Sources: Yanks will improve offer

The New York Yankees informed Derek Jeter's agent, Casey Close, on Thursday that the team was willing to improve its original three-year, $45 million offer, according to sources close to the negotiations.

The Associated Press reported Thursday that the team did submit an improved offer but could not say whether the money or years had been improved.

"We certainly hope we get something done," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Friday morning. "Both sides are working hard to try and find common ground. You just have to go through the process."

There have been several reports in recent days that the team was open to slightly increasing the number of dollars in its offer, though not necessarily guaranteeing more than three years.

A baseball official with knowledge of the talks said the two sides are making "progress." The official said Tuesday's meeting in Tampa was crucial to dial down the rhetoric.

"The ball's in Derek's court now, and his agent," Yankees co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner said later Thursday in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "It's up to them."

"We don't know how happy they are. We'll see," Steinbrenner continued. "There's no possible way anybody could criticize us for what we've offered."

The two sides have been talking from late Wednesday into Thursday, continuing the face-to-face conversation they had in Tampa.

The official added that the sides could talk more before the winter meetings, but if they don't they could meet in Orlando.

Senior writer Jayson Stark covers Major League Baseball for ESPN.com. Information from ESPNNewYork.com's Wallace Matthews and Andrew Marchand was used in this report. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.