The state of the Jeter negotiations

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We haven’t had any new twists or turns in the Derek Jeter negotiations for, like, 18 hours, and frankly I’m starting to get the shakes. So, in the absence of anything happening at the moment, let us review how we got to where we are, figure out where things stand, and figure out where we’re going from here:

  • Casey Close double-dog-dared Cashman to put his tongue on a flag pole (note: may not have actually happened, but would not be at all surprising).

There have been no talks for a week, partially because of Thanksgiving I assume, but also because everyone likely feels the need to cool it.  That may change soon, however, as Eric Boland and Ken Davidoff are reporting that the Yankees want to restart talks with Jeter this week in the hopes of making some progress and squelching some of the breathless speculation in the runup to the Winter Meetings. Of course, there are even conflicts on that, as the Post is reporting that the Yankees are going to move on to other business first.  Personally I believe Davidoff because he’s a better reporter than George King, but really, your guess is as good as mine.

For all of the drama, I still believe one thing: Jeter will stay with the Yankees. He will do so at a contract that is far closer to what the Yankees are offering than what he’s currently asking, because there is simply no logical basis for what he’s currently asking and no hope that he can do better elsewhere.

I believe that the Yankees do have some work to do, however, and it’s this:  finding a way to gussy-up the $45 million offer to make it look a bit better than it is so that Jeter can save face. Which is something that the Yankees likely do have an interest in doing. Not a giant one — they probably won’t give him $20 million more for P.R. purposes — but if Jeter can come out of this by saying “hey, it was a negotiation, we gave some, they gave some,” it’s the best thing for everyone. To the extent negotiations get humming soon, that will be their focus, I believe.

But let’s hope it drags on some more. Because this has been a laugh riot so far.

The Tigers are trying to convert Anthony Gose into a pitcher

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Tigers’ center fielder Anthony Gose wants to try his hand at pitching, according to comments made by manager Brad Ausmus on Sunday. Gose is poised to start the year in Triple-A Toledo after receiving a midseason demotion to Double-A last summer following an altercation with Triple-A manager Lloyd McClendon.

While the experiment won’t detract from Gose’s outfield work in Triple-A, the 26-year-old is expected to take on additional bullpen sessions throughout the year. According to MLB.com’s Jason Beck, the left-handed hitter last took the mound in high school, where his fastball was clocked as fast as 97 m.p.h. Gose ultimately rejected the idea of starting his professional career as a pitcher, despite receiving favorable assessments from scouts.

Ausmus said the idea first surfaced at the end of the 2016 season. It appears to be a fallback option for the outfielder, who has struggled at the plate over his five-year career in the majors. Via Chris McCosky of the Detroit News:

Doolittle in Oakland did it and he was in the big leagues a couple of years later,” Ausmus said. “It’s going to take some time. He’s going to have to be a sponge and catch up on experience fast. But we feel it’s worth investigating.

Stephen Strasburg is the Nationals’ Opening Day starter

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Nationals’ right-hander Stephen Strasburg will take the mound for the club on Opening Day, manager Dusty Baker said on Sunday. The news is hardly surprising given Max Scherzer’s questionable status this spring, though it had yet to be confirmed by the club.

Strasburg is approaching his eighth run with the club in 2017. He went 15-4 in 2016, finishing the year with a 3.60 ERA, 2.7 BB/9 and 11.2 SO/9 in 147 2/3 innings. This will mark his fourth Opening Day assignment with the Nationals.

Scherzer, the Nationals’ Opening Day starter in both 2015 and 2016, is scheduled to make his season debut sometime during the first week of the season. The right-hander is expected to take things more slowly this spring as he finishes rehabbing a stress fracture in his finger.

The Nationals will open their season against the Marlins on April 3.