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 substance of the report is not shocking. Francisco Lindor is one of baseball’s brightest young stars and the Cleveland Indians would, no doubt, wish to lock him up for an extended period of time. The surprising part is the guy who reported that, yes, the Indians are working to get Lindor a seven-year extension.
That guy: six-year-old Brody Chernoff, son of Indians general manager Mike Chernoff. Brody was invited into the team’s broadcast booth during the ninth inning of their game against the Chicago White Sox. Indians announcer Tom Hamilton asked, no doubt jokingly, if his working on anything interesting. Brody:
“He’s trying to get, um, Lindor to play for seven more years,”
Again, not shocking. It would’ve been way worse if Brody had said “Dad’s working on a three-way deal that’ll send Naquin to an NL team in order to affect a three-way trade that’ll land us Verlander without having to deal directly with a divisional rival.” But I imagine Dad still would’ve preferred he not mention that.
Bill Whitehead of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that the Braves have signed reliever David Hernandez to a minor league contract on Sunday. He’ll report to spring training as a non-roster invitee.
Hernandez, who turns 32 years old in May, signed a minor league contract with the Giants in February. He requested and was granted his release on Friday when he learned he wasn’t making the team’s 25-man roster to open the season.
Hernandez pitched for the Phillies last year. He compiled a 3.84 ERA with an 80/32 K/BB ratio in 72 2/3 innings.