If you listen closely enough, you’ll hear all sorts of reasons as to why the Yankees should not pay impending free agent Derek Jeter an exorbitant amount of money this offseason.
First and foremost, they don’t have to. No other club is going to hand a major contract to a 36-year-old shortstop with diminishing skills offensively and defensively. Jeter, a stellar .314/.385/.452 hitter throughout his career, batted just .270/.340/.370 in 663 at-bats this season. He had an Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR) of -4.8. Oh, and he’ll be 37 in June.
But none of that matters to the New York Daily News’ Mike Lupica. He thinks Jeter should be awarded whatever he wants — up to $20 million per year over four years. Why? Because he is “the kind of Yankee” that “everybody still wants the Yankees to be.”
Jeter is going for his sixth World Series ring with the Yankees. He has
become the iconic Yankee of his time in New York, is regarded as one of
the great winners of his time, in any sport. More than that, Jeter is
the Yankee brand they sell with both hands – class, history,
excellence – and has been since the winning came back to the old
Those are all great things, sure, but why not approach the situation with a little business sense? A former general manager told Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York last week that Jeter is worth no more than $12 million over the next two seasons — as in, $6 million per year. That’s probably a bit of an overreaction, but it’s not really that far off.
The Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Angels have completed a minor trade: Atlanta is sending righty reliever David Hernandez to the Angels in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations.
Hernandez hasn’t pitched in the big leagues this year. He’s pitched in seven games at Triple-A, allowing one earned run in eight innings of work. In seven years of big league work he’s got an ERA of 4.10 in 379 games. Last year he put up a 3.84 ERA in 70 games for the Phillies.
I’m assuming the PTBNL is not Mike Trout.
The Nationals began the year with Blake Treinen as their closer. That didn’t last long, and now Koda Glover seems to be Dusty Baker’s man in the ninth inning. He earned a save for the second consecutive game yesterday. Glover has been pretty darn good in the early going, posting a 2.35 ERA and striking out six batters and walking only one in seven and two-thirds. That obviously a small sample size, and anything can happen. If it does, Baker has Shawn Kelley as an option.
Not many household names there, which is probably why the Nationals are reported to be interested in the White Sox’ David Robertson and Alex Colome of the Rays. That report comes from Jim Bowden of ESPN, who also notes that the A’s have a number of guys with closing experience on staff and are likely to be sellers too. The David Robertson thing may have more legs, though, given that Mike Rizzo and Rick Hahn pulled off a pretty major trade in the offseason. If you know a guy well, you call that guy first, right?
As far as problems go this isn’t a huge one. The Nats sit at 13-5 and, as expected by most prognosticators, are in first place in the National League East. The Cubs had some questions in the pen this time last year too. They had the luxury of trying to figure it out before making a massive trade for a closer. The Nats do too, and likely will. But expect them to be a part of any trade rumor conversation for the next couple of months.