During his pregame press conference American League manager John Farrell revealed the plan for Derek Jeter tonight, saying he expects to give the retiring Yankees shortstop two at-bats before removing him from the game in the top of the fourth inning.
As for a sendoff, Farrell said he plans to send reserve Alexei Ramirez of the White Sox out to take Jeter’s spot at shortstop.
National League starting catcher Jonathan Lucroy of the Brewers has also said he plans to step away from the plate and encourage the fans at Target Field to give Jeter a lengthy salute prior to his at-bat leading off the first inning.
So count on at least two standing ovations for Jeter in his final All-Star Game.
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.