That didn’t take long: Jim Baumbach of Newsday is walking back the notion that Jeter really asked for $150 million. He tweets:
Person familiar with Yankees-Jeter negotiations says Jeter camp is not asking for reported $150 million over six years. It’s less than that.
He didn’t say if it’s less money or fewer years or both.
While keeping in mind the notion that negotiations are fluid things and that people leaking things always have agendas and counter-agendas when it comes to this sort of thing, I am not really all that inclined to believe that Bill Madden’s report of the demand was wrong. Thew incentives for someone in the “Jeter/Close camp” to make that up are low. The incentives for them to deny that now — after a few hours of mockery over the reported demand — are super high.
My guess: Madden’s information related to a prior demand, since laughed out of the room by the Yankees, and now the Baumbach’s source is accurate, technically speaking. If that were the case it doesn’t change the insanity of the demand, and Baumbach’s report doesn’t constitute a denial.
But hey, thank goodness there’s a push on this winter to keep free agent negotiations out of the press!
The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.
Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.
Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.
As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.
Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.
Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.