Lupica: Yankees should open purse strings for Jeter

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If you listen closely enough, you’ll hear all sorts of reasons as to why the Yankees should not pay impending free agent Derek Jeter an exorbitant amount of money this offseason. 

First and foremost, they don’t have to.  No other club is going to hand a major contract to a 36-year-old shortstop with diminishing skills offensively and defensively.  Jeter, a stellar .314/.385/.452 hitter throughout his career, batted just .270/.340/.370 in 663 at-bats this season.  He had an Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR) of -4.8.  Oh, and he’ll be 37 in June.

But none of that matters to the New York Daily News’ Mike Lupica.  He thinks Jeter should be awarded whatever he wants — up to $20 million per year over four years.  Why?  Because he is “the kind of Yankee” that “everybody still wants the Yankees to be.”

Jeter is going for his sixth World Series ring with the Yankees. He has
become the iconic Yankee of his time in New York, is regarded as one of
the great winners of his time, in any sport. More than that, Jeter is
the Yankee brand they sell with both hands – class, history,
excellence – and has been since the winning came back to the old
Stadium.

Those are all great things, sure, but why not approach the situation with a little business sense?  A former general manager told Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York last week that Jeter is worth no more than $12 million over the next two seasons — as in, $6 million per year.  That’s probably a bit of an overreaction, but it’s not really that far off.

Astros release Jon Singleton

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The Astros have released first baseman Jon Singleton, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.

Singleton, 26, was suspended for 100 games after testing positive for a drug of abuse for a third time. He has had issues with marijuana in the post and admitted to being a drug addict several years ago. He said, “At this point it’s pretty evident to me that I’m a drug addict. I don’t openly tell everyone that, but it’s pretty apparent to myself. I know that I enjoy smoking weed, I enjoy being high and I can’t block that out of my mind that I enjoy that. So I have to work against that.”

Singleton played parts of two seasons in the majors in 2014-15 with the Astros, batting a combined .171/.290/.331 with 14 home runs and 50 RBI in — appropriately — 420 plate appearances. He spent 2016 with Triple-A Fresno and 2017 with Double-A Corpus Christi, putting up middling numbers.

If he can convince teams he’s still actively working to overcome his addiction, Singleton may be able to find an opportunity elsewhere. But his road back to the majors remains long. He was once a top prospect in the Phillies’ system, then was traded to the Astros in the Hunter Pence deal back in July 2011.