Via Ken Rosenthal, several Yankee bigwigs met with Derek Jeter and agent Casey Close in Tampa on Tuesday. It’s unclear who actually attended on behalf of the Yanks or if any contract proposals were exchanged, but either way this the first time we’ve heard about the two sides meeting since negotiations started earlier this month. Everything else has been public bickering and whatnot. I really hope the two sides can hammer out a deal soon, simply because it’s inevitable and I think we’re all sick of hearing about this stuff already.
Update by Ben (11:40 p.m.): Apparently, the talks went well tonight. Jon Heyman talks of “new optimism,” and Hank Steinbrenner says he is “confident that Derek will remain with the Yankees, and my brother does, as well.” Heyman’s sources also suggested that the Yanks may go up to $51 million over three years with an option. Once the Giants signed Miguel Tejada and Jeter’s side realized the open market wouldn’t have much to offer, I guess that three-year, $45-million initial proposal from the Yanks suddenly seemed alluring. Still, the Bombers are going to outbid themselves for Jeter if they truly are raising their offer.