Derek Jeter smiling

UPDATE: Yankees on verge of deal with Derek Jeter

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UPDATE: We’re still hearing it’s a three-year deal worth between $15-17 million per season, but here’s a little more on the fourth year.

A source tells Marc Carig of the Newark Star-Ledger that the fourth year will include a combination of guaranteed money and compensation that will also be tied to incentives. Described as “very unusual” by the source, the two sides are still “tweaking” the structure of the fourth year, which appears to be the final hurdle before this one becomes official.

Carig writes that negotiations could be completed as soon as tonight, but that an official announcement may not come until next week’s winter meetings.

11:32 AM: Jack Curry of YES Network reports that both Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera have agreed to defer money as part of their new contracts.

10:25 AM: Jon Heyman of SI.com hears that Jeter’s new contract is “for around” $16 million per season and may be finalized by as soon as today. He adds that “final hurdles” will determine how the fourth year will be treated. Meanwhile, Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com writes that it will be a three-year deal worth between $15-17 million per season. Interestingly, he hears that a fourth year will not be guaranteed, nor will it be a vesting option, however it will be something called a “creative, hybrid solution.” Stay tuned.

8:37 AM: While most of us were sleeping, Sweeny Murti of WFAN.com tweeted that Derek Jeter and the Yankees were talking about a three-year contract worth $51 million (less than last night’s reported numbers) which would include an option for a fourth year valued at $10 million. He reports that the two sides are getting “very close.” I imagine it was the Rod Barajas contract that gave Jeter the leverage he needed.

In any case, it sounds like an agreement could be reached at any moment, so stay tuned for the latest.

Friday, 11:25 PM: It’s almost over.

Roger Rubin and Bill Madden of the New York Daily News report that the Yankees could reach a deal with Derek Jeter by as early as tonight or Saturday.

No surprise, both sides compromised from their initial demands. According to the report, Jeter would make somewhere “in the neighborhood” of $19 million annually over three years and the contract could include a vesting option for a fourth year with “reachable parameters.” Gee, it’s almost like this whole thing has been scripted.

Sweeney Murti of WFAN.com hears similar contract details and adds that the Yankees are “working into the night” to get a contract done. It sounds like they want to get Jeter and Mariano Rivera out of the way before the winter meetings begin next week.

Are the Cardinals about to go on a free agent binge?

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The Cardinals have always emphasized building from within. In the 2016-17 offseason, however, they may end up being one of the bigger free agent buyers. At least according to some informed speculation.

St. Louis is already in agreement with Dexter Fowler. But Derrick Goold and Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch write today that the Cardinals “could become more aggressive than previously believed,” with Mark Trumbo and Edwin Encarnacion as “possible pursuits.” Worth noting that separate reports alleged some interest on the part of the Cards front office in free agent third baseman Justin Turner.

The Cardinals are already losing their first round pick due to the Fowler signing, so any other top free agent won’t cost them more than the money he’s owed. And as far as money goes, the Cardinals have a great deal of it, despite being a small market team. They have a billion dollar TV deal coming online and Matt Holliday and Jaime Garcia are off the payroll now. Spending big on a free agent or three would not cripple them or anything.

Encarnacion or Trumbo would be first baseman, which wold fly in the face of the Cards’ move of Matt Carpenter to first base (and, at least as far as Encarnacion goes, would fly in the face of good defense). Getting either of them would push Carpenter back to second, displacing Kolten Wong, or over to third, displacing Jhonny Peralta. If you’re going to do that, I’d say that Turner would make more sense, but what do I know?

Either way, the Cardinals may be entering a pretty interesting phase of their offseason now. And an unfamiliar one as, quite possibly, the top free agent buyer on the market.

 

Bobby Valentine on short list to be U.S. Ambassador to Japan

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 12:  Former MLB player Bobby Valentine attends Annual Charity Day hosted by Cantor Fitzgerald, BGC and GFI at BGC Partners, INC on September 12, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Cantor Fitzgerald)
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There is literally nothing you could tell me that the incoming administration is considering which would shock me anymore. As such, I saw this story when I woke up this morning, blinked once, took a sip of coffee, closed the browser window and just went on with my morning, as desensitized as a wisdom tooth about to be yanked.

Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports that Former Red Sox, Mets and Rangers manager Bobby Valentine is on a short-list of candidates for the job of United States Ambassador to Japan:

The 66-year-old, who currently serves as Sacred Heart University’s athletics director, has engaged in preliminary discussions with President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team regarding the position.

When contacted Thursday night, Valentine refused comment.

Huh. Given his history, I’d have assumed Valentine would be a better choice for the CIA, but what do I know?

Valentine managed the Chiba Lotte Marines of Japan’s Pacific League for six seasons, leading the team to a championship in 2005. He also knows the current prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, as both went to USC. Assuming championship teams meet the country’s leader in Japan like they do in the United States, Valentine has at least twice the amount of experience with top political leaders than does, say, Ned Yost, so that’s something.

The former manager, more importantly, is friends with Donald Trump’s brother, with the two of them going way back. Which, given how this transition is going, seems like a far more important set of qualifications than anything else on this list.