees GM Brian Cashman wants to get the team's payroll in line with the luxury tax threshold, which is currently $189 million. To do that, Robinson Cano might not get market value from his current team when he is scheduled to become a free agent after next season.
Cano is one of the best hitters in baseball, a career .308 hitter who bashed a career-high 33 home runs in 2012 and played a Gold Glove second base. He just turned 30 last month and is an AL MVP finalist. He's going to want Alex Rodriguez or Derek Jeter money. Cashman played hardball with Jeter two years ago and won, and Rodriguez's deal will be an albatross for years and certainly is regretted. Mark Teixeira and CC Sabathia are already locked up for years at big money.
Writes Olney: "Cashman is likely to be willing to draw a surprisingly hard line, in what figure to be really tough and contentious negotiations with Cano."
New times in New York, for sure. There will be a robust market for Cano, obviously. When was the last time the Yankees lost a homegrown player in free agency who is on a Hall of Fame trajectory in the prime of his career?
There's a first time for everything.