If Robinson Cano isn’t the Dodgers’ second baseman next year, blame Jay-Z. A little.
More accurately, you might blame Cano for switching agents this week, from Boras Corp. to the brand-new Roc Nation Sports Agency, a Jay-Z creation. Cano is Roc Nation’s first client.
Jay-Z is not Cano’s agent — in fact, Cano will be represented by CAA’s Brodie Van Wagenen. CAA and Roc Nation have some sort of a working agreement and it’s unclear how the particulars of that arrangement shake out. Regardless, here’s what we know:
1. Jay-Z is a Yankees fan who would probably like to see his team re-sign its best player.
2. CAA is less likely to usher its star clients onto the free-agent market than Boras.
FoxSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal asked Van Wagenen the question on every Dodger fan’s mind: Will Cano hit free agency when his contract expires at the end of the season, or will he re-sign with the Yankees before then?
Cano, who is eligible for free agency at the end of the season, enjoys playing for the Yankees and is open to staying with the club.
“New York and Yankees fans have been great for Robbie,” Van Wagenen said. “He has flourished in pinstripes and loved his time in the city. His primary focus is continuing to represent that brand and help his team win games.
“Is there an opening for him to explore a contract? You know us. We’re not going to talk publicly about that. We certain will continue to work diligently to help him achieve his goals both on and off the field.”There isn’t much to read into there, but it’s probably time to line up a Plan B in your fantasy 2014 Dodgers lineup. The Dodgers hold a club option for their current second baseman and number-two hitter, Mark Ellis, once his contract expires after this season. Ellis turns 36 in June. His age, and his career .265/.331/.394 slash line, are why no one is clamoring for the Dodgers to exercise that option — even if Ellis is the team’s best defensive infielder. As for other second basemen who could become free agents at the end of the season, the Rays hold an option on Ben Zobrist; Chase Utley will be 35; Brian Roberts will be 36; and there’s always Nick Punto and Skip Schumaker. (Full list courtesy of MLBTradeRumors.com). Some bullet points:
• It won’t have any actual inductees this year, but the Baseball Hall of Fame will have … the hat of Team Italy’s hitting coach. Magnifico!
• KRQE in Albuquerque has the details on the Isotopes’ new humidor.
• Happy belated birthday (one day late) to Hall of Fame pitcher Don Sutton, one of few professional athletes who can call himself a regular on the Game Show Network.
• In case you missed it, here was Hyun-Jin Ryu’s effort running out a ground ball on Tuesday night. Ryu said he was “embarrassed” by his lack of hustle, which led to a few boos from the home crowd — never a good thing in your debut game, in a setting where first impressions can last a lifetime. “He’s slow down to first base, but he can’t be that slow,” manager Don Mattingly said after the game.
• Eye-opening stat courtesy of @msimonespn: The slash line for all of MLB through three days is .217/.288/.341, a .629 OPS. Those numbers will rise as teams trot out their third, fourth and fifth starters.
• John Denver kept it real. Like a rapper who lives, and raps about, a hard-knock life, Denver was an environmentalist who sang about the environment. Also like too many rappers, Denver died too young. His music lives on with a soon-to-be-released cover album; NPR has the “First Listen”: