As was reported last night, Jeter and the Yankees spoke again yesterday and things went well.
Afterwards, Jon Heyman reported that, while there is nothing imminent, the Yankees may be willing to go up to $51 million over three years and to possibly add a fourth year in the form of an option. Moshe Mandel of TYU had received similar word from a source prior to Heyman’s report.
All of which fits nicely into the scenario I outlined yesterday: a negotiation more geared towards giving Jeter a face-saving way to accept a contract much closer to that which the Yankees were offering than it is to his reported demands. $51 million is still high in my mind, but when the gulf between the sides was $65 million or more, $6 million is not exactly a generous concession by the Yankees. A fourth year in and of itself is not smart, but if it’s an option of some kind — especially if it’s a team option or a vesting option — it’s far preferable, and ultimately not much for the team to give up.
But however this shakes out, a face-to-face meeting followed by a report reflecting calmness and (so far) no incendiary leaks to the media suggests that Jeter and the Yankees have started fresh, with an eye towards restoring sanity to the process.
And that’s good news for everyone except the bloggers.
Former Red Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi is up for grabs this offseason, and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says that as many as nine suitors are interested in bringing the righty aboard. While the Red Sox are eager to retain Eovaldi’s services after his lights-out performance during their recent postseason run, they’ll have to contend with the Brewers, Phillies, Braves, White Sox, Padres, Blue Jays, Giants, and Angels — all of whom are reportedly positioned to offer something for the starter this winter.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the 28-year-old in 2018, however. After losing his 2017 season to Tommy John surgery, he underwent an additional procedure to remove loose bodies from his right elbow in March and didn’t make his first appearance until the end of May. He was flipped for lefty reliever Jalen Beeks just prior to the trade deadline and finished his season with a combined 6-7 record in 21 starts, a 3.81 ERA, 1.6 BB/9, and 8.2 SO/9 through 111 innings.
Despite his numerous health issues over the last few years, Eovaldi raised his stock in October after becoming a major contributor during the Red Sox’ championship run. He contributed two quality starts in the ALDS and ALCS and returned in Games 1-3 of the World Series with three lights-out performances in relief — including a six-inning effort in the 18-inning marathon that was Game 3.
A frontrunner has yet to emerge for the righty this offseason, but Cafardo points out that the nine teams listed so far might just be the tip of the iceberg. Still, he won’t be the most sought-after starter on the market, as former Diamondbacks southpaw Patrick Corbin is expected to command an even bigger payday following his career-best 6.0-fWAR performance in 2018.