Derek Jeter was given the day off today after playing the series opener against the Red Sox last night at Yankee Stadium. While Yankees manager Joe Girardi understands that fans came to the ballpark expecting Jeter to be in the lineup and are likely disappointed to see him on the bench, he told Andrew Marchand of ESPN.com that his first priority is to keep Jeter healthy for the long haul. As it should be.
“I have to manage him with a focus of winning games and keeping him healthy, not being a farewell tour,” said Girardi, who has Dean Anna at shortstop against the Red Sox. “I wasn’t hired to put on a farewell tour.”
Jeter has started in 10 out of 12 games for the Yankees so far this season. The 40-year-old is hitting .286 (10-for-35) with a pair of doubles, one RBI, and four walks.
Free agent first baseman Matt Adams has signed a one-year, $3 million pact with the Nationals, the Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports. The contract comes with a $1 million buyout on a 2020 option, bringing the total value to $4 million. Official confirmation is still pending completion of a physical.
The 30-year-old infielder will return to familiar turf in Washington after spending the first half of the 2018 season there. He was dealt to the Cardinals in late August for cash considerations and finished the season batting a collective .239/.309/.477 with a career-high 21 home runs, .786 OPS and 0.8 fWAR through 337 plate appearances for the two National League clubs.
Despite his impressive display of power, Adams experienced a significant decline at the plate over the second half of the season, batting well under the Mendoza Line as the Cardinals pushed for a postseason berth against the division-winning Brewers and Wild Card-contending Cubs. Still, he saw enough early success in Washington to merit a second look and should provide a sturdy backup to Ryan Zimmerman at first base in 2019.