Jeter’s agent unhappy about offer, negotiation process

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If we told you that a 36-year-old free agent shortstop with poor range defensively and a .270/.340/.370 batting line in 2010 felt slighted at a three-year, $45 million contract offer, you’d call us crazy, right?

Fine, we’re nuts.

According to Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News, the agent for veteran shortstop Derek Jeter is hoping for more years and far more money than what the Yankees’ most recent contract proposal will provide.

Why?  Because his client is a legend in pinstripes and because his value to the franchise goes beyond his contributions on the field.  Yup, that’s the sales pitch.

“There’s a reason the Yankees themselves have stated Derek Jeter is their modern-day Babe Ruth. Derek’s significance to the team is much more than just stats,” said agent Casey Close.  “And yet, the Yankees’ negotiating strategy remains baffling.  They continue to argue their points in the press and refuse to acknowledge Derek’s total contribution to their franchise.”

The Yankees undoubtedly recognize that Jeter is an important part of the club’s past and present.  It’s why they made him such a generous three-year offer — the kind of offer that he wouldn’t come close to landing on the open market.

A former general manager told Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York in October that Jeter is worth no more than $12 million over the next two seasons.  That might sound like a stretch, but it’s not far off if we’re just talking about on-field value.  Middle infielders don’t age well and Jeter showed real signs of wear and tear this past season.

Reports last week had Jeter seeking a contract of at least four years and preferably five or six.  A deal is going to get done between the two sides — that’s pretty much a sure thing — but it’s become apparent that negotiations are not going to be completely pleasant and that “the captain” is not going to be handed a blank check.

Hyun-Jin Ryu will open season in Dodgers’ rotation

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Dodgers manager Dave Roberts announced on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu will open the regular season in the starting rotation, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports.

Ryu, 30, missed the entire 2015 season and made only one start last season due to shoulder and elbow injuries. The lefty has looked solid in three spring appearances, however, yielding a lone run on five hits and a walk with eight strikeouts in nine innings.

With Scott Kazmir likely to begin the season on the disabled list, that leaves Alex Wood and Brandon McCarthy to battle it out for the fifth spot in the Dodgers’ rotation.

Jorge Soler diagnosed with strained oblique, Opening Day in doubt

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Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.

The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.

When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.