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New York Yankee Notes: Better Late Than Never Edition

Here are a few New York Yankee stories of interest today.

'Ambush' technique in Derek Jeter contract negotations may work against Yankees, source warns
The Yankees may truly want Derek Jeter to wear pinstripes for the rest of his career, but according to a source familiar with both sides, their "arbitration-ambush" approach in contract negotiations with the captain isn't doing them any favors. In fact, says the source, the Yankees would do well to remember what makes them an iconic franchise - their great players.

"Players like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle - and Derek Jeter - are what make the Yankees the Yankees," the source said. "The iconic players make the iconic franchise, not the other way around."

The Yankees have made it clear that while they want to sign their 36-year-old captain, they expect it to be on their terms, namely with a three-year contract. And they have not been shy in pointing out Jeter's shortcomings, presumably as a counterpoint to what he brings to the franchise - a peculiar approach to signing a free agent of Jeter's status.

"If you have a valuable asset, why would you want to devalue it?" the source said. "That's what they're doing. It has an arbitration feel to it."

I don't know if the Yankees are truly "ambushing" Jeter. They are not just handing him a blank check, though, and this whole negotiation is going to be uglier than anyone wanted it to be.

Another Reason To Love Brett Gardner | FanGraphs Baseball
As expected, Gardner produced little power in 2010. His .103 ISO ranked 14th out of 18 qualified left fielders. Yet he managed a .358 wOBA, which ranked seventh. When factoring in defense — Gardner led all left fielders with a 21.9 UZR — he produced 5.4 WAR, which ranked sixth among left fielders. The next closest to him produced 4.2 WAR. In 2009, despite hitting for far more power, Damon produced just 3.3 WAR. By placing a non-traditional player in a power role, the Yankees actually managed to upgrade at the position.

Could Vazquez be the first to go? | The Lohud Yankees Blog
Of all the Yankees free agents, could Javier Vazquez be the first to sign elsewhere?

The Yankees don’t seem to be pursuing him, but Vazquez has built a legitimate market for himself. The Washington Nationals and Florida Marlins are both said to be interested, apparently hoping 2010 was nothing but a bump in the road.

They’re hoping to sign Vazquez on the cheap, then reap the benefits of a rebound.

Bye, bye, Javy. You won't be missed.

Three Yankees "targets" I’m not buying | The Lohud Yankees Blog
In one way or another, these three have been linked to the Yankees, sometimes with nothing more than speculation. In one way or another, they all make sense.

Derek Jeter's trainer says the New York Yankees shortstop is determined to come back strong - ESPN New York
If the Captain has his way, this won't be his last contract. Not even close.