Jon Heyman tweets that he’s hearing that the Yankees are going to improve their bid from the current three-year, $45 million offer.
My guess: it will be a tiny amount of sweetener. Like, half a packet of Splenda. Enough to extricate the parties out of this ugly impasse at which they currently find themselves by allowing Jeter to say that he got a better deal as a result of all of this, but not so much to where the offer is terribly higher than the three-years, $45 million. Maybe there will be a moderately hard-to-obtain option year. Or a mutual option. Or some incentive clauses. But it won’t be leaps and bounds beyond what’s on the table.
Why would it be? Everyone has realized pretty quickly that Jeter doesn’t have a ton of leverage here. No other team will pay him $15 million per. Indeed, if I were the Yankees I’d be inclined to let Jeter dangle a bit and maybe anonymously email him articles about Johnny Damon’s contracts talks last winter. You know, make ’em sweat.
But lucky for everyone on the planet I’m not running the Yankees and they may be trying to take a slightly higher road than I would here. They’ve made their point over the last 48 hours or so. Now maybe they’re going to let Jeter off the hook, paying him a tad more so that he can save face, but comfortable that he now knows who really holds the cards.
CC Sabathia‘s contract is set to expire this offseason, but for the long-tenured left-hander, nowhere feels more like home than New York. “I want to see this through,” Sabathia told reporters after a devastating Game 7 loss in the ALCS. “This is where I want to play.” Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman spoke warmly of the veteran starter, but would make no public guarantees that he’d return to the team next spring.
Sabathia, 37, just topped off his 17th season in the big leagues and his eighth career postseason run. He went 14-5 in 27 starts and put up a 3.69 ERA, 3.0 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 in 148 2/3 innings, good for 1.9 fWAR. He looked solid in the playoffs, too, propelling the team to a much-needed win in Game 5 of the ALDS and returning in the Championship Series with six scoreless innings in Game 3. His season ended on a sour note during Game 7, however. He lasted just 3 1/3 innings against a dynamic Astros’ offense, allowing one run on five hits and three walks and failing to record a single strikeout for the first time in 23 career postseason appearances.
Heading into the 2017 offseason, Sabathia finally arrived at the end of his seven-year, $161 million deal with the Yankees. While he’s repeatedly expressed a desire to keep pitching, despite rumors that his career might be on the rocks following the diagnosis of a troublesome degenerative knee condition, the decision isn’t his alone to make. Brian Cashman will also be seeking an extension with the Yankees this winter, so it’s difficult to say which impending free agents the club will try to retain — and Sabathia’s name isn’t the only one on that list. If it were up to skipper Joe Girardi, who is awaiting a decision on his own future with the organization, the decision would be a no-brainer. From MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch:
CC will always be special to me because of what he stands for and the great player that he is, the great man that he is,” Girardi said. “The wonderful teammate that he is. How he pulls a team together. He’s as good as I’ve ever been around when it comes to a clubhouse guy, a guy that will take the ball when you’re on a losing streak or that you can count on, and knowing that it could be the possible last time.