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Report: Jay-Z ‘overplayed his hand,’ blew Robinson Cano’s possible mega-deal with Seattle Mariners


The New York Daily News is reporting that according to two of its sources, Jay-Z, who fronts Roc Nation Sports, the agency representing Robinson Cano in free agency negotiations (along with CAA’s Brodie Van Wagenen), apparently “overplayed his hand” during Thursday evening’s negotiations with the Seattle Mariners. And, as a result, talks between Cano’s reps and the teams completely broke down, perhaps for good.

Earlier reports indicated that the Mariners were prepared to offer Cano a nine-year, $225 million contract, but now that deal appears to be off the table for good due to Jay-Z’s antics. Some may attribute the misplay as a consequence of Jay-Z’s inexperience in the high stakes world of professional sports contract negotiations, such as the one he and his agency currently are embroiled in with handling Cano’s free agency.

According to the Daily News’ source, Jay-Z attempted to kick up the terms of the deal, adding a year and several million dollars to what the Mariners were prepared to offer. The source indicates Jay-Z’s proposal was a ten-year deal for $252 million. If those terms sound familiar, that is the exact same deal Alex Rodriguez got from the Texas Rangers when he jumped ship and left the Mariners. This reportedly didn’t sit well with Mariners CEO Howard Lincoln, who allegedly “blew up,” according to the source, which ended the meeting on not-so great terms.

A Mariners source reportedly said, “It doesn’t look like we’re going to get him,” adding that the team likely does not intend to re-open negotiations with a player who doesn’t seem to want to play for the team.

The breakdown in talks between Cano’s representatives and the Mariners leaves the New York Yankees seemingly as the only viable team left pursuing Cano. But the Yankees’ offer to the second baseman of seven years and somewhere between $165-170 million was dwarfed by Seattle’s proposed offer; although the Yankees reportedly are open to increasing that offer a smidgen, perhaps up to $175 million.

So, the question is, did Jay-Z completely botch it? Or was Cano’s camp simply using the Mariners as leverage to extract better terms out of the Yankees?

To ask Jose Cano, the superstar’s father, no matter whether or not the gambit will work, he’s been left unimpressed with how the Yankees have handled negotiations, saying, “The Yankees don’t seem to want him.”

What tangled webs are weaved in such high-intensity, high-dollar wheeling and dealing. It’ll be interesting to see if Jay-Z and the rest of Cano’s representation will be able to broker a deal with the Yankees — or any team — as good as what was left on the table in Seattle late Thursday night.

UPDATE: According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, all may not be lost for Cano and company in The Emerald City:


The plot thickens…

UPDATE NO. 2: Robinson Cano and the Mariners reportedly have come to terms on a ten-year, $240 million deal. There you go.