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.
Oft-injured pitcher Josh Johnson is retiring from baseball, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting.
Johnson, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2013. The right-hander underwent his third Tommy John surgery in September 2015 but wasn’t able to bounce back.
Johnson spent most of his career with the Marlins, but also pitched for the Blue Jays in the big leagues, as well as the Padres in the minors. He retires with a career 3.40 ERA, 915 strikeouts across 998 innings in the majors, and two All-Star nominations. Johnson led the National League with a 2.30 ERA in 2010, finishing fifth in NL Cy Young Award balloting. One wonders what he could have accomplished if he was able to stay healthy.
The Angels are nearing a multi-year deal with free agent third baseman Luis Valbuena, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. It’s believed to be a two-year contract with a third-year option.
Valbuena, 31, hit .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances in 2016. He missed most of the second half with a hamstring injury, for which he underwent surgery in late August.
Valbuena has played a majority of his career at third base, but also has extensive experience at second base and has racked up innings at first base and shortstop as well. He won’t play every day for the Angels, as Yunel Escobar lays claim to third base and C.J. Cron first base, but he will give them flexibility and a left-handed bat off the bench.