NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 09: Pitcher Dellin Betances #68 of the New York Yankees walks off the mound as rain pours down causing a rain delay in the ninth inning of a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium on September 9, 2016 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
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Yankees and Dellin Betances still $2 million apart in arbitration

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The Yankees have yet to agree to terms with right-handed reliever Dellin Betances, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The two are reportedly $2 million apart from agreeing on a sum; Betances filed for $5 million, while the Yankees offered $3 million.

Despite some late-season bumps in the road, Betances finished 2016 with a 3.08 ERA and 1.78 FIP through 73 innings, leading all major-league relievers in strikeouts (126) for the third consecutive season. This is the first year in which the 28-year-old has been eligible for arbitration after earning a league-minimum salary last season.

According to the reported totals from MLB Trade Rumors, approximately 36 major leaguers have yet to reconcile salary figures for 2017. Of the seven Yankees who are arbitration-eligible this year, Betances is the only player who has not settled with the club. If the two sides cannot reach an agreement in the next few weeks, an arbitration hearing will take place in February, though MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch points out that the Yankees have not gone through proceedings with a player since 2008.

Derek Jeter gets permission to build an anti-paparazzi fence

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There was a time in the country when if a fabulously wealthy person wished to be left alone he’d build a fortified compound well outside the city limits and have its massive grounds patrolled by hounds with a taste for flesh and blood.

Urbanization has changed things, though, and our gentry is no longer quite as landed. They like to live in cities, and that creates problems. Problems like people hanging out on their sidewalk, gawkers peering onto their property — inevitably trespassing and causing damage — and the paparazzi taking pictures of them. Apart from the trespassing and property damage that’s all legal as we still have a First Amendment and the right to gather in public spaces in this country, but it’s still pretty annoying.

Derek Jeter is one of those urban-dwelling members of the gentry, and he’s taking measures to deal with things.

The Tampa Bay Times reports that Jeter got the city of Tampa to grant him special permission build taller-than-code barriers around his nine-bedroom home to thwart the paparazzi and assorted gawkers. His neighbors were fully behind the move to give him a variance to build an eight-foot fence, which is two feet higher than code provides. The paparazzi and gawkers bug them and damage their property too.

First Amendment rights are First Amendment rights, but it’s sad to me that people think that hanging outside of someone’s house like that is a great use of their time. If two feet more of fence puts a stop to it, viva Derek Jeter and his actions before the zoning variance board.

Alex Rodriguez will not attempt a comeback in 2017

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 12: Alex Rodriguez #13 of the New York Yankees stands at second base and looks to the outfield after hitting one run double in the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium on August 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
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Christian Red of the New York Daily News reports that former Yankees DH Alex Rodriguez will not attempt a comeback in 2017. Instead, he’ll serve as a “special advisor” to Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner. The Yankees still owe him $21 million for 2017 regardless, as Red notes.

Rodriguez, 41, struggled to a .200/.247/.351 triple-slash line with nine home runs and 31 RBI in 243 plate appearances. The Yankees released him in mid-August and he did not latch on with another team. Rodriguez joined FOX Sports for their playoff coverage as he did in 2015.

If his career is over, Rodriguez is sitting on 696 home runs, the fourth-most in baseball history behind Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755), and Babe Ruth (714). Rodriguez’s 10-year, $275 million contract with the Yankees including a clause in which he was to be paid $6 million for reaching home run milestones (660, 714, 755, 762, 763). Rodriguez also retires with 117.7 Wins Above Replacement, according to Baseball Reference, which is the 12th most all-time among position players.