Yankees veteran Derek Jeter posted a poor .270/.340/.370 batting line in 2010 and again showed diminishing range at the shortstop position. A normal free agent with that profile would be lucky to find a two-year deal worth double-digit millions, but Derek Jeter is Derek Jeter. And he’s using that legacy to squeak one final long-term deal out of the Bronx Bombers.
A source told Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York on Wednesday that Jeter is seeking a contract of at least four years and preferably five or six. The Yankees, meanwhile, are only willing to offer him three.
A deal is going to get done eventually — there’s pretty much no doubt about that — but there is a serious disagreement between the two sides about Jeter’s value and Thanksgiving is just one week away. If the negotiations run into early December, or even late December, it might no longer be possible to avoid a public relations nightmare.
“Derek Jeter is a great Yankee and he’s a great player,” Yankees president Randy Levine told ESPN New York on Wednesday. “With that said and done, now is a different negotiation than 10 years ago. … It’s a business.”
Strap in, Yankees fans. This one has all the potential for ugliness.
Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon achieved a rare feat during Monday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition against the Orioles: he homered twice in one inning. One of those homers happened to be a grand slam.
Leon led off the top of the fifth inning with a solo home run off of Logan Verrett. Verrett continued to get knocked around, giving up three singles and a walk before being relieved by Brian Moran. Moran gave up a walk to load the bases, then a single to knock in a run and keep the bases loaded. Leon stepped back to the plate and swatted a grand slam to left field, making it an eight-run fifth for the Red Sox. The Sox would tack on one more before the inning was mercifully ended.
How often do players homer twice in one inning during the regular season? Not that often. Since 2010, the feat has been accomplished four times in the American League and twice in the National League. The Orioles’ Mark Trumbo was the only one to do it last year.
As for Leon, he’s on track to open the season as the starting catcher in Boston, Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reported last week.
The Phillies announced on Monday that the club released veteran catchers Ryan Hanigan and Bryan Holaday. Both were competing for the back-up catcher spot on the team’s 25-man roster. With both out of the picture, that means Andrew Knapp has won that honor.
Knapp, 25, hit a combined .266/.330/.390 with eight home runs and 46 RBI in 443 plate appearances last year at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He did not have a great spring but has hit well as of late, which likely pushed him ahead of Hanigan and Holaday. Knapp will serve as the understudy to starting catcher Cameron Rupp.