Derek Jeter Rumors
Here's the latest from the Bronx...
- The Yankees are interested in Kendrys Morales, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports. Despite Morales' history of leg injuries, Yankees scouts feel the switch-hitter could add first base depth behing Mark Teixeira in addition to taking regular DH at-bats. I'm not sure Morales is a good fit given that the Yankees need to keep their DH spot relatively open for their other veterans on the roster. MLBTR's Tim Dierkes predicted a two-year, $28MM deal for Morales, and given the draft pick compensation tied to him, I'd guess the Yankees would only make a move if they're unable to land other free targets.
- Negotiations with Robinson Cano are expected to begin soon, Hal Steinbrenner told reporters (including Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger) during the GM Meetings. “I’m sure in the next week we’re going to sit down and talk to him. We haven’t really had any communication on any specifics, yet. But it’s the beginning of the process," Steinbrenner said.
- Steinbrenner didn't discuss anything beyond the 2014 season with Derek Jeter during the shortstop's recent contract talks. "I don’t know that Derek has thought that far. He’s got a lot of thinking to do just getting to March. You know what I mean? And I think that’s his focus for right now," the managing general partner said. We heard earlier this week that Steinbrenner himself who negotiated Jeter's one-year, $12MM deal for 2014.
- Also during the talk, Steinbrenner discussed such topics as the Alex Rodriguez situation and the Yankees' recent struggles in player development.
- The Yankees don't have have many prime trade chips, but Mike Axisa of the River Ave Blues blog puts Ivan Nova as the best chip on the team's roster. It seems unlikely that New York would consider trading Nova, however, as the Yankees need both starters and relatively inexpensive players under team control.
The news is coming in fast and furious today out of Orlando, where our own Steve Adams is on the scene. Here's the very latest out of the AL East..
- The Jarrod Saltalamacchia market remains quiet, but the Red Sox would take him back on a shorter deal, tweets Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com. Meanwhile, Salty is looking for at least three to four years.
- More from Edes (link), who tweets that the Red Sox have used their time at the GM Meetings to gauge interest from clubs in their veteran starting pitchers, including John Lackey.
- A Yankees contingent, led by managing partner Hal Steinbrenner, met with the agents for Carlos Beltran, Shin-Soo Choo, Jacoby Ellsbury, Stephen Drew, Brian McCann and presumably other free agents at the GM Meetings, writes Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Meanwhile, Steinbrenner has talked with Derek Jeter about the possibility of signing a starting shortstop and he is said to understand their position. The Bombers could be loaded with shortstop options in 2014: they like Drew and a possible signing of Brendan Ryan won't preclude them from making that happen.
- Scott Kazmir is high on the Orioles' list of free agent pitching candidates, tweets Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe.
- The Red Sox need a catcher but don't want to block their prospects so Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe (link) could see a two-year deal at a lofty rate for a backstop.
- Alex Speier of WEEI.com explained why Lackey's average annual value isn't calculated any differently as a result of the minimum salary that he will earn in 2015. A clause in Lackey's deal calls for him to make the minimum with the Red Sox in '15 after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
- Check out this morning's collection of news out of the AL East.
By all accounts, it looks like the Yankees will be big players in free agency this winter, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman writes. The Yankees may have at least a dozen players in mind, and Heyman adds the names of Scott Feldman and Bronson Arroyo to the long list of free agents who have already been linked to the Bombers. One would suspect that Feldman and Arroyo would be backup plans should New York not be able to land a higher-profile starter like Masahiro Tanaka. Here's the latest out of the Bronx...
- The Yankees "obviously" want Curtis Granderson to reject the team's $14.1MM qualifying offer so they can pursue other free agent outfield options. While Granderson says he's still considering accepting the one-year deal, he seems likely to find a solid multiyear offer on the open market, his injury-shortened 2013 season notwithstanding.
- Hal Steinbrenner was the one who negotiated Derek Jeter's one-year, $12MM deal for 2014, Heyman reports. Steinbrenner is "very involved" in the team's dealings this winter, according to a source.
- The Yankees have discussed bringing back Eric Chavez, Dan Martin of the New York Post reports. Chavez would provide needed bench depth, and he wouldn't require a big commitment since he only wants a one-year contract. There does seem to be mutual interest between Chavez and the Diamondbacks for 2014, however.
- Joba Chamberlain hasn't received any attention from the Yankees but over a dozen other clubs have checked in on the free agent reliever, WFAN's Sweeney Murti reports (Twitter link). It has been widely reported that the Yankees will part ways with their former top prospect.
- The 10-year contracts given to Alex Rodriguez and Albert Pujols when both men were in their 30's are reasons why the Yankees shouldn't make a decade-long commitment to 31-year-old Robinson Cano, MLB.com's Mike Bauman opines.
8:07pm: It is not yet clear whether the Jeter accounting saga is resolved, but Sherman has provided a full breakdown of what is apparently the most convoluted Competitive Balance Tax calculation yet encountered. The net, Sherman reiterates, is that Jeter's player option would have registered an approximately $10.75MM hit, while his new deal will count for $12.81MM.
You'll need to read the piece for the complete details, but the causal agent in this odd scenario is a CBA provision that addresses contracts, like Jeter's, that have cheap options attached. Pursuant to that (unspecified) clause, Sherman says, the Yanks were charged a prorated portion of the option year value in each of the first three years of the deal, which in turn required yet more maneuvering in calculating the present cap hit.
4:07pm: Sherman tweets that the MLBPA is arguing with the Commissioner's Office over how the luxury tax calculations are being handled, adding that new numbers are coming.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports chimes in, noting that the contract now will save the Yankees a bit of money over what the option would have saved. The Yankees will save roughly $1MM, with $12.8-$13.2MM counting against the luxury tax for reasons that are "too complicated to explain," as Rosenthal puts it (all Twitter links).
1:36pm: Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the common belief that this deal saves the Yankees from the luxury tax threshold is a misconception. According to Sherman, given the way that the luxury tax is computed, this deal will count more significantly against the luxury tax than Jeter's player option would have. Had Jeter exercised that option, $10.75MM would have gone against the luxury tax in 2014, says Sherman, but this new deal will count $12.8MM toward the luxury tax (Twitter links)
12:20pm: The Yankees announced that have re-signed shortstop Derek Jeter to a one-year deal worth $12MM. Jeter, who is represented by Casey Close of Excel Sports Management, had a $9.5MM player option on his previous contract, but this deal will override that option.
The long-time Yankee Captain will turn 40 next June and appeared in just 17 games this season, making the decision to give him a $2.5MM raise on his option a curious one. However, by agreeing to a new deal, Jeter is no longer on his old contract, the average annual value (AAV) of which counted against the luxury tax. Had he exercised his player option, Jeter would've added $6.5MM to the AAV of his three-year, $51MM contract ($3MM of the option was guaranteed in the form of a buyout). Doing so would have raised his AAV to $14.375MM. Instead, his $12MM contract will be the number that counts against the luxury tax, thereby actually saving the Yankees $2.375MM relative to the luxury tax.
Jeter underwent surgery to repair a broken ankle last October and missed the majority of the season recovering from inflammation in his surgically repaired foot. Upon activation, he encountered a pair of DL stints for calf and quadriceps strains. In his 17 games, Jeter batted .190/.288/.254 with a home run. However, he's just one year removed from a campaign that saw him hit .316/.362/.429 with 15 homers en route to his fifth career Silver Slugger award.
The Yankees sorely missed Jeter's production in 2013, as their shortstops combined to bat a woeful .228/.283/.308 on the season. While those numbers do include 17 games of an injury-hobbled Jeter, his bat will be an unquestionable boon to that lineup in 2014, if he's healthy. The Yankees deployed a mix of Jeter, Eduardo Nunez, Jayson Nix, Luis Cruz, Brendan Ryan, Alberto Gonzalez and Reid Brignac at the position in 2013.
By addressing Jeter's situation during the five-day exclusive period following completion of the World Series, Yankees GM Brian Cashman allows himself to focus on other pressing offseason issues, most notably the status of impending free agent Robinson Cano.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Jeff Todd contributed to this post.
The Yankees and Nationals discussed a possible Dan Haren deal last weekend, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports. The two sides never came close to making a trade, and Rosenthal suggests that money might have been part of the reason why -- Haren would have only started three times for the Yankees (and wouldn't have been eligible for the playoffs, if the Yankees were to win a spot), but he was still due about $1.5MM in salary. The Yankees' interest stemmed from the recent troubles of Phil Hughes and David Huff.
- Yankees icon Derek Jeter should consider retiring, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman writes. Heyman argues that, after a season ruined by injury, Jeter faces a future in which he might just be a utility player, and that would be an undignified end to a great career. Playing well at shortstop at age 40 is very difficult, and Jeter will face an uphill battle if he tries to return next season.
- The Red Sox have joined the Giants as teams who are scouting Cuban first baseman Jose Abreu in the Dominican Republic, Dionisio Soldevila of ESPNDeportes.com tweets. We've already heard reports of the Red Sox's interest in Abreu, and Boston seems like a good fit for Abreu -- the Red Sox have the financial resources to sign him, and Mike Napoli becomes a free agent after the season.
The Yankees placed Derek Jeter on the disabled list today, officially ending his 2013 season. Jeter played in just 17 games this season, slashing .190/.288/.254 as he battled ankle, calf and quadriceps issues. Here's more on Jeter and the team with which he has become synonymous ...
- Calling it a "stretch" to see Jeter as a starting shortstop next year, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com writes that the Yankee legend should hang up his spikes rather than holding on in a utility role. While Jeter has often proved the exception to the rule, reasons Heyman, historical performances by 40-year-old shortstops do not offer much hope, especially given his still-healing ankle.
- For his part, Jeter still believes he can play regularly at short, reports Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger. He declined, however, to offer any meaningful insight into his pending decision on a $9.5MM player option for next year. As MLBTR's Zach Links noted yesterday, Jeter would seem to have little hope of getting a better deal if he declines the option.
- In the meantime, the Yanks acquired shortstop Brendan Ryan from the Mariners last night to handle some of the load at shortstop. He was inserted directly into the lineup today, as the club squares off in a crucial test against the Orioles. If the Yankees win, they would control their own destiny, notes Ken Davidoff of the New York Post (on Twitter). Ryan acknowledges that it will be hard to man Jeter's spot, but says he is excited at the opportunity to split time with Eduardo Nunez.
- With a chance to earn regular playing time, Ryan has a solid shot at becoming the most impactful September acquisition in recent memory. Last year, the only 2012 September deal for a major leaguer was the Brewers' acquisition of catcher Yorvit Torrealba, who only saw six plate appearances in Milwaukee. Among the prior year transactions found on this list, compiled by Mike Axisa for MLBTR, only Willie Bloomquist (picked up by the Reds in 2010) and Octavio Dotel (added by the Rockies in the same year) saw any real action. Neither of those players made a positive contribution, however, making (perhaps unsurprisingly) for quite an unimpressive recent record of September acquisitions.
- The Yankees stand to pay an MLB-record $29.1MM luxury tax penalty, reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today. That figure represents a 50% tax on the amount the team spent over the $178mm level. The Dodgers will also pay a tax for the first time in franchise history, but will be taxed at a less-onerous 17.5% rate since the club has not incurred an overage in consecutive seasons (yet, anyway).
There was talk earlier this year of the Yankees giving Phil Hughes a qualifying offer at the end of the season in order to either retain him or secure a draft pick in the event that he signed elsewhere. However, that ship has pretty much sailed at this point. "They may make a qualifying offer. And I may run for president," a rival GM told Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com last week. Here's more out of the Bronx..
- Many in baseball speculated that Derek Jeter would decline his $9.5MM option for 2014 and force the Yankees to give him a new deal, but a friend of the shortstop told Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News that he thinks he'll exercise the option and return with a sense of purpose. Feinsand notes that Jeter probably wouldn't have the public on his side as he did three years ago and, more importantly, no one is clamoring to give a 39-year-old shortstop more than $9.5MM.
- The Yankees want Robinson Cano back in pinstripes next season, but team president Randy Levine made it clear there's a limit as to how far they'll go. “[Cano] is a great player,” Levine told Bloomberg Television, according to Feinsand. “We will sit down and talk to him. Hopefully he’s a Yankee. Nobody is a re-sign at all costs, but we want him back and we feel good about negotiating something with him. But nobody is a re-sign at any cost.”
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes that the Yankees can ill-afford to see CC Sabathia's regression to No. 4 starter come when he has at least three years and $76MM on his contract. The Yankees anticipated such an occurence might happen toward the end of his New York tenure but thought they'd have capable replacements in Michael Pineda, Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos, but none have panned out. Their dearth of pitching talent clouds their goal of staying under the $189MM luxury tax threshhold, Sherman adds.
Mariano Rivera's legendary career began on a humble note, as MLB.com's Adam Berry relates as part of the site's "42 Days Of Mo" series. Rivera's first contract with the Yankees netted him just a $3K bonus, and it didn't take long for the club to realize they may have had something special when Rivera allowed just one run over 52 rookie ball innings in 1990.
Here are some items from around the AL East...
- Even though Derek Jeter has spent almost the entire 2013 season on the DL, ESPN's Buster Olney (Insider subscription required) notes that the shortstop could have enough leverage to negotiate another multiyear deal from the Yankees this winter. Jeter has an $8MM player option that would net him $3MM from New York if he opts out.
- It seems unlikely that Rajai Davis will re-sign with the Blue Jays this winter, MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm writes as part of a reader mailbag piece. While Davis may not find a full-time job on the free agent market this winter, he should be able to find more playing time than he would in Toronto given the Jays' crowded outfield situation.
- Also from Chisholm, he notes Brett Cecil isn't likely to be converted back into a starter given his All-Star performance out of the bullpen this season. Munenori Kawasaki's presence on the Jays' Major League roster in 2014 is still up in the air and Brandon Morrow's health may be the key to Toronto's starting rotation next year.
- The Orioles have a number of options for their September call-ups, and MASNsports.com's Roch Kubatko gives his take on who the O's might add once the rosters expand on September 1.
- From earlier today in the AL East, the Red Sox called up Xander Bogaerts and released Jose Contreras and made a few other minor roster moves....we learned the Sox aren't pursuing Cuban shortstop Alexander Guerrero....Phil Hughes wants to remain a starting pitcher....the Yankees released Luis Cruz.
According to a "60 Minutes" report, members of Alex Rodriguez's inner circle obtained unredacted Biogenesis documents in February and leaked the names of Ryan Braun, Francisco Cervelli and Danny Valencia (who was later cleared) to Yahoo Sports. Michael Radutzky of CBS News writes. Rodriguez talked to the media (including Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York) today and denied leaking the names of any fellow player, particularly his Yankee teammate Cervelli. The third baseman also warned that more details in the case would be made public in the coming days:
"You know, I've been a member of this union for 20 years, and it is important for all the guys to understand that my loyalty is to this union and it would never happen, it would never occur and it didn't happen. Let's make one thing clear: For the next seven weeks, it is going to be a very bumpy road. Every day expect a story like this, if not bigger."
Here are some more items from around the AL East...
- Given the uncertainty of Rodriguez's situation and Derek Jeter's health, the Yankees will need to explore alternatives at third base and shortstop this winter, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes. Under Sherman's scenario, Jeter would play half his games at shortstop and the rest at first base or as the Yankees' primary DH against right-handers.
- As least 12 teams project to be suitors for Jacoby Ellsbury this winter, Fangraphs' Paul Swydan writes. The Red Sox are one of those teams, as "GM Ben Cherington isn’t letting Ellsbury go without a fight," though Swydan notes that the Sox could be in a position crunch in left field (with Jackie Bradley, Daniel Nava and Jonny Gomes) if they re-sign both Ellsbury and Mike Napoli.
- The Rays still look like the winners of the Wil Myers/James Shields trade, despite the Royals' recent hot streak, Grantland's Rany Jazayerli opines.
- The hiring of Buck Showalter was the key move that turned the Orioles from also-rans into contenders, outfielder Adam Jones writes in a guest piece for Buster Olney's column (ESPN Insider subscription required).
A setback in Derek Jeter's ankle injury will keep the Yankees shortstop out until after the All-Star break, Mark Feinsand of New York Daily News reports. Jeter's doctor found a "small crack" near where Jeter's injury originally occurred. He will not need surgery as a result of the setback, but this news ensures that the Yankees' lineup will be without its highest-profile star, in a season in which the lineup has frequently been filled with new Yankees like Vernon Wells, Lyle Overbay, Brennan Boesch and Ben Francisco. Here are more notes from around the American League.
- Despite the news of Jeter's extended absence, the Yankees will stick with Eduardo Nunez and Jayson Nix at shortstop, GM Brian Cashman tells MLB.com's Bryan Hoch. Not only is it difficult to make trades early in the season, but Cashman says he feels Nunez and Nix have earned more playing time (although neither of them have an OPS higher than .603). "Those guys have done a nice job. They've earned the right, and regardless, this time of year is certainly going to be a factor in anything that happens," says Cashman.
- Now the third-base coach of the Indians, former Astros manager Brad Mills returns to Houston Friday night with no regrets, MLB.com's Brian McTaggart writes. Mills was fired last August 18. There's been plenty of roster turnover since then, and the Astros are also playing in a new league. "It's going to be different, no doubt," says Mills. "It's going to be fun to see some of the fans, fun to visit with some of the players and some of the workers there at the stadium, people you gain a relationship in three years."
- The Angels are off to a 4-10 start, but we shouldn't expect them to make a trade anytime soon, Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com writes. As MLBTR noted last week, it's difficult to make early-season trades (and Gonzalez notes that the Angels' trade for Ernesto Frieri in May 2012 was tricky). Also, the Angels would prefer to stay beneath the Competitive Balance Tax threshold, and that gives them little flexibility. "We put ourselves in this situation, and we have to figure out a way to get ourselves out," says Angels GM Jerry Dipoto.