Robinson Cano to meet with Mariners

Robinson Cano

Free-agent second baseman Robinson Cano was traveling to Seattle on Thursday night and is expected to meet with the Mariners before the winter meetings begin Monday, sources told ESPN.

Cano's agent, Jay Z, is already in the Seattle area, flying in from Los Angeles, a source said. He has a concert Friday night in Anaheim, Calif.

One source told ESPNdeportes.com's Enrique Rojas that the Mariners are willing to offer upwards of $240 million for Cano. There was no confirmation of the amount.

Meanwhile, the New York Yankees are growing increasingly resigned to the likelihood of a future without Cano.

In the event Cano leaves, the Yankees are preparing to move forward on several other free agents while considering the possibility of opening the 2014 season with journeyman Kelly Johnson as their starting second baseman.

According to sources familiar with the club's thinking who spoke to ESPNNewYork.com on condition of anonymity, the Yankees believed the Mariners were about to offer Cano a nine-year, $225 million contract -- well below Cano's reported demand of $310 million over 10 years but significantly higher than New York's offer in the range of $175 million over seven years.

"If that's what the [Mariners'] offer is, he's gone," said the source, who added he believed Cano would go to the highest bidder and that the Yankees were determined not to go higher than seven years or $175 million for Cano, who led the team in batting (.314), home runs (27) and RBIs (107) in 2013.

A spokesman for Cano's agent, Brodie Van Wagenen, declined comment on the ongoing negotiations, but hinted that a deal could be imminent.

"Let's just say I'll be on alert from here on in," he said.

The Johnson signing has not been officially announced yet, but is expected the Yankees will soon announce a deal with the 31-year-old, who hit 16 home runs last season for the Tampa Bay Rays. New York believes Johnson's left-handed swing will play well in Yankee Stadium.

Information from ESPN's Jerry Crasnick and Jayson Stark and ESPNNewYork.com's Wallace Matthews was used in this report.
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