Mariano Rivera wants two years from the Yankees – and they will be more than happy to give him that on his next contract offer. Derek Jeter, on the other hand, wants at least four with some reports hinting that he would actually prefer five or six years. Seems like the Yankees aren’t buying as they are set to officially offer him a 3-year, $45 million deal. Given that Jeter’s defense at short is sliding, that he is 36 years old, and that he is coming off the worst full season of his career (.270-10-67-111-18), it’s more than a fair offer. At the same time Jeter is Mr. Yankee, and if he were to bolt the team the revolt from the fans would be a P.R. nightmare. Look for the two sides to eventually settle on a four year deal – Jeter isn’t going anywhere – even if he isn’t the player he was just a couple of seasons ago.
Magglio Ordonez is apparently fully recovered from ankle surgery and he is ready to start looking for a place to ply his wares in 2011. His agent is Scott Boras, so you can count out small market clubs since Boras has probably put together a presentation saying that Ordonez is a better right-handed hitter than Albert Pujols. I will say this for Ordonez, he rebounded in 2010 after a terrible 2009 effort that saw him hit only nine homers with 50 RBI in 131 games. Limited because of injury to 84 games in 2010, he socked 12 homers, had 59 RBI, scored 56 times and hit .303 for the Tigers. Also, let me give Mags some props. In 10 of the last 12 years he has hit .300, and in each of his last eight seasons of more than 500 at-bats he has knocked in at least 99 runs. He is no Albert Pujols, but he is still a darn effective big league hitter.
Less than a week away from Thanksgiving, an I’ve already started to salivate over the thought of mashed potatoes and yams with marshmallows. Time to do a few extra sit-ups to make sure I can gorge next week.
Jonathan Papelbon is arbitration eligible, and it appears that after making $9.35 million last year that he will be asked for something like $11.5 million for the coming campaign. Would the Red Sox simply non-tender Papelbon and allow the 9th inning to be taken over by Bard? After all, Bard made a mere $416,000 last year and still isn’t eligible for arbitration. It seems unlikely, honestly I can’t envision it happening, but it’s doesn’t appear to be crazy when you compare the 2010 performance of the two righty relievers to one another.
Papelbon:1.27 WHIP, 10.21 K/9, 2.71 K/BB, 0.94 HR/9, 0.87 GB/FB, 3.51 FIP
D. Bard: 1.00 WHIP, 9.16 K/9, 2.53 K/BB, 0.72 HR/9, 1.23 GB/FB, 3.37 FIP
Pretty darn close isn’t it? It’s also a concern that Papelbon posted the worst BB/9 mark of his last five seasons (3.76), and also his worst K/BB (almost a batter and a half below his career mark of 4.02). Papelbon also allowed a five year worst in HR/9, WHIP and ERA (it was 3.90, more than a run an a half above his career 2.22 mark). That’s a lot of indicators going in the wrong direction to be giving a guy a raise to over $11 million.
Dan Uggla appears to be happy with the Braves, an as expected, he also seems interested in staying with the club for a while. Uggla said that he wants what is “fair” in a contract offer, but that he isn’t going to try and become the highest paid player of all-time or anything like that. “A lot of people know that this is the closest big league team to my home [in Tennessee], and it creates an incredible opportunity for my family and friends to be able to come down and watch on a more consistent basis,” Uggla said. For my thoughts on Uggla and the great move the Braves made to get him make sure you give Who is the AL Cy Young a read.
By Ray Flowers