Steady Cano Making Case To Be A Keeper

"He's not someone you can replace," Girardi said.

"That feels good," said Cano, 30, who'll be a free agent at the end of the season. "It makes you want to go harder every single day."

Did you hear that, Mr. Steinbrenner? Someone you cannot replace.

Hal said the face-to-face meetings with agent Brodie Van Wagenen to this point have been procedural. And he didn't want to turn the meetings into daily fodder for the newspapers. Steinbrenner did previoiusly say he wanted Cano to "end his career" in New York.

"The goal is to continue to work on it," Steinbrenner told reporters as the Yankee players and management had a meet-and-greet with ticketholders before the game, on the warning track. "We are going to continue to plug away.

"I would be optimistic to get it done by [the time free agency hits], yes, but I haven't really set a timetable up. It is a fluid situation."

Cano dropped Scott Boras as his agent last month and hired Jay-Z's company Roc Nation to represent him. Seeing that Jay-Z is heavily into the Nets, had a mega-hit with Alicia Keys on "Empire State of Mind," and seems to be everything New York these days, many have taken it as a sign Cano definitely wants to remain in the big city. We'll see.

What we saw Saturday was Cano hit a ball 315 feet in the right-field corner, but they don't ask how far, they only ask what fence it cleared.

"I was a little bit out front on it,"said Cano, who leads the club with a .295 average, 12 homers, 11 doubles and 31 RBI from the No. 2 slot in the order. "But my hands were able to stay back a little, and I was able to hit it decent."

There was no mistake on the second one. Cano picked on a fat 2-2 Morrow breaking ball for his second multiple home run game of the season.

"When you hang one over the plate," Cano said, "you want to take advantage of it."

"Robby's ability to hit the ball to all fields allows him to be successful and you are not going to see very many prolonged slumps from him," Girardi said. "He can hit line drives to left, if they want to shift him, he'll hit ground balls where the shortstop would normally be. He'll pull balls. He uses the whole field."

Cano now is in position to play the field.

"I think anyone would get a little nervous when you start getting out on a six, seven, eight, nine-year deal," Steinbrenner told reporters. "But in any business, the market is the market and you really have to go on what the market is … supply and demand."

And right now the demand to keep Cano happy and in the Bronx is very, very high.

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