Back in March, before the 2013 season got underway, there was cautious optimism for Derek Jeter. He was suffering from what was thought of at the time to be mild ankle inflammation, and was expected to be back in the lineup "sooner rather than later."
At the time I wondered what would happen if his return wasn't sooner. I was specifically interested to see what would happen at the end of the season if he had failed to be a productive member of the team. How would the Yankees react to his 2014 player option? I guessed that there wasn't much they could react to, since it would be out of their hands. They would have no choice but to hand over, what was at the time, $8 million for 2014.
Then the news came down late last week that the Yankees gave him a raise. Instead of the $9 million option, Derek Jeter, who played all of 17 games in 2013, will be making $12.2 million in 2014.
The raise doesn't bother me, really. After all, what's $3.2 million to the New York Yankees? It is confusing, however, for obvious reasons: What about the $189 million payroll threshold? And, with that in mind, why didn't Jeter simply accept the $9 million to help them reach that goal?
All signs point to this: The Yankees have thrown the $189 million plan out the window. I'm okay with this, as long as they don't go crazy and give Robinson Cano a 10-year deal, and as long as they don't grab up every big-name free agent and posted player on the market this off-season.
As far as what all of this means luxury-tax wise, I'm not even going there. The so-called experts can't even figure that one out. Why should I even try?
So I'll just finish with this: Welcome back, Captain, and happy off-season, Yankees Universe.