What the Robinson Cano Meeting Meant
No doubt you heard the news that Jay-Z — who I understand is some kind of a pop star turned baseball agent — had dinner with Jeff Wilpon and, at some point between the shrimp cocktail and Fernet Branca (who are we kidding? they probably ordered some crappy single-malt bourbon), discussed a young man named Robinson Cano. Did this dinner and discussion mean anything?
Apparently, the pop star / music man’s brief on the Mets didn’t include any information post-2007. Because if it did, Jay-Z would have known that spending ten minutes sharing a Mr. Softee ice cream with Jeff Wilpon would have been a waste of his time. I guess Mr. Z (not to be confused with the “other” JZ, Jonathan Zizmor) thought a leaked-to-the-press dinner with the Mets COO would have caused Yankees management to shake in their boots. And it might have, 6-7 years ago. But today? Brian Cashman likely chuckled, thinking, “wow, they’re stupid, desperate, or both.”
Then again, maybe Jay-Z was simply hungry, and appreciated a free meal (though from what my young friends tell me, despite heading a start-up sports agency, he’s not hurting for cash). Had he done his homework, Jay-Z would have known that the Mets can’t afford Jhonny Peralta, much less Robinson Cano. Granted, he might not have known at that point that the Mets couldn’t even afford $2.5M to bring back LaTroy Hawkins, but, gee whiz, did he really think — for even a second — that the Mets would throw their hat in a $300M+ ring? Robinson Cano may very well be the best second baseman on the planet, but even if his price was “only” $100M, that would have been too rich for their budget. And/or, the long-term commitment would have been too lengthy for the current GM’s “plan” (or so we would assume, per his public statements over the past two years).
What if Jay-Z was perfectly aware of these limitations? What, then, was the point of asking for a meeting with the Mets, and leaking it to the press? Did he think it might drive outside interest in Cano? Did he merely want to keep Cano in the headlines? Was he hoping against hope that Jeff Wilpon would be bowled over and make an impulsive decision or say something that could help Cano’s negotiations with the Yankees — even if the quote was unrealistic?
Honestly, I’m curious, and would love to hear your thoughts. What did Jay-Z and Robinson Cano have to gain by meeting with the Mets? Answer in the comments.