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Cashman declines to talk about Cano's contract


TAMPA, Fla. -- General manager Brian Cashman declined to comment Wednesday morning when asked if he was optimistic about signing Robinson Cano to a long-term extension.

On Tuesday, Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner told The Associated Press that there were no new developments in contract talks with Cano, who will become a free agent after this season.

"We expressed to [agent] Scott [Boras] how much we like Robbie and what a great Yankee he's been, and we hope he continues his career here for a long time to come," Steinbrenner told the AP. "We just indicated to him on a very preliminary basis that we were willing to consider a significant long-term contract and left it at that. There's really nothing to report since then.

"The main purpose of the conversation was to just let him know we want Robbie to continue to be a Yankee."

Cano discussed his impending free agency with the media Monday, mostly saying that he wasn't worried about it or focused on it and he'll leave any negotiations to Boras.

The second baseman's $15 million option was picked up by the Yankees in October. The 30-year-old batted .313 with a career-high 33 homers and 94 RBIs last season, but he went 3-for-40 in a disappointing postseason performance. For his career, Cano owns a .308/.351/.503 batting line with 177 home runs and 715 RBIs.

Cano would figure to be the most sought-after player on the open market next winter, and most reports project that he's in line for a massive payday, something in the range of an eight- to 10-year deal with an annual salary around $25 million.

Cano said Monday that he didn't know if he'd be open to discussing a contract extension once the season begins. The Yankees have generally avoided doing so with cornerstone players like Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera.

"I don't feel anything about nervousness," Cano said Monday. "To be honest, I'm not focused on free agency. My focus right now is on the 2013 season. I still have one more year under contract and my mind right now is just on helping the team win another championship."

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