Blog Entry

Would You Rather Have: Cano or Pedroia?

Posted on: January 12, 2012 10:35 am
Edited on: January 13, 2012 10:50 pm

By Matt Snyder

As we continue the final trek toward spring training, we also continue the series that's gonna get us there. Our first installment of Who Would You Rather Have got some pretty good discussion going, as it pitted Roy Halladay against Justin Verlander. I believe we have an equally tough decision in front of us this time around, too.

For this installment, we look to baseball's most intense rivalry ... specifically the second basemen: Robinson Cano and Dustin Pedroia. I feel compelled to point out that we seemed to get a lot of non-answers on Twitter and in the comments (like "Tim Lincecum" to the Verlander vs. Halladay question), and I'm thinking those people didn't understand that this is an ongoing series. I can assure you that many big names from across America -- like Lincecum -- will be included at some point. You'll also have a decision between two young NL West sluggers Saturday, for example. Patience ...

Anyhow, it's Cano vs. Pedroia now. Red Sox vs. Yankees. Beantown vs. the Bronx. Let's get it on.

The case for Cano

While he was already a very good hitter, Cano has developed into one of the most feared hitters in baseball over the past two seasons, finishing in the top six of MVP voting both times. His triple slash line of .311/.365/.533 from 2010-11 is a beauty for a second baseman, not to mention the 28 homers, 46 doubles, 118 RBI and 104 runs he posted last season. It was good enough for Cano to bring home the Silver Slugger for the second consecutive season.

A model of durability as well, Cano hasn't played in less than 159 games in any of the past five seasons. Pedroia only managed 75 games in an injury-plagued 2010 season, so that's a point for Cano.

The case for Pedroia

On the other hand, Pedroia played in 157, 154 and 159 games, respectively, in three of the past four seasons, so it's not like he's injury prone. Pedroia, the 2007 Rookie of the Year, also won the 2008 MVP. And Pedroia can do it all. He hit 21 home runs last season while stealing 26 bases and also winning a Gold Glove (his second). His .307/.387/.474 line is competitive with Cano's, too. Where Pedroia has a bit less home-run power, he makes up for it by getting on base. He holds a .373 to .347 advantage in career OBP.

Pedroia has one World Series ring, but so does Cano.

Cano will make $14 million in 2012 while Pedroia will make $8 million, but Pedroia's salary increases in the next several years while Cano is a free agent after a 2013 club option. Age is a veritable wash, as Cano is roughly 10 months older.

Really, any which way you can divide this up, it's a very close call. Many advanced defensive metrics show Pedroia with a significant edge in range, hence the 2011 Fielding Bible award -- meaning the stat crowd views him as the best defensive second baseman in all of baseball. Cano is viewed as no better than average defensively from that perspective. Cano did win the 2010 AL Gold Glove, but Gold Glove voting has produced dubious results at times -- like Rafael Palmeiro taking the honors in 1999 while playing only 28 games in the field. Unlike many younger bloggers and writers, I don't totally discount the Gold Glove, but I do trust the Fielding Bible awards more. Of course, using either one gives the defensive edge to Pedroia -- and you could argue Cano only won the 2010 Gold Glove because Pedroia was hurt anyway, which I would.

Our call

I'm going to go with Pedroia here in a photo finish, the closest of calls, based upon the defensive separation. The two are very close across the board. Just as with yesterday's pick, I could go either way and there definitely isn't a wrong answer. In fact, we have over 20 of these posts lined up, and this may well be the hardest choice among them.

But now it's your turn. Vote and comment away.

Fan Vote:

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Since: Feb 26, 2010
Posted on: January 13, 2012 11:57 am

Would You Rather Have: Cano or Pedroia?

All I know is as a big Tigers fan watching the playoffs last year from the edge of my seat, Cano scared the bleep out of me everytime he came up! His presence in the hole and on deck let alone in the batters box seemed to have an effect on the Tigers pitchers too. Even with all of the big names and bats in the Yankees lineup I think if you asked most teams/fans they would say Cano is the guy they fear the most. If I could pick between the two to add the my beloved Tigers I would without question take Cano, that's all. All that said, Pedroia seems like he would be a great team mate, great in the club house, and is one hell of a competitor.       

Since: Oct 2, 2011
Posted on: January 13, 2012 11:56 am

Would You Rather Have: Cano or Pedroia?

I would honestly take either one of these guys and I have on a few fantasy baseball teams. I'm a red sox fan completely but I would take Cano just as easy if he was available. This is a real tough one and I only voted for Pedroia simply because I'm a Red Sox fan.

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: January 13, 2012 11:51 am

Would You Rather Have: Cano or Pedroia?

The question & article was about Cano & Pedroia.Darren Bragg,Ted Williams,Jim Rice,& Roger Cheater have nothing to do with which 2b is better.The same goes for Bostons all-time W/L record with Cleveland & there's certainly no landslide here.Both are probably bound for Cooperstown, although a lot can happen before that can happen.I have no problem with anyone who prefers Cano;A good case can be made for either player.
I prefer Pedroia....Let the bashing begin.

Since: Apr 20, 2009
Posted on: January 13, 2012 11:48 am

Would You Rather Have: Cano or Pedroia?

I am seriously under the impression that the writer picked for Pedroia to insert controversy into his article. 

Cano is hands down, not only the best 2nd baseman in the league, but one of the better players in the league.  Period.

You don't have to believe it if you don't want to, but you haven't even seen a fraction of what Cano will eventually bring in the future.  there is no doubt in my mind that before Cano's career is over he will be bringing Miguel Cabrera type numbers for the Yankees.  Pedroia, on the other hand, has already peaked and there is nothing but a decline in his future.

This article, and the minority of the posters claiming that Pedroia is a better talent than Cano proves that everyone doesn't have an eye for talent. 

I must admit though that there is a difference between not having an eye for talent and stupidity though.

Picking Pedroia over Cano is downright retarted.

Since: Jan 18, 2011
Posted on: January 13, 2012 11:40 am

Would You Rather Have: Cano or Pedroia?

Why settle for either when Ian Kinsler is the best?

Since: Jan 14, 2009
Posted on: January 13, 2012 11:28 am

Would You Rather Have: Cano or Pedroia?

The thing about baseball is the statistics don't lie.  Cano is a better power hitter no doubt, but Pedey has a significant advantage in OBP.  Once he gets on base Pedey knows what to do.  He is a far better base runner 75 SB's since 2006, while Cano has only 27.  Everyone loves a good power hitter, but I'll take someone who's getting on base more especially with people behind him that can move him along.  Pedey is a team player who knows his role and does it well.  Pedroia also has a stronger fielding percentage at .990 vs Cano's .985 lifetime.

The intangible is the whole clubhouse chemistry thing, I believe Pedroia is more of a vocal leader.

Since: Jun 22, 2010
Posted on: January 13, 2012 11:24 am

Would You Rather Have: Cano or Pedroia?

more Boston idiocy.
A few years ago a Hall of Fame Boston writer declared Darren Bragg the MVP in the American League.

This is the same town that ran Ted Williams, Jim Rice and Roger Clemens out of town.

In other words, CLUELESS.

Robinson Cano in a landslide.

by the way, the Cleveland Indians lead the all time series against the, BoSox by a large margin.

Since: Apr 13, 2009
Posted on: January 13, 2012 11:21 am

Would You Rather Have: Cano or Pedroia?

Pedroia looks a little too much like one of those bears that sings and plays the banjo at your local Chuck E Cheese for me with that beard of his. I'll go with Cano

Since: Sep 1, 2006
Posted on: January 13, 2012 11:02 am

Would You Rather Have: Cano or Pedroia?

Phillips also gets to balls that Cano wouldn't even TRY to go after. Cano makes the routine plays and that's about it. If you even try to put Cano on the same level as Phillips in fielding you've either never seen Phillips play or you're just downright ignorant. I've seen Cano dog it in the field AND on the basepaths on several occasions, which is probably why he's able to play so many games ever year because he never lays out for balls or goes all out on the bases so there's never a risk of injury with him. I can't even remember ever seeing his jersey dirty! And yes, Pedroia is more intense than Cano. Cano's a focused player...well, atleast when he hits, but Pedroia's intense and yes, there's a big difference. Watch the next time either is on first base and there's a hit. Pedroia's going first to third EVERY time. Cano will stop at 2nd base 9 out of 10 times. And just to clarify, I'm not a Sox fan. I'm a Braves fan. And c'mon man, bringing up players like Gehrig and Williams? What, you 80 years old? You probably never watched either play and if you did you were just a baby. Don't ever try to reference the effort and intensity of players you never even watched play. Just makes you look even dumber than your arguement for Cano does.

Since: Aug 3, 2011
Posted on: January 13, 2012 10:50 am
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