UPDATE: Jack Curry of YES Network has the contract details. He reports that Jeter’s deal is worth $51 million guaranteed over three years. Interestingly, the deal includes a player option for a fourth year worth $8 million where he would have the chance to earn an additional $9 million in performance-based incentives.
And so, if Jeter exercises the player option, he will be guaranteed $56 million. The $51 million total mentioned above includes a $3 million buyout in the event that Jeter declines the option.
4:34 PM: We’re right back where we expected to be.
While negotiations went a little rockier than we originally thought they would, the Yankees have finally agreed to a new three-year contract with Derek Jeter, according to Jack Curry of YES Network. Jon Heyman of SI.com hears the same.
Jeter will make between $15-17 million per season and the fourth year option will not be guaranteed. The contract is pending a physical.
And so, the Yankees did give in a little bit from their original offer, but not by much. Good for them. I’m already waiting for a columnist to say that Jeter took a paycut before the winter meetings in order to help the team make room on the payroll for Cliff Lee and/or Carl Crawford. He’s a real team guy, don’t you know? Ah well, whatever it takes to keep his iconic status intact. Jeter is right back where he belongs and all the negative stuff we’ve read over the past couple of weeks will be forgotten by spring training. It was a fun ride, though.
The Rays started Sergio Romo on back-to-back days and if that sounds weird to you, you’re not alone. Romo, of course, was the star closer for the Giants for a while, helping them win the World Series in 2012 and ’14. He’s been a full-time reliever dating back to 2006, when he was at Single-A.
In an effort to prevent lefty Ryan Yarbrough from facing the righty-heavy top of the Angels’ lineup (Zack Cozart, Mike Trout, Justin Upton), Romo started Saturday’s game, pitching the first inning before giving way to Yarbrough in the second. Romo struck out the side, in fact. The Rays went on to win 5-3.
The Rays did it again on Sunday afternoon, starting Romo. This time, he got four outs before giving way to Matt Andriese. Romo walked two without giving up a hit while striking out three. The Angels managed to win 5-2 however.
Despite Sunday’s win, Cozart wasn’t a happy camper with the way the Rays used Romo. Via Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, Cozart said, “It was weird … It’s bad for baseball, in my opinion … It’s spring training. That’s the best way to explain it.”
It’s difficult to see merit in Cozart’s argument. It’s not like the Rays were making excessive amounts of pitching changes; they used five on Saturday and four on Sunday. The games lasted three hours and three hours, 15 minutes, respectively. The average game time is exactly three hours so far this season. I’m having trouble wondering how else Cozart might mean the strategy is bad for baseball.
It seems like the real issue is that Cozart is afraid of the sport changing around him. The Rays, like most small market teams, have to find their edges in slight ways. The Rays aren’t doing this blindly; the strategy makes sense based on their opponents’ starting lineup. The idea of valuing on-base percentage was scoffed at. Shifting was scoffed at and now every team employs them to some degree. Who knows if starting a reliever for the first three or four outs will become a trend, but it’s shortsighted to write it off at first glance.