Robinson Cano Will Regret Signing with Seattle Mariners

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistDecember 8, 2013

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 26:  Robinson Cano #24 of the New York Yankees reatcs at the end of the seventh inning against the Texas Rangers at Yankee Stadium on June 26, 2013 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Rangers defeated the Yankees 8-5.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Robinson Cano may change the perception of the Seattle Mariners, but he's not going to change the management structure.

Much has been made about how signing Cano means the Mariners are tired of losing and they're willing to spend now in order to be successful. It hasn't been for a lack of trying on Seattle's part, either. Last year, it was close to reeling in Josh Hamilton.

So why wouldn't Cano want a part of an organization like this? Just ask former manager Eric Wedge.

SEATTLE - JULY 09:  Executive Vice President & GM Jack Zduriencik of the Seattle Mariners speaks to the media at a press conference announcing a trade of starting pitcher Cliff Lee in exchange for first baseman Justin Smoak, pitcher Blake Beavan, Double-A
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Almost as soon as fans were beginning to get excited about the signing of the All-Star second baseman, Geoff Baker dropped a bomb in the Seattle Times. Baker interviewed Wedge and other former members of the Mariners organization, and after those interviews he came to the conclusion that the general malaise of the franchise starts at the top.

General manager Jack Zduriencik got the brunt of the criticism. He comes off as power-hungry and knowing little about advanced statistics, despite claiming to have a strong knowledge when applying for his current job. Zduriencik would also pass along unrealistic suggestions from the higher-ups to Wedge as to how the team should be run, according to Baker.

It's a less-than-flattering portrayal of how the Mariners are run, and as Grantland's Rany Jazayerli joked, it's not the news a player wants to hear right after signing a huge deal to play in Seattle long term:

Even if the Mariners can land David Price, as Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan reports Seattle is a possible destination for the left-hander, how much faith do you have in the organization as a whole, if you're Cano?

For the best players in the game, making a ton of money isn't the only barometer for personal success. They want to win World Series rings, or at the very least, make the postseason. Trips to the playoffs help to build a legacy.

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 17:  Alex Rodriguez #3 of the Texas Rangers claps while on th field during the game against the Anaheim Angels at the Ballpark in Arlington on April 17, 2003 in Arlington, Texas.  The Rangers defeated the Angels 9-7.  (Photo by Ronal
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Cano won't want to end up like Alex Rodriguez during his time in Texas. Sure, he put up huge numbers, but the team was still terrible. Even being on a good team that doesn't make the playoffs means people won't properly validate your accomplishments (see Trout, Mike).

The American League West is one of the toughest divisions in baseball right now. Overtaking the Los Angeles Angels, Texas Rangers and Oakland Athletics will be difficult. It's not like there was a strong foundation of success before Cano arrived. The Mariners have had four straight losing seasons, and the last time they went to the playoffs was 2001.

Taking into account what you read about Zduriencik in Baker's article, it doesn't look like there's any sort of long-term plan in place to make the team a contender again. In addition, the impression is that the team will never become a contender while Zduriencik is there.

Spending money doesn't automatically guarantee success.

ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 21:  Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim looks on from the dugout during the game against the Cleveland Indians at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 21, 2013 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

The Boston Red Sox had to trade Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford in order to become a contender again. The Angels haven't made the playoffs since splashing the cash on C.J. Wilson, Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton.

Making a couple of huge moves during the offseason doesn't stop the rot that appears to have started under the current power structure.

In the end, you can't blame Cano for taking a deal so large. You wonder, though, if it will be worth weathering the possible storm to come in Seattle.