Done: Derek Jeter, Yankees agree to three-year contract

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UPDATE: Jack Curry of YES Network has the contract details. He reports that Jeter’s deal is worth $51 million guaranteed over three years. Interestingly, the deal includes a player option for a fourth year worth $8 million where he would have the chance to earn an additional $9 million in performance-based incentives.

And so, if Jeter exercises the player option, he will be guaranteed $56 million. The $51 million total mentioned above includes a $3 million buyout in the event that Jeter declines the option.

4:34 PM: We’re right back where we expected to be.

While negotiations went a little rockier than we originally thought they would, the Yankees have finally agreed to a new three-year contract with Derek Jeter, according to Jack Curry of YES Network. Jon Heyman of SI.com hears the same.

Jeter will make between $15-17 million per season and the fourth year option will not be guaranteed. The contract is pending a physical.

And so, the Yankees did give in a little bit from their original offer, but not by much. Good for them. I’m already waiting for a columnist to say that Jeter took a paycut before the winter meetings in order to help the team make room on the payroll for Cliff Lee and/or Carl Crawford. He’s a real team guy, don’t you know? Ah well, whatever it takes to keep his iconic status intact. Jeter is right back where he belongs and all the negative stuff we’ve read over the past couple of weeks will be forgotten by spring training. It was a fun ride, though.

Must-Click Link: “Skunk in the Outfield”

Associated Press
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Sam Miller of ESPN has an amazingly fantastic story today. It’s about a high school tournament baseball game in Rhode Island in 2006. It’s not your typical game story or oral history or look-to-the-past-to-see-the-future kind of thing. The only nod to such conventionality is mention of the fact that former Red Sox prospect Ryan Westmoreland played in the game. That’s mostly a footnote.

No, the article is about a trick play — “skunk in the outfield” — concocted by one of the coaches. About how it played out and what went into it before, during and after it happened. Along the way Miller talks about the nature of trick plays and offers a good three dozen amazing insights into the psychology of young baseball players and the strategy of baseball as it unfolds in real time.

Each of these observations could anchor its own story but here they form a grand mosaic. And that’s only mild hyperbole, if in fact it’s hyperbole at all. Indeed, most treatments of such a play would be some video clip with a “wow, look what happened here!” sort of couching. Miller gives a more than ten-year-old trick play an epic treatment that is every bit as enlightening as it is entertaining.

Set some time aside to read this today.

Rubby De La Rosa to undergo a second Tommy John Surgery

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This is unfortunate: Diamondbacks reliever Rubby De La Rosa will undergo Tommy John surgery. This will be the second Tommy John procedure of his career, the first coming back in 2011.

De La Rosa has had elbow  issues for his entire career. Last year his UCL was barking again and he underwent stem cell therapy to try to avoid a second surgery, but it obviously hasn’t worked out. He’s pitched in only nine games this year, allowing four earned runs in seven and two-thirds innings, striking out 12.

I first saw De La Rosa in spring training in 2011. I thought his stuff was pretty phenomenal and figured he’d be a good one. Great stuff is often a function of heavy strain on an elbow, however, and pitchers breaking is, unfortunately, the rule in baseball far more than the exception.

He’ll miss a year at least. We likely won’t see him until spring of 2019, most likely on a minor league deal.