New York Yankees v Texas Rangers, Game 6

The Yankees may go up to $51 million on Jeter; add a fourth year option

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As was reported last night, Jeter and the Yankees spoke again yesterday and things went well.

Afterwards, Jon Heyman reported that, while there is nothing imminent, the Yankees may be willing to go up to $51 million over three years and to possibly add a fourth year in the form of an option. Moshe Mandel of TYU had received similar word from a source prior to Heyman’s report.

All of which fits nicely into the scenario I outlined yesterday: a negotiation more geared towards giving Jeter a face-saving way to accept a contract much closer to that which the Yankees were offering than it is to his reported demands.  $51 million is still high in my mind, but when the gulf between the sides was $65 million or more, $6 million is not exactly a generous concession by the Yankees. A fourth year in and of itself is not smart, but if it’s an option of some kind — especially if it’s a team option or a vesting option — it’s far preferable, and ultimately not much for the team to give up.

But however this shakes out, a face-to-face meeting followed by a report reflecting calmness and (so far) no incendiary leaks to the media suggests that Jeter and the Yankees have started fresh, with an eye towards restoring sanity to the process.

And that’s good news for everyone except the bloggers.

Justin Verlander: “I’d like to see the AL and NL have the same rules… I vote NL rules.”

SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 10:  Starting pitcher Justin Verlander #35 of the Detroit Tigers pitches against the Seattle Mariners in the first inning at Safeco Field on August 10, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
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On Thursday afternoon, Rays pitcher Chris Archer asked his Twitter followers, “Lots swirling around what needs to be changed about the game of baseball. What do y’all want to see changed, if anything, & why?”

Tigers ace Justin Verlander responded:

To that, Archer said:

For what it’s worth, Verlander hasn’t been much of a hitter. In 47 career plate appearances, he has three singles and no extra-base hits. And if the AL did get rid of the DH rule, the Tigers would have nowhere to put Victor Martinez. Verlander, though, would have an easier time pitching to opposing pitchers rather than their DH’s.

Rusney Castillo disappoints again by not running out a routine grounder

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 18:  Rusney Castillo #38 of the Boston Red Sox reacts after he was caught off third base for the third out of the third inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on August 18, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
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The Red Sox inked Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo to a seven-year, $72.5 million contract back in August 2014. Over parts of three seasons, the 29-year-old has a .679 OPS across 337 plate appearances in the majors and spent the vast majority of the 2016 season at Triple-A Pawtucket.

Castillo had a chance to start things off on the right foot in 2017, but that ship has already sailed. On Thursday against Northeastern at JetBlue Park, Castillo didn’t run out a routine ground ball. He claims he lost track of the outs. Manager John Farrell isn’t happy about the situation. Via Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald:

“Disappointing for a couple of reasons,” Sox manager John Farrell said. “One, he has lost the number of outs. Still, regardless of another of outs, getting down the line is controllable. And for a player in his situation, every little aspect of the game is important. That’s something that was addressed in the moment. He needs to execute the game situation. And for that matter, every player. But that one obviously stood out.”

Everyone always makes far too big a deal about running out grounders. It’s a real nit to pick when it’s February 23 and your team just finished playing an exhibition game that is even more meaningless than the other exhibition games that will be played in the coming month.

That being said, Castillo has to prove himself to merit inclusion on the 25-man roster and that means dotting all his i’s and crossing all his t’s. Even if he went hitless all spring, Castillo could have at least said he couldn’t have done anything else better. But on day one, he already gave his team a reason to count him out.