We’ve heard rumblings about this for years, but on Sunday Derek Jeter reiterated his desire to own and/or run a baseball team someday. Via the New York Post:
“That’s the next goal, buddy . . . Calling the shots, not answering to someone, that’s what interests me. I’d like to think I would be good one . . . I’d probably be a little bit more behind the scenes than the Boss,” he said. “But I learned a lot of things from the Boss.”
It would have to be hands off because any ownership interest Jeter could get in any team would likely be a pretty small minority interest. I mean, yes, by baseball player standards Jeter is rich, but by baseball owner standards he’s not. One of the worst-run franchises in all of professional sports, subject to a somewhat disadvantageous arena deal, is selling for over $2 billion. Jeter’s entire net worth is likely ten percent of that. Tops. At best he could head up an investment group to buy a baseball team, but barring a decidedly disinterested group of investors, he’d likely have less actual power than anyone in it. At the very least he’d answer to them.
How about some role with the Yankees? If it’s an ownership interest, well, good luck having any power at all. Over the past 40 years the Steinbenner family has taken increasing control of the team, buying out the original group of investors who went in with old George back in 1973 when he held only 51% of the team. There are still a handful of those people around, but their share in the team is shockingly small. They get tickets and swag and meet-and-greets out of it in addition to any profits the Steinbrenners choose to distribute (they may choose not to) but they certainly have no say anything. Maybe the Steinbrenners float Jeter a piece like that as a goodwill gesture, but that sure as heck ain’t ownership.
I feel like the best Jeter could do if he really were to call the shop would be to get into baseball operations. Maybe an apprenticeship deal where he learns the ropes he does not yet know — and really, he may know more than we know; we don’t know that much about Jeter as a person — and eventually turn into a GM or team president type. Over years he gains some power and maybe a bit of equity in a team like Billy Beane has. I feel like that’d be a much better deal and a much more substantive position than being a figurehead for some billionaires.
Giants second baseman Joe Panik missed nearly all of August and September last season due to a nagging back injury, but he told Alex Pavlovic of CSNBayArea.com on Friday that he’s feeling “100 percent.”
Panik, who earned his first All-Star selection last season, originally landed on the disabled list in early August due to what was described as lower back inflammation. He made his return in September, but appeared in just three games before being shut down. The good news is that he was cleared by doctors in mid-December and considers himself “back to normal.”
“It was right around the time of all the signings,” he said, smiling. “I was able to fly under the radar. I got tested and everything had healed up. I got cleared and was able to have my full offseason workouts. I’m good to go. I’m happy to be feeling good and going back out on the field to show that I’m healthy. My swing feels strong.”
Panik altered his offseason workout routine and plans to spend less time in his spikes in the early part of spring training. The hope is that these changes will prevent future issues.
After a strong showing as a rookie in 2014, the 25-year-old Panik proved to be one of the best second baseman in the majors last season by batting .312/.378/.455 with eight home runs and 37 RBI over 100 games while playing solid defense.
Baseball America unveiled their top 100 prospect list Friday night during a special on MLB Network. It should come as no surprise that Dodgers infielder Corey Seager came in at No. 1.
This makes Seager the consensus top prospect in the game. He was also ranked first by MLB.com, Baseball Prospectus, and ESPN’s Keith Law. Twins outfielder Byron Buxton was ranked second on all four lists.
Baseball America has the most aggressive ranking of Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada from the Red Sox, who checked in at No. 3. He was followed by pitching prospects Lucas Giolito from the Nationals and Julio Urias from the Dodgers to round out the top five.
You can see Baseball America’s full top 100 list here.
Mets reliever Jenrry Mejia was permanently suspended on Friday after testing positive for a third time for a performance-enhancing drug. The right-hander is maintaining his innocence, as ESPN’s Adam Rubin notes in quoting Dominican sports journalist Hector Gomez. Mejia said, “It is not like they say. I am sure that I did not use anything.”
Mejia has the opportunity to petition commissioner Rob Manfred in one year for reinstatement to Major League Baseball. However, he must sit out at least two years before becoming eligible to pitch in the majors again, which would mean Mejia would be 28 years old.
Over parts of five seasons, Mejia has a career 3.68 ERA with 162 strikeouts and 76 walks over 183 1/3 innings. He was once a top prospect in the Mets’ minor league system and a top-100 overall prospect heading into the 2010 and ’11 seasons.
Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper is at least three years away from free agency, but people are already contemplating just how large a contract the phenom will be able to negotiate, especially after taking home the National League Most Valuable Player Award for his performance this past season.
When the likes of David Price and Zack Greinke are signing for over $200 million at the age of 30 or older, it stands to reason that Harper could draw more as a 26-year-old if he can maintain MVP-esque levels of production over the next several seasons. $400 million might not be enough for Harper, though, as MLB.com’s Jamal Collier reports. He said, “Don’t sell me short,” which is a fantastic response.
During the 2015 season, Harper led the majors with a .460 on-base percentage and a .649 slugging percentage while leading the National League with 42 home runs and 118 runs scored. He also knocked in 99 runs for good measure. Harper and Ted Williams are the only hitters in baseball history to put up an adjusted OPS of 195 or better (100 is average) at the age of 22 or younger.