In what was one of the most shocking stories regarding athlete representation, Robinson Cano, dropped Super Star agent Scott Boras, to sign with Jay-Z under his newly formed “Roc Nation Sports.” He has teamed up with representation giant, CAA, who represent in both the entertainment and sports industries. When this story first broke I was convinced it was just another April fools joke on the web, then I realized it was April 2nd and was left in disbelief by such a move.
Cano, is likely to be the biggest name on the free agent market next season and could very likely be in for a $200 million dollar pay day. Now when you stop and think about that for a moment you would ask yourself, who better to get him such a large contract than Scott Boras? But it was Cano’s quote on the change of management that I felt spoke volumes:
“At this point in my career, I am ready to take a more active role in my endeavors both on and off the field. I am confident that the pairing of Roc Nation Sports and CAA Sports will be essential in helping me accomplish my short- and long-term goals. I am making this important decision now so I can keep my focus on helping the Yankees succeed in 2013, while minimizing any distractions for me and my teammates.”
To me, this means Cano made such a move to focus much more on his off the field presence. A player of his caliber will make his money regardless of who his agent is, but joining forces with Jay-Z and CAA, that gives him access and direct connections to the entertainment industry that other agencies are unable to offer. Before CAA ever got involved in the sports industry, they have been among the juggernauts in the entertainment industry. Time will tell if Cano has his sights set on acting? Maybe even a collaboration on a CD himself? I wouldn’t rule anything out.
What I find most interesting about this whole ordeal, is the connection being formed between Jay-Z and CAA. One thing we all have to understand, Jay-Z will NOT be negotiating Cano’s next contract. His biggest attribute is going to be in recruiting high profile athletes to sign of with Roc Nation Sports, while the likes of CAA agent, Brodie Van Wagenen, deal with contract negotiating. He most notably has negotiated the contract extensions for super stars Ryan Howard, Ryan Zimmerman, Buster Posey, Ryan Braun and Matt Cain. Most notable trend between all of their contracts? They all took long term deals to stay with the franchise they came up with, which could be a positive sign for the Yankees.
At the end of the day, I don’t foresee Robinson Cano signing with anyone but the Yankees. With Mariano Rivera retiring at the end of the year, Derek Jeter in the tail end of his career and the health of Alex Rodriguez in jeopardy, Cano will soon enough became the face of the franchise. If his off the field presence is what he wants to improve on, there is nowhere he will receive the spotlight quite like New York. Keep an eye out for Jay-Z to begin signing other stars in other sports in the very near future, not just baseball.