Jeter and the Yanks: together forever, no matter what anyone says

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Even when things are going perfectly in the Bronx, someone has to inject some kind of negativity:

As vital as Jeter has been to the organization since becoming the
starter in 1996, the Yankees soon must decide how much he is worth to
them. Jeter’s 10-year, $189 million contract expires after the 2010
season, but the Yankees have not formally approached him about an
extension. “I haven’t even thought about it,” Jeter said . . . “It’s 2009,” Jeter said. “It’s not 2010.” Then Jeter paused before adding, “Or 2011.” By mentioning 2011, Jeter was seemingly intimating that he just needs to know where he is playing before then.

Or just acknowledging that he is under contract for 2010 and wanted to be accurate.

Look, there is zero chance that the Yankees aren’t going to get something done with Jeter that ensures he will end his career in pinstripes.  I’d wager my kids on this.  Sure, the Yankees will overpay somewhat for the production they’re likely to receive. Sure, they’ll still have the problem of where to play Jeter as he reaches the end and can’t really handle shortstop anymore, but the chances of ever seeing him in another uniform are nil, because it’s in absolutely no one’s interest for him to walk, and everyone involved knows that.

I know it can get boring writing “everything going wonderfully in Yankee-land!” stories, but suggesting that there is some kind of contract issue on the horizon for Jeter and the Yankees just isn’t credible, even as muckraking fodder.

Royals sign Drew Storen to minor league deal

Drew Storen
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The Royals are in agreement with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal is worth $1.25 million if the veteran righty breaks camp with the club this spring. Additional, albeit unspecified incentives will be included in the contract as well.

Storen, 31, is coming off of a protracted absence from any MLB duties. After inking a one-year deal with the Reds in 2017, he sustained a right elbow sprain toward the end of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery that October. He was effectively decommissioned for the club’s entire 2018 run and generated little interest around the league this winter, perhaps due in part to the uninspired 4.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.9 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR he posted across 54 2/3 innings during his last healthy season.

While it’s not immediately clear what kind of performance the Royals can expect from Storen in spring training, they’re not exactly in a position to be choosy. Their bullpen ranked dead last among all MLB teams with a collective 5.04 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and -2.2 fWAR last year, and still appears to be in a state of flux as they approach Opening Day. Skipper Ned Yost told reporters Wednesday that he intends to eschew the traditional closer appointment in 2019 and will instead utilize a combination of right-handers Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger, lefty Tim Hill, and various others as he tackles high-leverage situations in the future.