Second baseman focusing on playing baseball, says move isn't a distraction
NEW YORK -- Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano took a guarded stance on Wednesday as he discussed his decision to partner with Jay-Z's Roc Nation Sports and Creative Artists Agency, dismissing agent Scott Boras from his baseball representation.
"That was a family decision. I don't want to go into details, but I feel happy with the company," Cano said. "Right now, all I want to do is just focus on baseball, and that's what I do best."
Cano, 30, said that he has not spoken with Boras, who was reportedly caught off guard by the switch, and declined to say if he would.
Cano said that he has known Jay-Z, whose given name is Shawn Carter, since his rookie season with the Yankees and that their new alliance was decided upon over this past weekend.
"I don't think it's going to be a distraction, because this is the last time that I want to talk about this," Cano said. "I want to focus on playing baseball."
Under the agreement, Jay-Z will represent Cano in various off-field entertainment ventures, while veteran CAA agent Brodie Van Wagenen will handle Cano's on-field endeavors.
Asked what he liked about linking with a star like Jay-Z, Cano replied, "Everything."
Cano is set to earn $15 million this season, his final year under contract with the Yankees, and it has been speculated that he could seek a mega-deal like those signed by the Reds' Joey Votto (10 years, $225 million) and the Angels' Albert Pujols (10 years, $240 million).
"I'll let my agent decide that and talk to the Yankees and see what happens," Cano said. "I just want to play through the season and we can talk at the end of the season."
Cano received what general manager Brian Cashman called a "significant offer" to extend his Yankees contract this spring, which was rejected by Boras on Cano's behalf. Cano seemed to suggest that he was not interested in discussing a new contract during the season.
"Right now, my focus is on playing baseball," Cano said. "There's no contract or anything in my mind right now. The season already started and I don't want to be a distraction for my teammates. All I want to do is just focus on playing right now."
Teammate Mark Teixeira said that he did not know if Cano's decision suggests that the four-time All-Star is leaning toward staying in New York.
"I don't want to speculate," Teixeira said. "I know as a teammate, I want him here in New York. I have no idea what it means. The only thing I can say is, I want Robbie around."
Yankees manager Joe Girardi seems to be optimistic that Cano will remain in New York after this season.
"I don't know what would make Robbie necessarily want to leave," Girardi said. "He's had a lot of success here; he's loved here. That's something that you worry way down the road. We've got 161 games before we have to worry about that."
Girardi joked that changing agents to Jay-Z should not alter Cano's approach on the field, "unless he's got some recording issues that he has to deal with."
"I haven't heard that he's putting out an album yet," Girardi said. "If he did, I won't be the first one to buy it, I can guarantee that."
Cano is the third big-name Yankees player to part ways with Boras' agency in recent years, joining Alex Rodriguez and Teixeira. Cano said that A-Rod, who has a relationship with Jay-Z, was not involved in any discussions about the new partnership.
Teixeira dismissed Boras in February 2011, the same month Cano left long-time agent Bobby Barad for Boras, and said that he felt Boras' approach may not necessarily work for a player who wants to have a more active role in his endeavors on and off the field.
"I think it doesn't necessarily benefit every player," Teixeira said. "Some guys need that, some guys want that. The guys that want to take control of their own lives and make their own decisions, it's not ideal for."