Cano says contract status not a distraction
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano says his contract status is on his mind, though not a distraction.
Cano is due $15 million in the final season of what became a $57 million, six-year deal and is eligible for free agency after the World Series.
A day after Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said the team had made a significant offer during the offseason to Cano's agent, Scott Boras, Cano declined to address the matter Friday but did say: "It's never going to go out of your head.''
"I don't want to be a distraction to the team,'' Cano added. "Just focus on playing baseball.''
He hit .313 with 33 homers and 94 RBIs last year but was 3 for 40 (.075) with no homers and four RBIs during the playoffs, including a postseason-record 0-for-29 skid.
"I have one more year on my contract,'' Cano said. "I have to perform and help the team win another championship.''
Cano plans to leave Yankees' camp this weekend to join the Dominican Republic's World Baseball Classic team, which plays the Yankees in an exhibition game Wednesday. It will mark the first time Cano will be play against the team that signed him as a free agent in January 2001.
Cashman termed his confirmation of the proposal to be a "Biden gaffe,'' a reference to Vice President Joe Biden's habit of off-script remarks.
"I think it's fairly normal for when a guy is a free agent to think about his contract,'' manager Joe Girardi said. "I think Robby will be able to block it out. I think Robby will go out and have a good year, and play well. He might have to answer questions a few times about it, but I'm sure it will all die down once the season starts.''