Derek Jeter didn’t stop at 3,000. Or 3,001. Or 3,002.
Jeter singled in the go-ahead run through a drawn-in infield in the bottom of the eighth as the Yankees topped the Rays 5-4 on Saturday.
Jeter singled in the first, homered in the third for his 3,000th career hit, doubled in the fifth, singled in the sixth and singled again in the eighth. He finished the day with two RBI, two runs scored and a stolen base. After his last hit, he was caught stealing to end the eighth.
It was Jeter’s third career five-hit game and second versus Tampa Bay. All three have featured a solo homer. He went 5-for-5 against the Red Sox in a 7-3 win on May 23, 2001 and 5-for-6 against the Rays in a 20-11 victory on June 21, 2005.
Jeter’s first three hits today came off David Price. The Rays left-hander gave up four runs in five innings in a no-decision.
A.J. Burnett also failed to factor into the decision. He left with a one-run lead after allowing three runs in 5 2/3 innings, but David Robertson gave up the tying run after Johnny Damon tripled and Ben Zobrist singled in the eighth.
After Jeter’s single put the Yankees back on top, Mariano Rivera closed it out for his 22nd save. He still hasn’t allowed a run in 21 appearances at Yankee Stadium this season.
With 3,003 career hits, Jeter is four behind Al Kaline for 26th place on the all-time list. He passed Roberto Clemente, who died with exactly 3,000 hits.
The Padres have signed Trevor Cahill to a one-year, $1.75 million contract.
As recently as the middle of the 2015 season it looked like Cahill’s career would meet a premature end, but after being released by the Braves and signing with the Cubs in August of that season he has been a remarkably effective reliever. He has posted a 2.61 ERA in 61 games in Chicago and has posted a strikeout rate far above his career norms.
He’s not someone you necessarily want taking the hill when the leverage is high, but in San Diego the leverage won’t be all that high all that often.
The Tigers have sent some mixed signals this winter. The offseason began with widespread reports that GM Al Avila was going to break up the team. Indeed, it was reported that he was willing to field offers for any and all players, on up to Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera.
As the offseason has unfolded, however, a rebuild has not materialized.
Avila traded away outfielder Cameron Maybin. He signed old friends Omar Infante and Alex Avila. He made the usual sorts of minor league signings every team makes to fill out the roster. Detroit still needs a center fielder and there continue to be rumors that outfielder J.D. Martinez and second baseman Ian Kinsler could be had for the right price, but it’s been pretty quiet at 2100 Woodward Avenue.
If that changes, however, and the Tigers do start to rebuild, there’s one key member of the team who doesn’t really want a part of it. From the Detroit Free Press:
Justin Verlander is 33 years and 330 days old.
He’s not that old.
But the Detroit Tigers ace right-hander – a 12-year major league veteran – is old enough in baseball years to know that he doesn’t really want to be part of a rebuilding process.
“Would it have been upsetting for me if we started trading away everybody?” he told MLB Network Radio on Friday morning. “I’m too old to be part of a rebuilding process.”
Verlander will make $28 million a year for each of the next three seasons and has a vesting option for 2020 if he finishes in the top 5 of the 2019 Cy Young vote. He had an excellent return-to-form in 2016, but his contract is still pretty big for a pitcher with his mileage, making it seem unlikely that he would be moved absent the team eating a huge portion of his salary. The same could be said for Miguel Cabrera who, despite still being one of the best hitters in baseball, is making between $28-32 million between now and 2023. A wonderful player, but an extraordinarily difficult contract to move. Both superstars have full no-trade protection as 10-5 men as well.
At the moment the rebuild does not seem to be materializing and the Tigers — as I think they should, probably — will enter 2017 aiming for the AL Central crown, not aiming at restocking their farm system.
But what will Verlander think, however, if the Tigers find themselves out of contention come May? What will he think if Ian Kinsler — a valuable player on a tradable contract — is sold off? Or Justin Upton? Or J.D. Martinez?
It’s worth watching.