The Washington Post

Robinson Cano hires Jay-Z, dumps Scott Boras

Jay-Z has landed Robinson Cano. (Matt Rourke / AP)

New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano has parted with agent Scott Boras to sign with Jay-Z’s new Roc Nation Sports company and its powerful partner, the Creative Arts Agency.

What, exactly, does this mean? For starters, it would appear to be a break for the aging and injured Yankees. As Yahoo’s Jeff Passan points out, CAA likes contract extensions, Boras loves for his clients to hit the free-agent market, where he makes out like a bandit. Among the CAA clients who have chosen to re-sign with their teams: Buster Posey, Ryan Braun, Matt Cain, Ryan Zimmerman, Andre Ethier, Adam Jones, John Danks, Roy Halladay, Jake Peavy, Grady Sizemore and Denard Span.

Cano is in the final season of a contract valued at $57 million. With teams like the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago Cubs and even the crosstown Mets prepared to bid up his price, the decision to join Jay-Z could be a nice development for the Bombers, who have, Passan calculates, spent half a billion dollars on Boras’s clients in the past. USA Today’s Bob Nightengale was more blunt about it:

You see, Boras planned all along to make Cano baseball’s first $300 million player, and wasn’t going to sign for a penny less, no matter where the destination.

Now, with Cano represented by a New York icon like Jay-Z, a diehard Yankee fan who drops pinstriped references aplenty into his songs (“I made the Yankee hat more famous than a Yankee can”) guess where Cano is going?

Let’s put it this way, the Yankees will always have someone to perform their national anthem whenever they have an opening.

Cano is staying in New York.

“At this point in my career, I am ready to take a more active role in my endeavors on and off the field,” Cano said in a statement. “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.”

ESPN reported that the Yankees and Boras hadn’t spoken recently about a new contract after General Manager Brian Cashman made what he said was “a significant offer” this spring. Now, Cano’s a “Rocboy” for Jay-Z’s fledgling company. The rapper, a part owner of the New Jersey Nets and Beyonce’s better half, is planning to become an agent, certified first in baseball, then in basketball and football. (He’d have to give up his ownership stake in the Nets in order to rep hoopsters, though.) He founded Roc Nation in 2009 and some of its clients are Rihanna, Shakira and Timbaland. Eventually Roc Nation Sports will be a stand-alone company, ESPN reports.

“Because of my love of sports,” Jay-Z said in a statement, “it was a natural progression to form a company where we can help top athletes in various sports the same way we have been helping artists in the music industry for years.”

Follow @CindyBoren on Twitter and on Facebook.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.



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Cindy Boren · April 2, 2013