The Yankees and Jeter are “not even in the same ballpark”

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Michael S. Schmidt of the New York Times reports that, according to someone in the know on the Yankees-Jeter negotiations, the parties are “not even in the same ballpark.”

If so, it would be the first time Jeter has left the ballpark in ages. Hey-o!

No, seriously, there’s reportedly trouble in paradise, as the Yankees are taking an outrageously hard line:

“We do appreciate the contributions he has made to this organization,” Cashman said in an interview with The New York Times. “And Derek Jeter is the person we want playing shortstop.” But, Cashman added, the money in a new contract “ has to be a fair salary” that reflects the fact that Jeter will turn 37 next June . . . “We have told them directly, face to face, how we came up with our offer, and we have made it clear to them that our primary focus is his on-the-field performance.”

Wait, that’s not a hard line. That’s fairly reasonable.  And that “fair offer” stuff is not actually even true, because Schmidt confirms that often-mentioned three-year, $45  million offer, and that values Jeter way above what is fair for a guy of his age and skills.  Really, I’m not sure what the Yankees need to do to be more reasonable here.

But as the guild obligates us to do, let me say this: I still think a deal gets done. I think that when it gets done it will be pretty darn close to what the Yankees are currently offering and that, if there is any sweetening of the deal, it will be of the bells and whistles variety (performance incentives, creative options, etc.) that allow Jeter to claim he did better than what the Yankees were initially offering.

Because really, what leverage does Jeter have?

Blue Jays clinch playoff berth with Orioles’ loss to Red Sox

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TORONTO — The Blue Jays clinched a postseason berth Thursday without taking the field.

Toronto was assured of an AL wild card berth when the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-3.

If Toronto holds its current position as the first of the AL’s three wild cards, the Blue Jays would open a best-of-three wild-card series at Rogers Centre next week.

“These guys are excited to be in this position,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said after Wednesday’s 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees. “You’ve got three really good pitchers lined up against a good Boston team, playing at home. So I think it’s more excitement more than it’s nerves or anything. I think the guys are going to come out and be ready to roll on Friday night.”

Toronto became the fourth AL team to clinch a playoff berth, joining division champions Houston, the Yankees and Cleveland. The Astros and Yankees have first-round byes.

The Blue Jays last went to the playoffs in 2020, when they were knocked out with two straight losses to Tampa Bay.

Eight of the 12 berths in the expanded postseason have been clinched: The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis earned division titles, and Atlanta and the New York Mets are assured no worse the wild cards while still competing to win the NL East. The Dodgers have a first-round bye.