It sounds counterintuitive, but what would happen if the Yankees extended Cano this season, and gave him a huge raise for this season so that he'd accept less money next season?
For example, what if they gave Cano a raise to $30-35 million for one year, and then next year the number went down to $20 million for the next 5-6 years?
That would save the Yankees 5 million per year in cap space. It would benefit Cano because it's always better to get money up front, since you can take that money and invest it, having it collect interest.
Now, I'm not 100% sure how this works so please correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought that the Cap was calculated by the AAV of what's left on the contract. In that case, the Yankees could save $5 million/year in the long run by increasing his pay significantly this year.