We’ve talked a lot about how, for Casey Close to get any leverage, he has to get another team in on the Derek Jeter bidding. But there are other constituencies at his disposal. No, they’re not as strong as having a competing offer on the table, but there is a certain brand of Yankees fan who agree with reader metalhead65 that Jeter is worth whatever he asks for:*
Are things really this slow in baseball that you have constantly bombard us with your anti-Jeter rants? You obviously have a personal agenda against the guy who is doing what every free agent does and that is try get as much as possible and since this will be his last contract who can blame the guy? And again please spare me all your stats real and made up ones. We get it he had an off year and is getting older so what? While the Yankees would continue to win without him he is still, like it or not, the face of the franchise. It does not mean anything to you, we get that, but he does to the fans of that franchise and to the city of New York. Now that doesn’t mean they have to pay him but it also does not mean you have to write a column about how he does not deserve it every 5 minutes and point out all his flaws as a player.
I don’t think the Yankees are going to take this kind of sentiment into account as they negotiate and I don’t believe that it will ultimately impact Jeter’s ultimate deal. But it’s not like Jeter and Close are completely inventing the notion of Jeter’s value beyond mere baseball terms. Some people believe it.
*edited slightly for readability
Leonys Martin, outfielder for the Seattle Mariners, testified yesterday that he feared for his life after he was smuggled from Cuba by a group of men prosecutors say worked for a sports agent and a baseball trainer currently on trial for human trafficking in Miami.
Martin took the stand at the trial of Bartolo Hernandez and Julio Estrada, who face felony charges. He said that, after getting to Mexico from Cuba, men threatened to take him away. There was a kidnapping attempt against one of the men who had taken him from Cuba as well. Martin said that, eventually, he crossed the U.S.-Mexico border into Texas without any valid papers because his life was in danger and his safety was at risk.
Players like Martin who fled Cuba often hole up in Mexico while waiting to be declared free agents by Major League Baseball. There is pitched competition to sign agreements with the players in question, seeking to obtain promises of a cut of future baseball earnings for their services. Those promises can come under the threat of violence. Eventually, Martin promised to pay Hernandez and Estrada, but ceased paying them later, fomenting a lawsuit from them. In the wake of the suit, the allegations of threats and smuggling arose, leading to this trial.
Martin has been late to Mariners camp as a result of having to testify. He’ll likely report in the next day or so. The trial continues.
Josh Hamilton was already a long shot to make the Texas Rangers roster, but his shot got even longer today, as he left camp to have his reconstructed left knee examined after experiencing pain.
As Jeff Wilson reports, Hamilton felt discomfort in the knee during the Rangers’ first full-squad spring training workout yesterday. Hamilton has had 10 knee operations in career. Which is a lot of knee operations in case you were unaware.
You have to wish good luck to Hamilton, but at the same time you have to be realistic. The guy has not played in the major leagues since 2015 and even then he didn’t play well, hitting .253 with eight home runs and 25 RBIs in 50 games. He appeared in one game last year for Double-A Frisco, on April 30. He’ll be paid $24 million this year, mostly by the Angels. One suspects that this will likewise be his last spring training.