Derek Jeter Rumors
Agent Casey Close is leaving CAA Sports when his five-year contract expires at the end of the month, reports Liz Mullen of The Sports Business Journal (subs. req'd). A hat tip goes out to Maury Brown at The Biz of Baseball.
Mullen says that CAA and Close are still trying to work out the details of his departure, "which may involve CAA and Close sharing the representation of some of the clients going forward." Close represents Derek Jeter, Ryan Howard, Michael Cuddyer, and Derrek Lee, among others.
It's unclear if Close will join a new a firm or work independently, though Brown notes that high profile agents (such as Dan Lozano) have been going out on their own recently. Close was one of the first sports agents that CAA hired when it launched its sports division in April 2006. It is primarily a Hollywood talent firm.
Let's take a look at some links for Monday night..
- Jane Lee of MLB.com writes that Athletics manager Bob Geren believes that his club has improved by leaps and bounds this winter.
- Recent addition Orlando Cabrera might not hold the Indians' starting second-base job for long, writes Jordan Bastian of MLB.com.
- Yankees captain Derek Jeter is not going to be happy about the comments made by Hank Steinbrenner earlier today, writes Tyler Kepner of the New York Times.
- David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution points out that Braves GM Frank Wren is now under contract for the same period as manager Fredi Gonzalez, whom he hired to replace Bobby Cox. Earlier today the two sides agreed to a two-year contract extension.
- There may not be a spot in the Blue Jays' bullpen for pitcher Casey Janssen but the veteran says he's not looking for a way out of Toronto, writes Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com.
- New to San Diego, Jorge Cantu says that he's ready to produce even though he'll be asked to move around the diamond, writes MLB.com's Tom Singer. The Padres offically inked Cantu to a one-year deal worth $850K towards the end of January.
- Speaking of brand new members of the Pads, Kevin Frandsen is delighted to be back in the National League, tweets Dan Hayes of the North County Times.
It doesn't take much to coax Yankees co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner into giving his thoughts on the state of the franchise and baseball as a whole. The outspoken part-owner sounded off on a number of topics to reporters today, writes Bryan Hoch of MLB.com..
- Steinbrenner seems worried about the team's drive to win, saying "I think maybe they celebrated a little bit too much last year," the co-chairman said. "Some of the players are too busy building mansions and other things and not concentrating on winning." Shortstop Derek Jeter built a mansion in Florida during the offseason after negotiating a new three-year, $51MM deal. When asked if the comment was directed at the team captain, Steinbrenner insisted that he wasn't singling anybody out.
- The Yankees' 2010 payments as a result of luxury tax and revenue sharing programs are expected to total about $130 million, Steinbrenner said. He continued to say that the Yankees are allied with other major market teams on the issue and believes that Commissioner Bud Selig wants to "correct it in some way." Hoch noted that in a recent interview on Boston's 98.5 the Sports Hub, the commish said that he is happy with the system as it stands today.
- Steinbrenner says that pitcher A.J. Burnett seems "very hungry" for a bounce-back season. Last year, Burnett turned in a 5.26 ERA with 7.0 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9. The 34-year-old right-hander is set to earn $16.5MM annually through 2013.
- Skipper Joe Girardi, closer Mariano Rivera and several hitters were consulted on the idea of signing Rafael Soriano, Steinbrenner said. Last week, Rivera said that he had not been consulted about the signing but was happy to have the reliever aboard.
We've already heard this morning about one New York club finalizing some minor league deals, while the other had a minor league offer turned down. Let's catch up on the rest of the latest updates on the Yankees and Mets....
- On the heels of hiring agent Scott Boras, Robinson Cano says he doesn't intend to ask the Yankees for a contract extension before his current deal expires, writes Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger.
- Derek Jeter spoke to media today at Spring Training, including Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News (Twitter link). The longtime Yankee said that, when the time comes, he fully plans to exercise his 2014 player option.
- Feinsand's Daily News colleague Bill Madden would like to see the Yankees open up the competition for the fourth and fifth rotation spots to some of their top prospects.
- Luis Castillo arrived later than expected to Mets' camp, due in part to his brother's upcoming surgery, tweets Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork. Newsday's David Lennon adds (via Twitter) that Castillo cleared up the misunderstanding with manager Terry Collins and is ready to compete for the team's second base job.
- Ronny Paulino's arrival to camp has also been delayed, in his case by visa issues, says Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger. Paulino, who was suspended last year for violating baseball's drug policy, will miss the first eight games of this season as he finishes serving the suspension.
This round of Monday afternoon links includes updates on one player who is leaving the AL East, one who is just arriving in it and one who has played his entire career there...
- Former Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell tells Rob Bradford of WEEI.com that he knows he'll miss playing this year, though his transition to retirement has been smooth so far.
- Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun explains that Orioles owner Peter Angelos and president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail wanted to sign Vladimir Guerrero and that Guerrero wasn't wavering on his $8MM asking price. The sides agreed to a deal last Friday.
- Derek Jeter tells Brian Costello of the New York Post that that he's "done with" feeling hurt by his contract negotiations with the Yankees and not worried about potential position switches.
- GM Brian Cashman told John Harper of the New York Daily News that he talked to Derek Jeter's agent, Casey Close, to clarify comments he made earlier in the week about a potential move to the outfield for the captain.
- As Joel Sherman of the New York Post points out, both the Yankees and the Rangers pursued Cliff Lee aggressively, then "gambled on a former Cy Young winner who has been devastated by shoulder injuries in recent years." But Colon is a back-of-the-rotation arm, not a true alternative to Lee. Brandon Webb, the Rangers' new addition, is no sure thing either.
- The Yankees are upbeat about the chances that Andy Pettitte returns for another season, according to Sherman. They're still considering free agents like Justin Duchscherer and Jeremy Bonderman, though.
- The Yankees believe history is a 'pull' for Pettitte, Sherman writes. He can progress through Yankees records and add to his Hall of Fame case if he plays more.
- Manager Joe Girardi showed the kind of sway he has with the Yankees when he voted in favor of adding Rafael Soriano, according to Sherman.
Four American League East teams won at least 85 games last year. Here are some notes on AL East clubs, as they prepare to compete in baseball's most challenging division:
- It's "doubtful" that the Red Sox will sign another pitcher to a Major League contract this offseason, reports WEEI.com's Alex Speier. One reported Boston target, Joe Beimel, has already been offered a minor league deal by the Orioles and has three other teams interested.
- The "belief" is that the Blue Jays will go to an arbitration hearing with Jose Bautista, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post. There have been rumors that the Jays might avoid a hearing by signing Bautista to a long-term contract, but Bautista's agent told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that the team has yet to offer such a deal to the defending AL home run champion. Check out our Arb Tracker for the latest.
- Many of Bautista's current and former teammates believe Vernon Wells will thrive in L.A, Morosi writes.
- Yankees GM Brian Cashman suggested this morning that Derek Jeter will likely shift to the outfield before his current deal expires, but he tells MLB.com's Bryan Hoch that it's "not an issue we have to deal with right now" (Twitter link).
- The Orioles have "limited funds" at this stage, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter).
- Carl Crawford, who recently left one AL East team for another, plans to meet some of his former Rays teammates for dinner this spring, and B.J. Upton jokes that it will be a good chance for Crawford to put his new contract to good use. "I won’t be the first one to pull out my credit card,’’ Upton told Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times (Twitter link).
- Steve Melewski of MASNsports.com discussed the challenges of developing healthy pitchers with Orioles scouting director Joe Jordan.
- As Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com writes, the Orioles could sign a utility player to a minor league deal and have him compete for a job with Brendan Harris and Robert Andino.
- WEEI.com's Rob Bradford explains why Manny Ramirez's $2MM base salary isn't necessarily a bad omen for David Ortiz, who will hit free agency after 2011. Big Papi has continued to produce offensively, so Bradford suggests the slugger could be in line for an $8-9MM salary next offseason.
On this date two years ago, the Tigers sent Matt Joyce to the Rays for Edwin Jackson. It's been a busy couple of years for Jackson, who has bounced from Detroit to Arizona to Chicago, twirling a no-hitter along the way. Here are today's links...
- The Royals haven’t approached other clubs about possible Zack Greinke trades, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star (on Twitter).
- ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick explains that teams other than the Red Sox, Rangers, Yankees and Nationals are hunting for bargains, even though it’s “decidedly less sexy” than pursuing the top free agents.
- ESPN.com's Jayson Stark has the breakdown for Derek Jeter's contract.
- There's minimal interest in Brendan Ryan, so the Cardinals may hold onto him for now, according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Twitter links).
- Garrett Atkins has drawn interest from Japanese teams, but would like to return to the majors, according to Tracy Ringolsby of FOX Sports.
- The Rays will listen to offers for Matt Garza and some clubs are looking for alternative trade targets to Zack Greinke, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney. One major league source tells Ed Price of AOL FanHouse that the Rays will certainly trade Garza (Twitter link).
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports lists the Red Sox and Scott Boras among his Winter Meetings winners and the Angels and Rays among the week's losers.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post agrees that the Rays and Angels had a rough week.
- Jon Heyman of SI.com argues that the Dodgers and Kevin Correia are among the year's Winter Meetings winners
- In a separate piece, Sherman explains that the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry is back, as the two clubs continue their "endless fight for baseball superiority."
Another eventful Winter Meetings has come to a close. Even with the pre-meetings action involving Adrian Gonzalez, Jayson Werth, and Shaun Marcum, we had plenty to talk about this week. Carl Crawford signed the biggest deal of the offseason so far. Paul Konerko stayed with the White Sox after some drama. Carlos Pena found a pillow contract with the Cubs. J.J. Putz assumed the Diamondbacks' closer role. The Orioles rebuilt the left side of their infield with Mark Reynolds and J.J. Hardy. The Pirates, Mariners, Padres, Royals, Rockies, Mets, and others made additions as well. On to today's links...
- Check out a couple of Rule 5 draft reviews from MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo and Baseball Prospectus' Kevin Goldstein. And of course, a pair of great links from John Manuel of Baseball America. We've got the picks from the Major League phase listed here.
- Newsday's Ken Davidoff has the financial breakdown on Derek Jeter's new contract.
- The Red Sox have already gotten inquiries on outfielder Mike Cameron, tweets ESPN's Jayson Stark. The team plans to keep him but is willing to listen. Cameron will have to take on a part-time role with Carl Crawford, Jacoby Ellsbury, and J.D. Drew filling Boston's outfield.
- The Red Sox are expected to reach an agreement to re-sign Rich Hill in the next few days, reports Dan Barbarisi of The Providence Journal. Hill, who grew up a Sox fan, hopes to crack the bullpen this year.
- The Tigers' talks with Carl Crawford didn't get far, GM Dave Dombrowski told MLB.com's Jason Beck. Dombrowski explained that a team can only have so many $20MM players, and the Tigers already have two.
- Orioles president Andy MacPhail hasn't ruled out Cesar Izturis returning, tweets MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli. Izturis is a tougher fit after the Orioles acquired Hardy and Brendan Harris.
The Yankees officially re-signed shortstop Derek Jeter to a deal worth a guaranteed $56MM, if he exercises a fourth-year player option. A press conference is scheduled for this afternoon.
Under the deal, Jeter will make $51MM across the first three seasons with a $8MM player option for the fourth year, Jack Curry tweets. The shortstop can also earn $9MM in incentives for the fourth year but if he earns no incentives while picking up the option, he's guaranteed at least $56MM, says Curry (via Twitter). SI.com's Jon Heyman explains in a pair of tweets that the incentives are based on finishes in the MVP, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove voting. Curry adds adds that Jeter agreed to defer money, which helps the Yankees with their luxury tax situation going forward.
Talks between the two sides picked up after a meeting in Tampa put an end to an impasse. The Yankees originally offered their captain a three year contract worth $45MM with no option, then encouraged him to test the market. Jeter was rumored to be seeking a five or six-year deal worth upwards of $25MM per season at one point.
Jeter, 36, is coming off his worst full season as a big leaguer. He hit just .270/.340/.370, career lows across the board. UZR didn't like his defense either, saying he was worth 4.7 runs below average in the field. At some point next season Jeter will pick up his 3,000th career hit (he's 74 away) and 1,700th run scored (15 away), a combination just eleven players in big league history have achieved.