Jeter and the Yanks: together forever, no matter what anyone says

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Even when things are going perfectly in the Bronx, someone has to inject some kind of negativity:

As vital as Jeter has been to the organization since becoming the
starter in 1996, the Yankees soon must decide how much he is worth to
them. Jeter’s 10-year, $189 million contract expires after the 2010
season, but the Yankees have not formally approached him about an
extension. “I haven’t even thought about it,” Jeter said . . . “It’s 2009,” Jeter said. “It’s not 2010.” Then Jeter paused before adding, “Or 2011.” By mentioning 2011, Jeter was seemingly intimating that he just needs to know where he is playing before then.

Or just acknowledging that he is under contract for 2010 and wanted to be accurate.

Look, there is zero chance that the Yankees aren’t going to get something done with Jeter that ensures he will end his career in pinstripes.  I’d wager my kids on this.  Sure, the Yankees will overpay somewhat for the production they’re likely to receive. Sure, they’ll still have the problem of where to play Jeter as he reaches the end and can’t really handle shortstop anymore, but the chances of ever seeing him in another uniform are nil, because it’s in absolutely no one’s interest for him to walk, and everyone involved knows that.

I know it can get boring writing “everything going wonderfully in Yankee-land!” stories, but suggesting that there is some kind of contract issue on the horizon for Jeter and the Yankees just isn’t credible, even as muckraking fodder.

Jorge Soler diagnosed with strained oblique, Opening Day in doubt

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Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.

The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.

When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.

Report: Cardinals, Yadier Molina making “major progress” on contract extension

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Cardinals and catcher Yadier Molina are making “major progress” on a contract extension. Molina told the team he won’t discuss an extension during the season, hence the rapid progress.

Molina is entering the last guaranteed year of a five-year, $75 million contract signed in March 2012. He and the Cardinals hold a mutual option worth $15 million with a $2 million buyout for the 2018 season. The new extension would presumably cover at least the 2018-19 seasons and likely ’20 as well.

Molina is 34 years old but is still among the most productive catchers in baseball. Last season, he hit .307/.360/.427 with 38 doubles, 58 RBI, and 56 runs scored in 581 plate appearances. Though he has lost a step or two with age, Molina is still well-regarded for his defense. The Cardinals also value his ability to handle the pitching staff.