Monday’s camp notes: Cano focused on here and now
By my count, there were more than a half-dozen occasions during Robinson Cano’s chat with the media this afternoon in which he referenced a desire to win a World Series championship or to hoist the World Series trophy.
It’s safe to say, then, that the instructions in Cano’s playbook as he enters into a huge free agency year say he should just block out all of that noise and focus on what he can control in 2013. It’s not a bad strategy, and he’s certainly not the first to try it.
“I’m going to be honest with you guys; I’m just focused right now on the season,” Cano said. “Just prepare myself, get ready for the season and help the team win another championship. I’m not thinking about anything. Those kind of things, I’ll just let my agent, Scott [Boras], handle it. I’ll just have fun in the clubhouse and get ready to help the team win another championship.”
We’ve already heard from Hal Steinbrenner that the Yankees had a couple of conversations with Boras about locking Cano up to a long-term extension, but there haven’t been much rumblings on the topic since. The general expectation is that, as long as Cano wraps up 2013 healthy, he’s primed to cash in big time: early estimates peg the Boras camp as searching in the ballpark of an eight to 10 year deal worth around $25 million per season.
It’s going to take a big chunk of change to keep Cano in pinstripes, but the Yankees could dig deep and get it done. The question is, with the $189 million payroll objective looming on the horizon, what would they have left to spend on the other pieces of the club? Cano made his stance pretty clear — as far as he’s concerned, he’d rather think about that down the road.
“I’m not worried about anything right now, like I said,” Cano said. “I still have one year and just got to go out there and just perform. I’ve got another year and my focus now is to help the team, be with my teammates and have fun. At the end of the season, just end it up with the [World Series] trophy.”
- Derek Jeter took ground balls and hit on the field during today’s workout, the first time that he has taken batting practice on the diamond. Jeter did not run the bases and the Yankees have permitted him to skip on-field running and stretching for now. He said that his ankle is holding up fine, but the rest of his body is feeling pretty sore. As he said, it’ll take some time to get in baseball shape, and he’s about two weeks behind where he’d usually be.
- Ichiro Suzuki has a wonderful sense of humor that translates in any language. His first comment right out of the box this spring, asked about his impressions from the first day of camp: “Derek Jeter was not the eater that the media portrayed him to be. It was good to see him that way.” Apparently, Ichiro has the New York Post delivered in Japan during the winter.
- Speaking of Jeter, someone asked him to clear up exactly what he meant by saying he rode around on a scooter this winter. To be honest, I pictured Jeter puttering around his Florida mansion on one of those electric-charged vehicles, but Jeter said that wasn’t the case: “No, man. You put your leg on it, your knee on it, and you roll it with your other leg. It’s not a motorized scooter. I’m not handicapped. It’s just easier than crutches.”
- Jeter tried to bait the media into buying the idea that if everything goes well tomorrow in camp, he could be cleared to play in the World Baseball Classic. No dice, though he did urge the reporters crowded around his locker to ask Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman, just to see what they’d say.
- Pitching prospect Mark Montgomery is sidelined with back spasms, marking the second injury update of camp. Montgomery is one of the club’s touted relievers and there has been speculation he could help the big league club this year. He had to be scratched from a bullpen session yesterday.
- Girardi was asked a few different ways about his early thoughts for the lineup, specifically the spots for Cano and Ichiro, but he said that he doesn’t want to get into it this early because he hasn’t talked to the players involved. Girardi said that he’d like to see where the team is around March 25 before he starts seriously putting anything in ink.
- Finally, one last thing — a few days ago, I saw Girardi pointing to the ceiling outside the workout room. A pair of dangling gymnastic rings materialized in the next few hours, and that’s not something you usually see in the basement of a stadium. Girardi said that they’re actually for his own Crossfit workout. That’s intense. I won’t name names, but a few reporters tried to see if they could pull themselves up and push their body above the rings, the way Girardi said he does. Care to guess how that turned out?