That’s what Joel Sherman is floating in this column. The overall thinking is fairly sound: the Yankees will overpay what he’s really worth to some degree because it would be embarrassing for everyone involved if some other team made a competitive offer, but they’re not going to do what a lot of us figured they might do a few months ago and try to make this into an A-Rod-Lite kind of contract. That thinking, of course, was based on the notion that Jeter’s 2010 would look a lot like his 2009: highly effective and age-defying. And that certainly didn’t happen.
I think the $45 million line is a safe one, by far. I can’t think of a single team not named the New York Yankees who would believe that Jeter brings anything close to that kind of value to the table, even if the deal specifies that Mystique and Aura get their own hotel suites on road trips. This isn’t the “oh noes, the Yankees have to keep Jeter!” world we thought we’d be living in a few months ago. Now it’s simply a matter of him being more valuable to the Yankees than anyone else, and the need for everyone to resolve the situation with dignity intact. That shouldn’t be too hard, and I’d be shocked if a deal wasn’t done by December 1st.
We learned on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu won one of the final two spots in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Brandon McCarthy has won the other, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports. Alex Wood was McCarthy’s competitor for the spot.
McCarthy, 33, posted a 4.85 ERA across four appearances spanning 13 innings this spring, yielding seven earned runs on 14 hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. Wood, a southpaw, gave up five earned runs in six innings against the Reds on Tuesday, which might have factored into the decision.
Last season, McCarthy made nine starts and one relief appearance, posting a 4.95 ERA with a 44/26 K/BB ratio in 40 innings. In the event McCarthy falters, the club has Wood as well as Julio Urias and the injured Scott Kazmir as potential replacements.
The Yankees have re-signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, George A. King III of the New York Post reports. Niese was released on Sunday, but he’ll stick around and provide rotation depth for the Yankees.
Niese had knee surgery last August and got a late start to spring training as a result. In six spring appearances lasting an inning each, the lefty gave up three earned runs on five hits and a walk with five strikeouts.
Niese, a veteran of nine seasons, put up an aggregate 5.50 ERA with an 88/47 K/BB ratio in 121 innings last season between the Pirates and Mets.