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.
When he’s not throwing baseballs, Twins pitcher Trevor May is an active gamer. He streams on Twitch, a very popular video game streaming site, fairly regularly and now he’s officially on an eSports team. Luminosity Gaming announced the organization added May last Friday. It appears he’ll be streaming and commentating on Overwatch, a multiplayer first-person shooter made by Blizzard Entertainment.
May is the only current athlete to be an active member of an eSports team. Former NBA player Rick Fox owns Echo Fox, an eSports team that sports players in games including League of Legends, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Street Fighter V, Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Mortal Kombat X. Jazz forward Gordon Hayward is also a known advocate of eSports.
The NBA in particular has been very active on the eSports front. Kings co-owners Andy Miller and Mark Mastrov launched NRG eSports in November 2015. Shortly thereafter, Grizzlies co-owner Stephen Kaplan invested in the Immortals eSports team. Almost a year later, the 76ers acquired controlling stakes in Team Dignitas and Team Apex. The same month, the Wizards’ and Warriors’ owners launched a group called Axiomatic, which purchased a controlling stake in Team Liquid, a long-time Starcraft: Brood War website which has since branched out into other games. And also in September 2016, Celtics forward Jonas Jerebko bought team Renegades, moving them to a group house in Detroit. In December 2016, the Bucks submitted a deal to Riot Games in order to purchase Cloud9’s Challenger league spot for $2.5 million. The Rockets that month hired someone specifically for eSports development, focusing on strategy and investment. Last month, the Heat acquired a controlling stake in team Misfits.
Once an afterthought, eSports has grown considerably in recent years and now it should be considered a competitor to traditional sports. League of Legends, in particular, is quite popular, reaching nearly 15 million concurrent viewers at its peak in the most recent League of Legends World Championship. That championship featured a prize purse of $6.7 million with $2 million of it being split among winner SK Telecom T1’s members.
The Orioles have re-signed outfielder Michael Bourn to a minor league contract with an invitation to major league camp, MASN’s Roch Kubatko reports.
Bourn, 34, joined the Orioles last year in a trade from the Diamondbacks on August 31. Though he compiled a meager .669 OPS with the Diamondbacks, Bourn hit a solid .283/.358/.435 in 55 plate appearances with the O’s through the end of the season.
Bourn, a non-roster invitee to camp, will try to play his way onto the Orioles’ 25-man roster. If he does make the roster, Bourn will receive a $2 million salary, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports points out.