Tag: Jay-Z

Meeting with Mets Shows How Desperate Robinson Cano’s Camp Is for Suitors

With the Robinson Cano free-agency tour off to a slow start, Jay Z and Creative Artists Agency took their sales pitch across New York City on Monday night. According to Ken Davidoff of the New York Post, Robinson Cano’s representatives, led by the famous rap mogul, held court with the front office of the New York Mets.

Outside of the ridiculous notion of Cano actually bolting the Bronx for Queens, the meeting with Mets representatives is a sign that Jay Z is desperate for suitors and lacking any substantial offer outside of the Yankees’ willingness to re-sign the star second baseman to a long-term contract.

This secret meeting took place just hours after CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported that Cano and the Yankees are still $150 million apart in contract negotiations. Yet, just last week, New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson expressed an unwillingness to give away a contract in excess of $100 million to any player on the free-agent market, per ESPN New York. Furthermore, the Colorado Rockies “blew away” the Mets by offering a $2.5 million contract to free-agent reliever LaTroy Hawkins, per the New York Daily News.

If Cano’s camp is soliciting interest, or practicing their sales pitch, on the New York Mets, there’s little reason to believe multiple teams are lining up to offer Cano a contract in excess of $200 million. While the best player on the market is justified in seeking a record-setting deal, the Yankees should not be worried about another team jumping in right now.

On Monday night, MLB Network insiders Jon Heyman, Tom Verducci and Ken Rosenthal bantered about which teams could possibly enter the Cano fray. Naturally, the Mets weren’t mentioned. Even if the Los Angeles Dodgers, Detroit Tigers or Washington Nationals make a bid for the best second baseman in baseball, the Yankees have the means to go above and beyond anyone else.

Thus far, the negotiating tactics make sense from the Yankees point of view. General manager Brian Cashman is willing to go to great lengths to retain his best player, but bidding against himself is foolish. Until a suitor willing to cut a legitimate check emerges, Cano’s camp looks lost.

Years ago, a secret meeting with the Mets would have caused a ripple effect in New York, but those days are long gone. It’s widely understood that the Mets don’t have the resources or the willingness to sign a free agent of Cano’s caliber. Even if Mets ownership and management put on the full court press, Cano would have to sacrifice millions in order to be in range of a contract with the crosstown rivals.

Instead, the idea of Jay Z and Brodie Van Wagenen, Cano’s agents, sharing a meal with Mets brass won’t cause anything but back page headlines and delusions of grandeur in New York. Despite representing the best available player, Cano’s agents haven’t yet drummed up the support needed to make the Yankees worry. Until they do, dinner with the Mets will remain nothing but a punch line.

In spite of Tim Lincecum’s $35 million deal and Ruben Amaro’s stubbornness in Philadelphia, the lack of suitors lining up for Robinson Cano has been the most surprising subplot of the hot stove season. With each franchise receiving $25 million more in revenue, due to Major League Baseball’s media deal, the chance to acquire the best second baseman in baseball was expected to appeal to at least a few big-market owners.

With Thanksgiving still over a week away, that may still be the case. If it is, the Yankees will have to eventually sweat out a real contract squabble to retain their star. If it’s not, Cano will be forced to negotiate a contract based on his brand, not his bat. Ironically, that “brand” is being compared to one of the best athletes in history. According to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News, Cano is being sold as baseball’s Michael Jordan. Per Feinsand‘s reporting:

“They’re selling him as Michael Jordan, not as a baseball player,” said a major-league official familiar with Cano’s situation. “As a guy that’s going to be a big rock star and bring all these fans in. Last year, that wasn’t the case.”

If the first step in that process is dinner with the Mets, don’t expect the Steinbrenner family to write anything close to a $300 million contract this winter. 

Over the next few weeks, the Cano-Mets angle will splinter in one of two directions: A non-story in the long, arduous path for Cano back to the Bronx or the first sign that Cano’s agency misread the market, scared off potential big-market suitors and gave the Yankees an easy path to re-signing a star they desperately need. 

If it’s the latter, Jay Z’s first foray into Major League Baseball free agency will qualify as a marketing disaster and Robinson Cano’s next contract will be a boon for the New York Yankees. As of right now, the Cano camp looks very, very desperate.

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Jay-Z Has 99 Problems, David Ortiz Is One: Rapper Hits Sour Note on Red Sox Star

Out-of-court settlements are usually the fate of frivolous lawsuits.

Today, the lawyers for two tempests in a teapot settled their dispute about as amicably as warriors in the longstanding baseball feud involving the Red Sox and Yankees could.

Yes, Jay-Z of rap music and friendly fan of publicity had sued Big Papi of the friendly Red Sox Nation for copyright infringement.

Skeptics hinted that Jay-Z, a lifelong New York Yankees fan and among the most solvent of pinstripe patrons, had chosen a battle with Ortiz deliberately.

Ortiz, recently accepted as a naturalized American citizen, keeps his roots in the Dominican Republic fueled with business dealings. He had opened a restaurant in his native land and chose to call it the Forty-Forty Club.  Alas, the name 40/40 had already been legally adopted by the paternal Jay-Z for his own American enterprise purposes.

Jay-Z may have been upset by the scandal when a construction worker on the new Yankee Stadium had cursed the home team by burying a jersey with Ortiz’s number in concrete back in 2008. A bigger dig ensued than at the Boston tunnel scandal.  Conducting an excavation ceremony at the new Yankee home, Ortiz’s Red Sox shirt caused delays and uproar as the jackhammers released the evil spirit.

Did this lead to the dispute between Ortiz and Jay-Z in April of 2010?

Big Papi Ortiz, an occasional patron of the Jay-Z nightclub in New York City, had been inspired to flatter the singer by imitating Jay-Z’s business acumen.

Alas, Yankee fans are never flattered when it comes to money. Jay-Z took Ortiz to court immediately when he tried to open his restaurant, namely based on a 40 home runs and 40 doubles he achieved in 2004 as his ideal.

Who owned the right to the name? Which event came first? Was it the chicken or the egg? The Federal court judge suggested both parties ought to stop wasting the time of the busy judicial system and have their high-paid mouthpieces come up with a solution.

They did so, announcing on March 28th that something akin to principles had allowed both sides to agree to sign off on the latest skirmish in the Yankee-Red Sox feud.

We expect Big Papi may not bring his dance shoes to the emporium of Jay-Z any time soon, and Jay-Z will likely not travel to the DR to eat up a storm off the menu at the Ortiz eatery.

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