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?

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.