Derek Jeter to retire after the 2014 season

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Simultaneously surprising and not surprising: Derek Jeter has announced that 2014 will be his last season.

Surprising because it’s going to be hard to imagine baseball without Derek Jeter’s presence. His injuries last season aside, the New York Yankees shortstop has been baseball’s constant for nearly 20 years.  Not surprising because he turns 40 in June and that’s a couple of years beyond even the greatest, longest-lived and most durable shortstops in the game.  He sounds like he’ll be ready for the upcoming season, but there cannot be too much more gas left in the tank.

As it stands entering his final year, Jeter has five World Series rings, five gold gloves and 3,316 hits and a career line of .312/.381/.446. He punched his first-ballot ticket to the Hall of Fame years ago. Now he’s playing for the right to go out healthy, on his own terms and, if things break right for the Yankees, a winner.

Prepare for six months of “Let’s win one more for the Captain.” And a lot of retirement gifts.

Here is Jeter’s announcement, as posted on his Facebook page:

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The Phillies are considering making a play for Jake Arrieta

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Jon Heyman reports that the Phillies are considering free agent starter Jake Arrieta.

That may seem kind of weird on the surface given that the Phillies, as Heyman notes, are considered to be at least a year from contention. Thing is, though, we really never know for sure when a team will definitely be in contention, do we? We’ve seen a handful of teams’ rebuilding efforts bear competitive fruit ahead of schedule in recent years, including the current World Series champion Houston Astros. They made the dang playoffs a year after losing 92 games, when everyone thought their true competitive window was several years away. Arrieta’s Cubs were much the same way, improving by 24 wins in 2015 to make the playoffs, in large part because of . . . acquiring Jake Arrieta.

Whether Arrieta, who is coming off of a 14-10, 3.53 ERA season, would be interested in the Phillies is unknown, but if I’m a Phillies fan, I’m happy that my club is being aggressive and is at least considering it.