SW Exclusive: How the Cano Deal Went Down in Seattle

On Thursday, December 5, major league baseball’s most sought-after free agent, former New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, arrived in Seattle alongside newly minted sports agent/hip-hop mogul Jay-Z to meet with the Mariners. This is what (we imagine) happened.

8:15 p.m. Jay-Z and Cano land at Sea-Tac; decide to stop for authentic African food at the “African Lounge” on Concourse A.

8:16 Jay-Z and Cano leave “African Lounge,” head to baggage claim.

8:30 Jay-Z and Cano wait in arrivals area for Mariners President Chuck Armstrong to pick them up in his blue two-door Tercel.

8:55 Armstrong apologizes for passing Jay-Z and Cano twice in arrivals area: “Thought you guys came in on Delta.”

9:05 Armstrong, Jay-Z, and Cano arrive for dinner at Sitka & Spruce with M’s CEO Howard Lincoln; the trendy restaurant is a recommendation from Raul Ibanez’ teenage granddaughter.

9:15 Jay-Z orders “salad of kales”; Cano goes for “kohlrabi slaw.” Lincoln: “D’ya have a menu in English?”

9:22 Dinner conversation hits a wall when Armstrong asks Jay-Z if he’s married.

9:37 Lincoln explains gold mine of Seattle endorsement opportunities for Cano: “Marshawn Lynch already has Beacon Plumbing locked up, but I know a guy at Roto-Rooter!”

9:51 Jay-Z wonders if general manager Jack Zduriencik or manager Lloyd McClendon will be joining them. “No need,” says Lincoln. “We call the shots around here.”

10:15 Negotiations begin with Lincoln dismissing Jay-Z’s suggestion to rename Mariners the Seattle Hovas.

10:22 Both sides decide to continue negotiations over drinks—their server recommends Montana Bar on Olive Way for their on-tap Moscow mules.

10:41 Over their first Moscow mules, Cano tries to explain The Grey Album to a confused Armstrong, who doesn’t know what The White Album is.

11:10 With everyone two Moscow mules in, the cute bartender suggests a house specialty: Picklebacks. After one shot of whiskey with a pickle-juice back, negotiations begin in earnest.

11:15 Negotiation Item #1: Jay-Z/Cano/Lincoln bet Armstrong $500 he won’t tell bartender that they are the “Four Swordsmen of the Lovepocalypse.”

11:15:15 M’s/Jay-Z/Cano kicked out of Montana, start walking arm-in-arm up Olive Way singing Armstrong-led sea shanties.

11:21 Jay-Z flags down a cab, demands to be taken to every location of Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Posse on Broadway.”

11:33 Armstrong checks phone; has 35 “where u guys at” texts from General Manager Jack Zduriencik. Laughs, puts phone in pocket, makes mental note to move Zduriencik’s office to a small janitorial closet.

11:42 Though the vanilla shakes are outstanding, Jay-Z discovers that Dick’s is not “the place where the cool hang out, the swass like to play, and the rich flaunt clout,” as promised by Mix. Cano demands that the group “check out the club scene.” Lincoln “knows a cool place”; directs cabbie to 13 Coins.

11:52 Jay-Z and Cano, assuming 13 Coins is an elaborate performance-art piece, decide Seattle is hippest city in world.

12:01 a.m. Cano agrees to sign, on one condition: Lincoln and Armstrong must shout “C to the izz-A, N to the izz-O” from the pitching mound on Opening Day.

12:05 Lincoln, Armstrong, Jay-Z, and Cano profess to be “bros 4ever”; parties agree to 240-year, $10 million deal. (Later amended to 10 years and $240 million.)

12:17 Jay-Z and Cano head to their hotel. Armstrong/Lincoln too drunk to drive, call Jay Buhner to come down and pick them up in his truck.


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