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Jeter and Close prepare for next step

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ALCS Yankees Ready BaseballThe Winter Meetings are less than a week away and Derek Jeter still hasn’t re-signed with the Yankees. Hard to be too surprised at the fact he and Casey Close have some things to talk about. Here’s the Associated Press:

NEW YORK (AP) — A baseball official says Derek Jeter and his agent, Casey Close, have met Tuesday as the New York Yankees await a counteroffer from their captain. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the team didn’t make any announcements. The meeting was first reported by Newsday.

New York has offered Jeter a $45 million, three-year contract, and the All-Star shortstop has not made a formal proposal. Close has suggested a contract averaging about $23 million for four or five seasons, the baseball official said, but the numbers were suggested loosely by Close and should not be interpreted as a precise request.

So Jeter and Close are preparing for their next step. That’s seems to be a positive from the Jeter camp. At least there’s some sort of movement.

A few other notes:

The Giants have reportedly signed Miguel Tejada. [2]I’m not in a position to say whether they want him to play third base or shortstop, but the Giants certainly seem to be most heavily looking for a shortstop.

• As expected, Scott Downs will decline arbitration [3] and hit the free agent market. That’s a big-ticket left-handed reliever if the Yankees are interested.

• Given the free agent market and trade possibilities, Eduardo Nunez seems as good a Plan B as any at shortstop, and Buster Olney says the Yankees have in fact settled on Nunez as their fallback if Jeter doesn’t re-sign. [4]

• The Rays are going to be swimming in draft picks after a boatload of players turned down arbitration offers. [5]

• One fairly cheap lefty came off the market today. Brian Tallet signed with St. Louis. [6]

Associated Press photo