Derek Jeter and the Yankees have agreed to a one-year, $12 million contract for 2014.
On one hand that represents a $5 million paycut from this season, when Jeter missed all but 17 games and wasn’t effective when in the lineup. On the other hand his old contract included a $9.5 million player option for 2014 and he’s getting a nice $2.5 million raise on that.
There was obviously never any chance of Jeter playing for another team and a couple million dollars means little to the Yankees, but it’s an interesting little series of events considering he was injured for nearly the entire season and is 40 years old. By tearing up the 2014 option and agreeing to a reworked deal the Yankees avoid some luxury tax ramifications tied to the average annual salary of his old contract. So this costs the Yankees more money in salary, but saves them some money in luxury tax payments.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.