I seem to have misplaced my calendar, and I can’t figure out if today is “the Yankees are going to overpay Derek Jeter” day, or if it’s “The Yankees are going to hold the line and pay Jeter what he’s actually worth” day. Can someone help me? Ah, there’s Joel Sherman now:
In a meeting in Tampa last week, Yankees officials did the requisite lap of respect with Derek Jeter. They honored his place in organization history, his meaning to the fan base and his legacy on and off the field. But once the admiration portion of the program was complete, Yankee officials also made sure to tell Jeter it is their intention to offer him a baseball contract. Period.
Snark aside, I like the way Sherman — or, if the phrase came from a source, the source — phrases this. Because that’s what we’re really talking about here is whether Jeter is going to get a “baseball contract” or something that places some Face of the Franchise value on him. Sherman called it a “victory lap deal” on his Twitter feed this morning, and I rather like that construction.
But whatever you call it, that’s the kind of conversation that is important. Now that it has been had, the dollars are way easier to consider. Well, that is unless Jeter simply doesn’t believe that he should get a baseball deal as opposed to a multi-faceted marketing/warm fuzzies kind of deal.
For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League East
Boston may have the most talent and, in Mookie Betts, the best player. The Yankees have the best farm system. Baltimore has all the dingers and the best closer. Toronto may have the best collection of heels, at least in the view of fans of the other AL East teams. The Rays have the best . . . hmm. I’ll get back to you on that.
Anyway, here are our previews for the American League East:
Boston Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays
New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays
Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.
On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.