Are Mariners players in Cano sweepstakes?

The Mariners are pursing one of the top free agents on the market, Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, ESPN is reporting.

According to Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York, the Mariners are “major players” to land the five-time All-Star, and could be willing to offer Cano as much as $200 million over eight years. The Yankees, according to the report, offered Cano $160 million over seven years, and aren’t willing to go as high as $200 million.

But before you go ahead and put a deposit on playoff tickets, remember that we’ve heard the “Mariners are players for” line regarding other big-name free agents in the past. Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik said the team made an aggressive offer for Josh Hamilton last year, but the former Rangers star landed in Los Angeles. Before that it was Prince Fielder who was rumored to be a Mariners target.

The fact remains that this is the time of year when teams and agents leak out a lot of information to try to help their chances of getting favorable deals. Could Cano end up a Mariner? Sure. But could this be a move by his agent to get the Yankees or some other team to raise there offer? Quite possibly. The fact remains that for the Mariners to land a big free agent bat, they’re probably going to have to overpay by quite a bit. They haven’t been competitive for a long time, they play in a pitcher friendly park, and while people who live here tend to love the Northwest, a lot of people from other parts of the country—or from other countries, for that matter—see it as a rainy, remote town, especially if they’ve been living in New York.

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