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Thursday, October 31, 2013
World Series over? Fun begins

By Wallace Matthews


NEW YORK -- Now that the World Series is over, what is likely to be a busy Yankees off-season can begin. Over the next two weeks, here is what is going to happen:

• Derek Jeter either will notify the club that he will exercise his $9.5 million option for 2014, or that he will roll the dice on free agency after his injury-shortened 2013 season, in which he played all of 17 games. Sources tell ESPNNewYork.com that Jeter has not contacted the Yankees yet, and calls and texts to Jeter's agent from ESPNNewYork have gone unanswered. But a person with knowledge of the situation says the Yankees expect Jeter will exercise his option and return to the club for 2014. The source said that in the winter of 2010, when Jeter and the Yankees were locked into an acrimonious contract negotiation, there were "rumblings'' that Jeter was unhappy and might look elsewhere. "Nothing like that this time,'' said the source.

Besides, aside from his name and reputation, Jeter -- who wil turn 40 in June -- doesn't have much to sell this time around.

• The Yankees will probably tender qualifying offers of around $14 million to Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson and Hiroki Kuroda, but not to Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain or Boone Logan. Nothing surprising there, and a source said the Yankees were not expecting any of the three to accept them -- Cano, of course, is in line for a huge free-agent deal, Granderson is looking for a multi-year contract and Kuroda pitched for $15 million in 2013 -- but the club was hopeful that Granderson might see the value in taking the offer to play one more year in Yankee Stadium, where he hit 47 of his MLB-leading 84 home runs over 2011-2012.

• The Yankees plan to meet one more time with Cano's representatives during the 15-day exclusivity period that begins today, but they still fully expect Cano to declare himself a free-agent and test the market. "He'd be crazy not to,'' said a source with knowledge of the thinking on both sides. Another source confirmed that a report that Cano was seeking a 10-year deal for $300 million was "100 percent accurate,'' adding, "The days of the 10-year deals are over.'' In a radio interview after the end of the regular season, Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner said that while the club would do everything "within reason'' to retain Cano, that did not include signing him to a 10-year deal. "I don't feel this organization is ready to do something like that,'' he said.