Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports is reporting that the Yankees, already in a public free agent battle with shortstop Derek Jeter, are now at odds with Mariano Rivera about a contract for next season.
Rivera wants a two-year deal worth around $18 million per season but the Yanks only want to give him a one-year pact.
First reaction? The Steinbrenner kids are serious about running the club like a business and not spending wildly like the pinstriped teams of the past. They’re really going to play hardball with the old timers.
Second reaction? Rivera won’t be treated like Jeter, because Mo is still a highly effective player and worth a little outlandish cash for a couple of final seasons. The 40-year-old closer turned in a 1.80 ERA and 0.83 WHIP this past year while holding opposing hitters to a .187 batting average. Jeter, meanwhile, registered a career-worst .270/.340/.370 batting line and showed poor range at the shortstop position.
The Yankees’ three-year, $45 million offer to Jeter is a generous one. I think we all need to be reminded of that.
Brian Cashman and Co. will concede on Rivera — probably not at a total of cost of $36 million, but they’ll concede. They shouldn’t on Jeter.
Cubs starter John Lackey stole the first base of his 15-year career on Wednesday against the Reds. Of course, he spent the first 11 and a half years of his career in the American League, where opportunities to bat, let alone attempt to steal a base, were rare. Lackey entered Wednesday having taken 250 plate appearances, reaching base just 31 times on 17 singles, seven doubles, and seven walks for a .134 on-base percentage. One can imagine the 38-year-old is not exactly the swiftest base runner.
Still, Lackey managed to swipe a bag in the fourth inning. He singled with two outs against Homer Bailey. Then, with an 0-1 count on Ben Zobrist, Lackey broke for second even before Bailey began his windup. Tucker Barnhart stood up to alert Bailey that Lackey was running, so Bailey wheeled around and threw to second base, but Lackey slid into the bag easily safe. It wasn’t a pretty slide, but it did the job.
Lackey, however, was picked off of second base by Barnhart later that inning. Bailey threw a 3-2 fastball wide of the strike zone, walking Zobrist. Lackey had wandered too far off of second base, so Barnhart threw behind Lackey and the tag was applied by Zack Cozart. Lackey was called safe initially. The play was reviewed and the ruling on the field was overturned, ending the fourth inning.
Base Ba’al giveth and Base Ba’al taketh away.
Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge hit another jaw-dropping home run, victimizing Mets starter Robert Gsellman in the top of the fourth game of Wednesday night’s game at Citi Field. Left fielder Yoenis Cespedes didn’t even move. The ball traveled 457 feet and was hit 117 MPH off the bat, according to Katie Sharp of River Ave Blues.
The home run moved Judge’s AL-best total to 37, putting him two ahead of the Royals’ Mike Moustakas. Along with the prodigious dinger total, he has 80 RBI, 90 runs scored, and a .291/.421/.616 triple-slash line in 499 plate appearances. Judge is on pace for 50 dingers. If it holds, that would give him the rookie record for home runs in a season. Mark McGwire currently holds the record, having hit 49 for the Athletics in 1987.