From Michael Morrissey -
The Yankees are preparing for Roger Clemens – at least, numerically speaking.
Recently, the club asked All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano to hand over his No. 22 in the event of another Rocket launch in The Bronx, The Post confirmed yesterday.
Cano will switch to No. 24, and he’s as eager as anyone to see the seven-time Cy Young Award winner in pinstripes again.
Cano’s number already has been officially adjusted on the team roster, according to a source.
“I was happy to give up the number to a future Hall of Famer if Roger comes aboard,” Cano said in a statement. “Hopefully, he will be one of my teammates, I’ll have the pleasure of playing with him.”
Moreover, indications are the Yankees already have relayed Cano’s number switch to Clemens’ camp – even if the 44-year-old righty has no imminent plans of making a decision of where to pitch in 2007, or whether to retire.
“No decision will be made until well after spring training, perhaps until after the season starts,” agent Randy Hendricks wrote in an e-mail yesterday.
What a shame it is that the Yankees are asking Cano, an All-Star, to monkey around with his uniform number…because this is how the Clemens-signing thing is going to go down:
Roger Clemens will not sign with anyone until May 1st. He’s going to wait until then to see how things are going with the Yankees and Red Sox pitching.
If either Boston or New York has a glaring need for a starting pitcher, he’s going to use that leverage to make the other team (the one that doesn’t need the starter) pay mega-bucks for him. If both Boston and New York have a dire need for a starter, he’s going to play them both off each other to make sure he gets top dollar.
If it turns out that neither Boston or New York needs a starting pitcher, after the first month of the season, Clemens will sign with Houston on May 1st, still getting a ton of money, and will enjoy the sweet-heart deal that he gets there playing in his backyard (not having to take road-trips, etc.).
It’s going to be all about the money – and where/how he can get the most of it. That will decide where Clemens plays in 2007. Anyone who thinks different doesn’t know Roger Clemens.
Clemens will wear whatever number is around…12, 21, 22, whatever…as long as the right numbers are there to the right of the dollar-sign.