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
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.
Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.
Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.
The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.