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.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.
According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.
Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.