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.
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.