Report: Mariners break off talks with Robinson Cano after Jay Z “overplayed his hand”

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Just when it looked like Robinson Cano was ready to say goodbye to the Yankees and sign a massive long-term contract with the Mariners talks have broken down and Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports that “Cano’s chances of landing in Seattle have apparently ended on a sour note.”

According to Feinsand the contract talks “collapsed after Jay Z apparently overplayed his hand in a negotiating session with the Mariners” by asking for a 10-year, $252 million deal following “assurances” that Seattle would do $225 million over nine years. Mariners chief executive officer Howard Lincoln reportedly “exploded” after Jay Z upped the demands mid-meeting.

Cano’s father, Jose Cano, spoke publicly about the situation earlier Thursday, saying that “the Yankees don’t seem to want him” and adding to speculation that the second baseman was ready to leave New York. Yet if Feinsand’s sources are correct the Mariners are no longer an option for Cano, leaving the Yankees as “his lone suitor” despite a significantly lesser offer believed to be in the seven-year, $170 million range.

UPDATE: Cano to the Mariners might not be dead quite yet …

Pujols hits 701st career home run, connects for Cardinals

albert pujols
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
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ST. LOUIS — Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols hit his 701st home run, connecting Friday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Pujols launched a slider from former teammate Johan Oviedo over the Big Mac Land sign in left field at Busch Stadium. The solo drive in the fourth inning made it 1-all.

Pujols faced Oviedo for the first time and made the 24-year-old righty the 456th different pitcher he’s homered against.

The St. Louis star hadn’t homered in a week since hitting No. 699 and 700 at Dodger Stadium last Friday. Pujols had gone 10 at-bats without a home run after two starts and one pinch-hit appearance.

The Busch Stadium crowd gave the 42-year-old Pujols a long standing ovation before he came out of the Cardinals dugout to tip his cap for a curtain call.

Pujols hit his 22nd home run this season for the NL Central champion Cardinals.

Pujols is fourth on the career home run list behind Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).