The very, very slim shot the Chicago Cubs had at coming out of nowhere to sign free agent second baseman Robinson Cano is now gone.
According to multiple reports, including the initial report by Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes, Cano has agreed to terms on a 10-year/$240 million deal with the Seattle Mariners, leaving many onlookers caught in what appeared to be a whirlwind after talks reportedly broke down last night.
Cano, who turned 31 in October, was expected for much of the year to re-sign with New York and be the team’s second baseman of the future. However, the Yankees are now expected to go after Detroit free agent Omar Infante. It should be noted that the team also has Kelly Johnson on the roster.
As for the Cubs, it looks like the team will head into next week’s Winter Meetings with Darwin Barney slotted as the starting second baseman, despite a woeful 2013 performance at the dish. The 28-year-old struggled to get on base, hitting just .208 and posting a lowly .266 on-base percentage in 141 games. He did hit seven homers and drive in 41 runs – comparable to his numbers from his Gold Glove performance in 2012.
Up the middle, Chicago doesn’t look to change much heading into 2014, with Starlin Castro and Barney forming the double play combo under first-year manager Rick Renteria, who was introduced earlier this week at Wrigley Field.
Seattle, on the other hand, now has an abundance of middle infielders and several rumors have been circulating, indicating that the next move for the Mariners could be making a serious run at Tampa Bay Rays left-hander David Price. Adding Price would form a dominant 1-2-3 punch for Seattle, combining forces with Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma.