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?

Clayton Kershaw might return to the Dodgers’ rotation next week

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Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw is nearing his return to the mound, according to club manager Dave Roberts. Both Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) and fellow lefty Rich Hill (left middle finger blister) are scheduled to toss simulated games on Saturday; depending on the outcome, Roberts says Kershaw could forgo a minor league assignment and slot back into the rotation by Thursday.

Kershaw, 30, was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis as the team closed out their Mexico Series at the start of the month. He has not made a start in several weeks, but was finally able to resume throwing on Sunday and managed to get through two successful bullpen sessions. Though Dodgers’ ace hasn’t been completely injury-free over his 11-year career in the majors, this is the first significant issue he’s had with his pitching arm so far. The team is expected to take every precaution with the lefty, and will likely limit him to just four innings during Saturday’s simulated game.

Prior to his injury, Kershaw was working on another dominant run with the club, sporting a 2.86 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 9.8 SO/9 through his first 44 innings of the season. While Kershaw, Hill and left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu served their respective terms on the disabled list this month, the Dodgers utilized a combination of relievers Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart, both of whom impressed during their limited time in the rotation.