Report: Mariners a 'major player' in Robinson Cano sweepstakes

Picture Robinson Cano in a Seattle Mariners uniform. It could happen, according to a report from ESPN's Wallace Matthews:

"The Seattle Mariners have emerged as a major player in the sweepstakes for free agent Robinson Cano, according to several sources who spoke to ESPNNewYork.com on Tuesday on the condition of anonymity.

"With the New York Yankees not wanting to offer Cano more than a seven-year contract or as much as $200 million, an industry source with knowledge of the negotiations put the Yankees chances of retaining their five-time All-Star second baseman at 'less than 50-50.'"

Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik wouldn't confirm that the Mariners are interested in the 31-year-old free-agent second baseman. Zduriencik said:

"We've talked to everybody. There's not a free agent we haven't talked to. We've cast a wide net.''

One of Matthews' sources said the Mariners are "desperate for hitting and desperate to put people in the ballpark."

The Yankees, meanwhile, haven't met with Cano since last Tuesday, Matthews writes, and that they might be willing to go to $175 million over seven years.