By Jason Klein
Robinson Cano went after every last cent.
I don’t blame him.
But, before he did, he should have paid closer attention to some lyrics his agent, Jay Z, once rapped:
“I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man! Let me handle my business…damn!”
As a top baseball talent, Cano is much more than just another player. He’s his own brand. He’s a company. He’s a “business, man!” His new 10 year, $240 M deal with the Mariners is incredibly shortsighted. If he wanted to truly maximize his value, he should have accepted less money up front and stayed put in the Bronx.
There would have been a lifetime of earnings waiting for him at the end of his career. He would have made more money in the long run.
Not only would he have capitalized on the marketing appeal that goes along with being a life-long Yankee, but he also would have established himself as a staple within the sports memorabilia and collectibles industry.
After cementing his legacy in pinstripes, he would have essentially been able to print money by just signing his name over and over…as long as he lived.
The New York Yankees, and their players, dictate the collectibles market. Cano should have looked no further than the men within his former locker room for confirmation.
Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera are both pinstriped lifers, and are two of the most sought after, and expensive autographs around. A Jeter hand signed MLB baseball retails for $799 on SteinerSports.com. A Rivera ball goes for $399. Even at these prices, Steiner Sports can’t keep these balls in stock!
During my time at Steiner, Jeter and Rivera were consistently the most asked about autographs on Steiner’s menu – many collectors extended beyond their financial means just to add them to their collections.
Cano would have received a similar demand had he stayed in New York. With Rivera gone now, and Jeter on the way out, this could have been Cano’s team moving forward. Instead, he’ll disappear on the West Coast. His new team will be financially hamstrung by his deal and won’t be able to support him with the talent he needs to succeed. Plus, he’ll lose his marketing appeal since half the country won’t watch his late games.
Had Cano won another World Series or two in New York, and continued to dominate on the biggest stage in sports, he would have dominated the collectibles world as well – making even more money long term.
Robinson, you should have remembered…you’re a business, man!
Big picture was, a new Yankees deal would have meant unlimited long term earning potential.
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