Yet, tonight, Cano is a Seattle Mariner.
When was the last time the Yankees lost a star free agent player in his prime they wanted to keep? Think hard. Go all the way back to 1974 when Marvin Miller squashed the reserve clause.
The answer: Never.
Let's face facts. The Yankees didn't really want Cano back if they had to shell out the going rate for a player of his talent. Afterall, they gave Jacoby Ellsbury, an injury-prone outfielder who is still living off one tremendous season in 2011, over 150 million when they could have locked up the MUCH more valuable Cano for an extra 50 million.
It just doesn't add up.
Nobody's talking about it, but could it be the Yankees were just slightly concerned that Cano, who formerly worked out with PED users A-Rod and Melky Cabrera, might have dabbled in steroids at some point in his career? I am in no way saying that he ever did, but perhaps it was just that hint of doubt in the Steinbrenner family's or Brian Cashman's mind, with all those millions at risk, that they opted to play it safe.
And who can blame them? This is sadly the baseball world we live in today. Nobody wants another A-Rod or Ryan Braun long term nightmare on their hands. And its a shame, because if that did figure into the Yankee brass' way of thinking, and Cano is clean, we will miss his smooth swing and effortless elegance around second base.