Take a ride on Derek Jeter … the bridge

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jeter-091104-3pm.standard[1].jpgThe New York Post is known for stirring the pot with its screaming headlines and creative uses of photo shop (Pedro’s head on a baby’s body?) But they can push the envelope just as well with word-play. This from Angela Montefinise:

Big Apple women may soon be able to take a ride on Derek Jeter — the bridge, that is. Bronx leaders have proposed naming the soon-to-be-built East 153rd Street bridge for the Yankee shortstop.

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems kind of sexist that only women will be allowed to use the bridge. I’m sure there are plenty of male Yankee fans who have man-crushes on their beloved shortstop — and could also use an easier commute.

OK, OK I get it. She’s being edgy. And at least Ms. Montefinise waits until the bottom of her story to mention the length of “The Jeter” (512 feet!!).
But there are two things I’m wondering about.

1)  The bridge costs only $87 million. Jeter himself will make $21 million next season, the final year of his 10-year $189-million deal. This doesn’t seem like a match to me, almost like the city is being a little cheap. In fact, maybe they should just rename the whole town “Derek Jeter City.”

2) As the first commenter in the story points out, “What happens when he retires, then decides to un-retire and play for boston?” Well at that point, Minka Kelly would dump him wouldn’t she? After all, it’s not like Boston will rename it the “Derek Jeter Freedom Trail.”

Follow me on Twitter at @bharks. For more baseball news, go to NBCSports.com.

Free agent market slow, but players who have signed have exceeded expectations

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The winter meetings are near the end — many execs are leaving Vegas tonight — and once again, the free agent market has moved rather slowly. Last year’s free agent market was perhaps the slowest in recent memory. This offseason, only 11 multi-year contracts have been signed by free agents to date. Six have been for two years, three have been for three years, one for four years, and one for six years.

Despite another slowly-moving free agent market, the players are optimistic because those that have signed contracts have exceeded expectations in terms of total value, per Jared Diamond of The Wall Street Journal. Patrick Corbin got $140 million, Nathan Eovaldi got $68 million, Andrew McCutchen got $50 million. Heck, even Lance Lynn coming off of a bad year got $30 million from the Rangers.

For comparison, as the offseason began, Fancred’s insider Jon Heyman (and an unnamed “expert”) made predictions about what the various free agent markets would get. Heyman and the expert predicted $100 million and $85 million, respectively, for Corbin, who got $140 million. They predicted $45 million and $64 million, respectively, for Eovaldi, who got $68 million. And they foresaw $39 million and $60 million for McCutchen, who got $50 million. Heyman predicted Charlie Morton would take the $17.9 million qualifying offer and the expert predicted he’d sign a one-year, $17 million deal. Morton got two years and $30 million. Heyman predicted 2/$16M for Lance Lynn and the expert only went a million higher at 2/$17M. He got 3/$30M.

Heyman isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, so let’s also glance at the predictions from MLB Trade Rumors. 6/$129M for Corbin, 4/$60M for Eovaldi, 3/$45M for McCutchen, 2/$32M for Morton, and 2/$16M for Lynn. MLBTR hit a lot closer to the center of the dartboard, so to speak, but generally the players still got a bit more than anticipated, which is good, and justifies the optimism. Hopefully the trend continues over the coming two or three months.

Going forward, though, we probably should adjust our expectations of the winter meetings. Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times brought up a great point, tweeting, “One problem with the Winter Meetings is they are still marketed as a news-making event at a time when executives no longer feel urgency to make news at said event.” All of the execs and journalists have access to one another via cell phones, so it’s become more of a hobnobbing event than a place to wheel and deal. These days, a deal could just as easily happen in the days leading up to or following the winter meetings. Maybe it’s just the new normal that we’ll be going into February with handfuls of free agents still looking for a new home.