Yankees rumors: Robinson Cano headed for free agency?

The New York Yankees and second baseman Robinson Cano recently began discussions on a multi-year contract extension, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. However, a resolution appears “nowhere in sight,” and Heyman adds that there appears to be a “decent chance” that Cano becomes a free agent following the 2013 season.

While the sides involved haven’t conceded that Cano will hit the open market next offseason, Heyman says it’s evident there’s plenty of work to do. He adds that while the Yankees view Cano as a top 10 or 15 talent, he and agent Scott Boras believe he’s even more elite.

If that’s the case, it would be hard to argue with Cano, who’s finished in the top six of AL MVP voting for the past three years. Last season he turned in his best performance, hitting .313/.379/.550 with 48 doubles and 33 home runs.

The Yankees and Cano have expressed interest in a long-term agreement, and New York broke tradition by even starting negotiations with the second baseman. Generally, the Yankees followed a policy of allowing long-term contracts to expire before attempting to extend players.

However, Cano is not just any player. He’s one of the best pure hitters in the game and, considering his age and current production level, the Yankees’ best position player.

Cano will use these factors to attempt to generate a 10-year commitment from the Yankees, while New York will aim for eight guaranteed years, according to Heyman. The average annual value figures to be in the $20 to $25 million range.

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