Derek Jeter’s marketable edge


Having five World Series rings is better than a panoramic vista view sunroof. Credit: AP Photo/Kathy Willens

To say that Derek Jeter is popular is akin to proclaiming New York in slight fiscal troubles. Both are understatements of the highest degree. In fact, no other Major Leaguers are, according to a recent Sports Business Journal survey, as popular and as marketable as Derek Jeter, and how the Yankees realize this marketability could impact Jeter’s off-season contract negotiations and his Bronx future.

Based upon the results of a survey sent to 49 sports business executives and media personalities, Derek Jeter is tops among baseball in terms of marketability. He appeared on 47 of the 49 ballots and garnered 39 first-place votes en route to 223 total points. Albert Pujols finished behind Jeter with 111 voting points. (The full results are available here.)

Those in media were universal in their praise of Jeter. “You’ve got the star power. He’s playing in the biggest market. He’s obviously an All-Star caliber player. And I think more important than anything else, he’s one of the few guys that has really just stayed out of all kinds of trouble and controversy,” Mark Feinsand, Daily News beat writer, said to SportsBusiness Daily. “He’s got a clean-cut image and he’s always lived up to it. Any company that would get into business with him wouldn’t be worried about waking up and seeing his face flashed across the front page for the wrong reasons.”

Jeter, says the business executives, is primed for a very successful post-baseball career as a brand as well. He has become synonymous with Yankee success and class, and marketers love the image he puts forward. “He’s just so consistent, and I think people feel that reliability,” Brandon Steiner, chair of Steiner Sports, said. “It’s just really unusual for a player and a personality like him to be that consistent for that long, all going in the right direction.”

While this news is all well and good for Derek Jeter’s accountant, for the Yankees, it is just another aspect of Jeter’s package to consider when he comes up for free agency in a few months, and it adds to the forces pulling the Jeter issue in various directions. As some coverage focuses on Jeter’s image, in today’s Times, Joe LaPointe looks at Derek’s slump. Through 89 games, Jeter is hitting .271/.335/.384. He has a 97 OPS+, but with an sOPS+ of 110, he’s still better than the average AL short stop by a significant amount.

The team though has reason for concern. He’s seeing a career low 3.53 pitches per plate appearance, hasn’t homered since June 12 and is hitting just .248/.324/.338 over his last 310 plate appearances. He also turned 36 last month and is due to take home $21 million this year. Brian Cashman recognizes that a prolonged slump at this stage in a player’s career could be more than just a slump. “We’ll find out at some point,” Cashman said last month of Jeter’s play and his ability to stick at short. “The clock runs out on everybody. Sometime in the future, it will be a real issue to deal with.”

As Jeter’s struggles continue and the Yanks continue to win despite his lackluster play, the jury is decidedly out on how his season will end. Buster Olney, writing today, thinks Jeter will recover because “his history tells you he’ll bounce back.” Baseball history, though, says that middle infielders playing in their late 30s aren’t too dissimilar from this year’s version of Jeter. But Olney also says that if Jeter didn’t carry that marketable image around with him, he probably wouldn’t get more than $5 million a year after a season such as this one. Fangraphs’ WAR valuation pegs Jeter to a three-win season which would be worth closer to $12 million annually. The truth is somewhere in the middle.

NoMaas, in a piece that analyzes Jeter’s new-found tendency to swing at too many pitches, ponders the same problem. “In a strange and perverse way,” SJK writes, “this could be a blessing in disguise for the front office, since a down year could give them a stronger position in contract negotiations additionally influenced by public relations and legacy.”

So with three months left in the baseball season, the Yankees find themselves stuck in the middle with DJ. Chances are good that, because of Jeter’s image and marketability, the proper contract length for the right amount of dollars will generate enough revenue to pay for a significant part of the salary. But the Yankees also need a short stop who can man the position and a hitter who isn’t a drain on the lineup. How much should Jeter earn? For how many years? As I’ve said this season, I’m glad I’m not the one making that decision.

Categories : Analysis


  1. Thomas says:

    Someone actually voted Cal Ripken Jr. as the second most marketable MLB player?!?!?!

  2. Jimmy says:

    I can’t believe how OLD the majority of that list is…where are the young budding superstars? This is an area the NBA excels and MLB is deficient, promoting young talent.

    • jsbrendog (returns) says:

      ive gotta think someone like longoria could be huge if he played ina biggr market

    • bonestock94 says:

      I prefer the mlb way, the nba forces their stars (eg: lebron) down your throat so much that it’s nauseating.

    • RL says:

      If you’re saying that the NBA promotes “young” talent, I’d probably agree. Part of that probably has to do with the number of young players in the league. They start younger (many leaving college early to play in the NBA) and typically don’t play as long. As to their marketability, I think the MLB has many more marketable personalities than the NBA (even as a percentage of the total number of players in the league).

    • …where are the young budding superstars? This is an area the NBA excels…

      Yeah, like LeBron James and his spotless brand–


  3. Matt :: Sec105 says:

    As far as Jeter’s marketability, he’s been #1 for a while.

    I do love the contract aspect of this post. Where does everyone think Jeter’s contract will go (years/money)?

    3 or 4 years, at 20?

    • Mike Axisa says:

      Blow him out of the water. One year, $20-25M. Let him get his 3,000 hits next year, then kindly nudge him in the direction of the glue factory.

      • Doug says:

        i would love this. will never happen, though.

      • CS Yankee says:

        Harsh, don’t you think?

        I’m not sure he’s done, he has been pressing with the low pitch count but has still added value.

        Still a top five SS in the game, although 10 (or so) are out playing him this year so far. A few bad months don’t make him bad (see Teix for the first 90 days this year).

        Should get a 4/60M$ package

        • A few bad months don’t make him bad.

          I’m going to keep repeating “He’s 36″ until people stop ignoring it. He might not be bad, but he will continue to be 36 until next June when he turns an even older 37.

          • ZZ says:

            Everytime Jeter has struggled or slumped since he turned 30, people have pointed to his age.

            When his defense fell off a cliff it was because he was older than 30 and that is what happens to a 30+ year old SS.

            Then they said in 2008 when he struggled he’s 34 and that is why.

            Finally last year the Yankees couldn’t win the World Series with a 35 year old SS.

            I guess if people just keep pointing out his age year after year they will eventually be right.

            • whozat says:

              So your contention is that Derek Jeter is immune to the effects of aging?

              Has he defied the odds so far? Yes, and it’s awesome. Betting that he’ll continue to do so forever, however, is also wrongheaded.

            • Jobu says:

              “I guess if people just keep pointing out his age year after year they will eventually be right.”

              That is exactly the problem.

          • MikeD says:

            That’s true. He is 36 and will be 37 next year and 38 the following, etc. Just about everyone on this board knows that. He’s only hitting .270, but he’s been worse than that of recent considering he had a good April hitting about .350. When he slumped I wasn’t too concerned, but said let’s revisit in August. We’re almost there, but it’s still hard to say much since there could be any number of things going on.

            So what we now know is Jeter has substantially underperformed for 2 1/2 months. Perhaps he’s lost it all in the blink of an eye. I guess we’ll see over the next few months. Bottom line is the Yankees are still going to sign him, they are going to overpay him no matter what he hits, and they will one day replace him.

      • Jobu says:

        What about just offering him arbitration?

      • MikeD says:

        So what you’re suggesting is the Yankees blow him out of the water with a one-year deal just so he can get to 3,000 hits? Considering he’s making over $20 million a year already, a one-year deal for 20-25 is not going to blow him away.

        If he’s done he’s done. No need to blow him out of the water. Yet if you’re talking about marketing here, then the marketing value of Jeter goes past 2011 and 3,000 hits. In that case, I agree with the blowhard Mike Francesa. The Yankees will make Jeter happy. They will pay him far more than he’s worth just because he’s Derek Jeter. That’s a more realistic scenario than a one-year deal and a lot of hurt feelings with the Captain.

  4. Cecala says:

    I have a feeling that this deal is going to be an incentive based offer, kind of like what Beltre took with the Sox. Jeter always trys to challenge himself and hes definitely made enough money so far where he doesn’t really need it. He is also the face of Gillette, Ford Edge, and Gatorade. The only problem I see is that he is probably looking for an A-Rod type deal. I would love for Jeter to take anything less than 15mil but I really don’t see that happening. If he took 12mil + 6mil incentives I feel like that would be close to an ideal contract that both his public image and the Yankees would benefit.

    • jsbrendog (returns) says:

      he only made 9 mil in endorsements last year it said. he will be looking for a big payday

    • RL says:

      12mil + 6mil incentives I feel like that would be close to an ideal contract

      I like this, but don’t believe a one year deal will happen. Incentives become more difficult to negotiate into contracts as the contract gets longer. But definitely agreee an incentive-based-contract of this value, perhaps for 3 years with some sort of options after that time period would be good for both sides. I hope Jeter understands that taking a bit less is a win for both sides. Makes him look good and allows the Yankees some flexibility as well.

    • I have a feeling that this deal is going to be an incentive based offer, kind of like what Beltre took with the Sox.

      That was funny. I laughed.

      Nice joke, Cecala. Good one.

    • MikeD says:

      Nope. The Yankees are not going to treat Jeter like Adrian Beltre. Let’s be realistic here.

  5. yankthemike says:

    I wonder if jeter’s free swinging at that first pitch are some kind of subconscious manifestations of anxiety. the worse his results become, the more determined he seems to just get a hit, no matter what they throw. obviously counting a lot on first pitch fastballs…

    i hope it IS just a slump but his approach worries me more than the results do.

    i hope the contact is for 3 years no more. i wish the contact was year to year, but i have some semblance of pragmatism.

    • B-Rando says:

      Obviously the book on Jeter is catching up to him as he’s gone through his up and down type year. Teams must know to just not throw anything hittable to Jeter on the first pitch. Nibble the corners, work up and down, and just let him swing away.

  6. Andy_C_23 says:

    Having five World Series rings is better than a panoramic vista view sunroof.

    Says who?

  7. JoeC says:

    I’m fine with giving Jeter 10 mil a year (esp since its not my money), but anything over that is just foolishness. Pay Jeter above market value because he’s Derek Jeter, but don’t just throw A-Rod money at him because of what he did during the Clinton Administration.

  8. Rose says:

    I’m really curious as to what the Yankees and Jeter agree upon in the offseason. It sucks because you have the anti-Jeter making gajillions of dollars well into his 40′s doing all the wrong things for the game (although he was still very high on the marketable list which is odd for a steroid guy with his personality).

    I’m anxious, scared, and excited all wrapped up into one with this one.

    A part of me doesn’t feel it’s right rewarding bad behavior (Arod) and trying to be frugle with the face of baseball…but the other part of me knows that business is business and you gotta do what you gotta do.

    • Pete says:

      yeah but the yanks are about winning, and when it comes to helping a team win, A-Rod>>>>>>Jeter

      • JobaWockeeZ says:

        Most years I’d agree but when Jeter can hit and play good defense at SS he’s a top 5 player in the league. Tough honestly that really only happened once in 2009…

    • Ted Nelson says:

      I disagree with the extremism of your sentiment. A-Rod hasn’t done anything particularly immoral that I know of. He’s not particularly agreeable personality wise and cheated in a way that maybe 1/2 the league or more was cheating at the time, but as far as I can tell he’s always tried his hardest and done his best on the field.

      If Jeter is really upset about his next deal, he should blame himself and his agent for the lengths of his previous contracts: not planning ahead. He should further blame himself for playing like crap this season. There’s really no one else to blame for that one. These guys aren’t getting paid based on their personalities as much as their baseball productivity.

  9. Stephen R. says:

    I understand that Derek Jeter is a marketable player. What I don’t understand is how much of his marketability translates into revenue for the Yankees, not just for Derek Jeter Inc.

    • whozat says:

      At the most basic level, it drives ticket sales and game viewership. I suspect that it also helps reinforce the definition of the Yankee Brand that the Yankee corporation wants, which drives advertising dollars on TV and in the stadium.

    • Ed says:

      For starters, a large portion of the female Yankee fanbase, especially the younger portion of it, aren’t so much Yankee fans as they are Jeter fans.

      Second, the run up to 3,000 hits and his moving up the Yankee career leader lists will draw more crowds & tv ratings. We saw a little bit of that already when he passed Gehrig for most career hits as a Yankee. The team will sell all sorts of memorabilia thru Steiner Sports as he accomplishes more things.

      Third, Jeter sells a ton of merchandise. While in general the profit gets split among the 30 teams, that’s not true for things sold at team run locations. Any money above wholesale gets kept by the team for stuff sold at the stadium or team stores.

  10. Brien Jackson says:

    Above all else, I’d wait to do the signing until free agency starts, to let Jeter see what the market for him really is at this point, and to avoid being backed into a position of having to vastly over-commit to him. If he gets peeved and takes a lesser deal to go somewhere else, well, we’ll see ya at Old Timer’s Day in a few years.

    • mike c says:

      the yankees would most likely end up losing money if they let jeter walk. #2 is money in the bank

      • Brien Jackson says:

        There’s no way Jeter’s marginal non-baseball value to the Yankees is anywhere near $60 million at this point, let alone above it.

  11. Ted Nelson says:

    Jeter may want to be a little careful about taking too big a deal. The more he under-performs his contract, the worse that’s going to be from a PR stand-point for him. Being remembered as the selfish guy who drained the Yankees’ payroll in his twilight years contradicts his current image and could hurt his long-term earning potential. If that were to cost him, say, $1 mill per year for the next 40-60 years of his life… I doubt he takes significantly less money on his contract, but it might behoove him to take a few mill less or do an incentive laden deal as suggested above.

  12. mike c says:

    any amount of money the yankees overpay for an aging jeter is insignificant. let’s be realistic, that amount is not going to keep the yankees from signing any player they feel like. they have the money, so pay the man and feel good about it. there will even be enough left over to sign cliff lee to a megadeal as well

    • ZZ says:

      This is exactly right.

      The Yankees are not even close to stretched to their limit in terms of payroll. They are still fairly middle of the pack in regards to Revenue % in relation to payroll.

      The amount of money Jeter makes will not stop them from putting a WS contender on the field every year.

      There is far too much money for the Yankees to be made in the playoffs and as a result of WS wins to stop them from spending if for some reason Jeter’s contract was hurting them.

      • Brien Jackson says:

        It’s not just the contract, it’s the player. It’s one thing if Jeter maintain a .300/.370/440 batting line with serviceable defense at SS, but if he sinks into the .270/.320/.390 range, plays horrible defense, and refuses to move to another position while soaking up $80 million from 2011-14, that’s another thing altogether isn’t it?

        • ZZ says:

          Why is he “refusing” to move to another position?

          • Brien Jackson says:

            It’s a hypothetical.

            • ZZ says:

              But why is that a realistic thing to even worry about?

              • Brien Jackson says:

                Because everything resembling a report on it I’ve ever seen has indicated that Jeter doesn’t intend to ever quit playing SS. And he’s already held on to the position despite the team acquiring a much better shortstop in the past.

                • ZZ says:

                  There was probably much more to the A-Rod thing at the time than Jeter’s opinion on the matter. It is very possible the Yankees just did not want Jeter to move off SS.

                  That decision has actually worked out, because there is no way A-Rod could still play SS and would have had to move off the position much earlier than Jeter will.

                  The one time someone in the organization brought to Jeter’s attention his deficiencies at the position he worked his tail off to get better.

                  I don’t buy at all he will selfishly hold onto SS if he can’t play there anymore.

                  • Mike HC says:

                    Right. Jeter takes issue with the fact that everyone tells him he will automatically have the change positions in X amount of years. Lets wait for it to happen before we start figuring out his next position.

        • Ed says:

          Ask Alfonso Soriano what happens if you refuse when the team insists you change positions.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      That could be the case, but not necessarily. If they pay Jeter $20 mill per and he produces next to nothing on either side of the ball that’s a huge weight on the team. In a larger sense, if Jeter and Burnett and another of the Yankees big money deals produce nothing, that’s about 1/3 the payroll wasted. If a cap comes into play it will be more significant.
      Maybe Jeter continues to play well and it is insignificant. If he plays below average it starts to become significant and possible part of a larger problem.

      • ZZ says:

        There will never be a salary cap in baseball. Small market teams do not even want a cap.

        No point of even worrying about it.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          What makes you say small-market teams don’t want a cap?

          • ZZ says:

            Because if you have a salary cap that means you need a salary floor.

            The #1 priority of these small market owners is to make money and having a floor requires them to spend more money.

            With a salary cap system you may also have to get rid of revenue sharing, because the purpose of that was to level the playing field. It is much harder to justify revenue sharing with a salary cap system. And no or less revenue sharing means less money in the pockets of teams like the Marlins.

          • whozat says:

            Because caps, generally, come with a floor.

          • All Praise Be To Mo says:

            A cap means a floor, so instead of the Marlins being able to have a payroll of $20 million and them pocketing tens of millions each year, the floor would be 60 or 70 million and force them to pay more for players than they do now.

          • Ted Nelson says:

            The Marlins and Yankees are extreme examples. Only 2 of the teams. To say the Marlins represent every small market team is as extreme as saying the Yankees represent every big market team (in fact, big market teams trying to compete with the Yankees wish they were cut down to size and small market teams might also resent the Marlins for making them all look cheap and greedy). I’m sure there are more owners out there who would prefer not to see the Yankees sign the top 3 free agents in any given year than there are teams who want to spend $20 mill per year.

            It’s going to take 1/2 the owners (I assume) to make a decision, and then they’re going to have to get it into the CBA with the players. I don’t see anything dramatic happening since there are so many moving parts. However, to say that the Marlins will speak for every small market club…

            In reality the Marlins are spending $55.6 mill this season, not $20. In reality there are only 2 teams spending under $50 mill and 5 teams spending under $60 mill this season (2 of those 5 are in 1st place). There are 21 teams that are spending at least $70 mill this season. 19 teams fall between $60-120 mill and might try to flatten the cap structure around that basic band to cut the Yankees and Sox down to size and make the bottom teams spend some cash. They might do this by increasing taxes and other incentives to create a de facto floor and ceiling. Or they might do nothing and go on with business as usual (again, 2 of the 6 1st place teams are in the bottom 5 in payroll). To say that every small market team is ok with the Yankees spending $200 mill and getting any FA they want, though, I’m not sure.

            • ZZ says:

              The Marlins were just an easy example because they were basically forced by MLB to spend more money last offseason. There are plenty of other teams, teams spending less than the Marlins that would not approve of a salary floor.

              You are also citing other teams 2010 payrolls saying that there are a large number of teams above the theoretical floor, but that is flawed.

              Many teams are still suffering the effects of an era that saw free agents get grossly overpaid.

              There are a number of teams that are straddled with horrible contracts right now and that is keeping their payroll high.

              Once those contracts come off the books, it is far from a guarantee the owners reinvest that money in their teams.

              You are also leaving the players out of the equation. Their union is incredibly strong. One of the strongest unions in the United States.

              They players would not allow a salary cap to go through.

              • Ted Nelson says:

                Again, only 4 teams spend less than the Marlins. That’s a minority of teams that might get out-voted by the majority. The majority of teams are between $60-120 mill. I agree that a hard cap is unlikely, but they might try to create further incentives to punish the teams spending the most and the least. Level the playing field. They might even just share more revenue.

                “You are also citing other teams 2010 payrolls saying that there are a large number of teams above the theoretical floor, but that is flawed.
                Many teams are still suffering the effects of an era that saw free agents get grossly overpaid.”

                It is not flawed, because that’s how much they are spending. It is flawed to assume that players will not continue to be “grossly overpaid.” Spending was down last offseason, but plenty of guys still got paid. There will always be bad contracts handed out and players sitting on the books earning money they don’t deserve. There’s no cure for that.

                “You are also leaving the players out of the equation. Their union is incredibly strong. One of the strongest unions in the United States.”

                No, if you read my comment you’ll see that I mention the owners will have to negotiate with the players.

                Try discussing the issue and not bull-headedly insisting you are infallible and omnipotent.

              • Ted Nelson says:

                “They players would not allow a salary cap to go through.”

                The players could care less which teams spend the money as long as it’s spent. If a floor followed a cap in equal measure they’d have no reason not to be on board. The owners could also concede something to them if the cap is that important to them.

                • Ted Nelson says:

                  I’m not saying there will be a cap. I have no idea. I’m saying that there could be and that small market teams in general would be in-favor of limiting the Yankees spending.

    • Mike HC says:

      Im with you completely. Is there a risk that this a real decline due to age? Yes. Is it enough to start playing hardball in contract negotiations? No.

    • JobaWockeeZ says:

      The Yankees shockingly have a budget just like every other team out there. Just because it’s like 50 million more than the next highest team does not men they do not have a budget. Unless you think Cashman’s only worth is lying.

      • ZZ says:

        They don’t have a fixed budget.

        2009 they set a budget, but that doesn’t mean that is the same budget for 2010.

        Like I said above, they are not even close to their limits in terms of what they can spend on payroll in regards to their revenue.

        The Yankees make far more money from having winning teams than on setting a strict budget if it gets in the way of winning.

        They made a little more than $70 million last year just on ticket sales during the playoffs.

        • ZZ says:

          I mean 2010 they set the budget, but that doesn’t mean it is the same for 2011.

          • JobaWockeeZ says:

            Haven’t they always had the capability of going greatly over 200 million? They just haven’t. To get Mo, Jeter, Cliff Lee and another starter if the Yankees don’t like going the develop style then it’s probably going to be a good amount over 200 million. Of course I don’t work for the team so I’ll have no idea what they are willing to spend. But they do have a budget and it’ll likely stay around the 200 million make regardless if they want to significantly increase it.

            • ZZ says:

              What reason have they had to go greatly over 200 million before?

              They have put a WS contender on the field every year and have not lost out on a FA they really coveted.

            • Mike HC says:

              It is going to keep rising over time if the Yanks want to continue to have the same financial advantage they have enjoyed over the years. It is already closer to 210 mil than 200 mil, and I would expect it to continue to creep closer to the 220 mil mark over the next 3-4 or so.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          Are you considering revenue sharing and luxury tax payments? Minor league salaries? Costs of doing business in NYC? There’s also the intangible effect that spending $100 mill more than any other team would have: it would almost surely rally the other owners to stop the Yankees. Like it or not the Yankees do have budget constraints at some point. They may or may not be there right now, but they cannot spend an infinite amount.

      • Mike HC says:

        The Steinbrenner’s just avoided paying like 400 million to the government because Big George died in the correct year.

        The least you could do with it is overpay Jeter by 20-30 million. Share the wealth.

        /half kidding.

  13. Pete says:

    I’ve been saying that all year – his “down” year gives the yankees some MUCH needed leverage. He kinda reminds me of Damon in the way that he seemingly refuses to think of himself as anything less than a top-10 player in the league, when he is clearly nothing close to that. I could live with handing Derek 3 years at $15 million per, with a $12 million 4th year option, just because I don’t think it’ll be possible to go much lower than that without a viable replacement at the ready (i.e., Derek could just walk away, take a small contract elsewhere and hold a grudge against the yankees (and probably OPS 1.400 against them the rest of the way, too), and the Yanks would be stuck without even a middling shortstop), but even that will be grossly overpaying considering the production you’re likely to get out of him.

    The thing that worries me is that I don’t think Derek would see things that way, at all.

    • B-Rando says:

      When has Jeter claimed to be a “top 10 player in the league”?? I just think we need to be careful in jumping to conclusions about what Jeter is demanding. Obviously he wants the best contract he can get, but to start comparing him to Damon is a little premature IMO.

    • mike c says:

      He kinda reminds me of Damon in the way that he seemingly refuses to think of himself as anything less than a top-10 player in the league, when he is clearly nothing close to that.

      has he said this publicly somewhere or are you assuming this?

      • Pete says:

        maybe “top-10″ was a bit of hyperbole, but I’ve never once heard him acknowledge the fact that he is, in fact, old, and should probably retire soon. I could be wrong, but the impression that I get, admittedly from the general media perception, which could be highly skewed, is that he’ll at least want something in the neighborhood of 5 years, $100 million, and he’ll probably be more lenient on the money than the years. What I don’t get is why he would even want to play 5 more years when there’s a solid chance that he’s a well-below-average player by the end of that span. And the only reason I can come up with is that he thinks he is younger and better than he actually is.

        • B-Rando says:

          Pete, where are you getting any of your numbers? You said it yourself…media perception. I haven’t heard Jeter say anything regarding an exact number of years OR money.

          Quite honestly, I don’t think he should retire soon either. He’s still got gas in the tank. This time last year Jeter was carrying the Yanks through this long stretch of games and dropping himself in MVP discussions.

          I think your perception of who Jeter thinks Jeter is, is completely off base.

    • vin says:

      “his “down” year gives the yankees some MUCH needed leverage. ”

      My guess is that the Yanks would love to see him have a typical season, so they can pay him accordingly and maintain the great relationship they have with him. Jeter having a down year is making this situation tougher on the Yankees, not easier.

      • vin says:

        Oh, and 3/45 seems about right to me. He’d probably be worth around 10 per year on the field, but I’d guess that he’d ask for 20 per year. Meeting in the middle seems more than fair for a guy with his relevance.

        I think the key is to keep the contract short. I’d be much more amenable to 3-4 years rather than 5-6.

        Or maybe they could significantly front-load a 5 year contract to keep the value more in-line with his projected production. Pay him the final 2 years like a Griffey-type figure head. I’d be open to that (for what its worth).

      • Pete says:

        eh, he’s a 36 year old shortstop, but his relationship with the club is such that it would have been borderline impossible for them to not pay him like an elite 27 year old shortstop were he not having the year he’s having now.

    • ray-ray says:

      I remember that jeter got 50 or 60 million more in his last contract over the same length of time because the yanks policy was to wait until after the season…after a-rods contract with texas,Jeter won that chess game BIG-TIME..I for one am hoping for a 3 year 45 million contract with an announcement of a lifetime service contract that kicks in when he decides to retire!Combining his remaining playing years to his retirement years may allow him to take less now by announcing a nice severance package in advance…like George Brett and Wayne Gretzky!!!!

  14. poster on a different computer who happens to be a deuce bag says:

    I really, really, hope Jeter starts hitting this second half.

    I’m hopeful because he just had a long meeting with Kevin Long, who’s a freaking wizard as a hitting coach.

  15. vin says:

    The most important thing for the Yankees is to not let the Jeter/Yankee relationship become tarnished by the contract negotiation. Right now, the perception is the Yanks are the team that takes care of their guys, as opposed to how the Sox run guys out of town and bad mouth them on the way out.

    Players need to feel that going to the Yanks will not only benefit them in their initial contract, but they will either be re-signed, or at least remain marketable to other clubs if the Yanks choose not to keep them.

    • I’d flip that. It’s more important to Jeter not to let the contract negotiations tarnish his image. He has more to lose than the Yanks do.

      • Brien Jackson says:

        I wouldn’t count on it. Sportswriters must have money invested in Jeter or something, because the Myth of Jeter has proven remarkably durable.

      • vin says:

        Interesting. It’s a pretty fine line though. The thinking behind the final Torre negotiation was completely transparent and made the Yanks look like they were running him out of town. There were plenty of Torre sympathizers, until he wrote his book.

        My biggest concern is that the CC Sabathia’s of the future will say “why should I go to the Yanks when they can’t even keep their legends happy?” Obviously being able to pay more for a guy has its perks, but as we’ve seen with the Lebron/Wade/Bosh fiasco, this new generation of players has a different mind-set.

        • Mike HC says:

          Except in baseball, playing with the very best players, and getting paid the most usually go hand in hand. You don’t have to sacrifice one for the other.

        • Brien Jackson says:

          Well with Torre you had the incident from the ALDS, and a perception even before the negotiations that Steinbrenner was going to sack him. I rather doubt you see anything like that with Jeter, or that Derek doesn’t get a pretty generous offer.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          “There were plenty of Torre sympathizers, until he wrote his book.”

          And until they won a title with Girardi.

          “why should I go to the Yanks when they can’t even keep their legends happy?”

          They keep more people happy than any team in baseball… As long as the Yankees are open, honest, and fair in their negotiations I don’t think this will be conveyed. The Yankees will have paid Jeter over $225 mill after the season. They’ve made him one of the most recognizable faces in sports (he wouldn’t be nearly as recognizable or popular were he a life-long Royal, for example and probably not even were he a Red Sox or Met)… an all-time legend. A “winner.” The Yankees will not let him walk over a couple of mill, but if Jeter takes $20 mill+ per year to go to another team when the Yankees were offering $15 I believe he will be remembered as the bad guy when he fails to live up to expectations in his new home. Maybe he does “bring them” a WS and is loved, but chances are against him I think.

          • vin says:

            I completely agree. However, my thinking is that the Yanks will NOT pay him like a 36 year old shortstop coming off his worst season, as some have suggested. The Yankees HAVE to pay him according to a different scale because of who he is and what he’s done.

            Nearly all players should be valued based on their on-field production. But there are a select few who transcend that. Obviously not to the point where Jeter is making 25+ a year. But the Yankees have to make sure they don’t take too hard a line with him because it’ll only hurt the Yankee brand.

            • Ted Nelson says:

              I agree and I don’t think they’ll take a hard line. He will get a premium because of who he is. Part of that is intangible, but part of it is also that who he is is very reliable, a good baseball player, a hard worker, “clutch,” and a leader… tangible things that do help the team to some greater or lesser extent (even if that extent cannot be reliably quantified).

              Really it comes down to other teams for me. Who else is willing to bid and how much. If another team offers Jeter 2 years at $20 mill total that’s way different than if they offer him 5 years at $20 mill per year. The Yankees have no reason to take a hard line should no other serious bidder emerge. And if you’re another sane team, why do you offer Jeter 5 years $100 mill? In the case his market value is relatively low Jeter will come out looking something like the Johnny Damon if he takes a hard line. I don’t think Jeter wants to look like Damon to take a one or two year deal with the Tigers that’s roughly in-line with the Yankees offered anyway.

              • Ted Nelson says:

                Another thing is that Jeter’s loved in NY, but hated a lot of other places. Should he alienate the NY fans, a lot of his retirement marketability goes away. An extra mill or two to go to some crappy market is probably a bad move long-term. Losing Jeter over a mill or two is probably a bad play by the Yanks… so it’ll be interesting to see where his value lies. Again, it might depend on other offers he gets if the two sides are far apart. I could also see the Yankees overpaying even if they know it’s ridiculous… we’ll see.

      • Mike HC says:

        I agree with Ben here. No one player is bigger than the Yanks. It will hurt Jeter in the long run more than it will hurt the Yanks, regardless of the immediate press coverage.

    • Brien Jackson says:

      No, the most important thing for the Yankees is to make moves that leave them in a position to win lots of championships. If 37 year old Derek Jeter insists on being overpaid and the two sides can’t reach an agreement, well that’s business, and the Yankees will have to move on.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        Agreed with both Brien and Benjamin. If Jeter goes somewhere else on a $20 mill per contract and produces the way he is this season… he’s going to be a big disappointment and more likely hated by those fans. Only a few teams can afford a gigantic deal for a slightly above average player. Both the Mets and especially Red Sox would tarnish Jeter’s image. The Dodgers might be inclined, but their financial situation is uncertain until the divorce is settled.

        Jeter is married to the Yankees, but he’s another in a great line of Yankee heroes. Everyone knows the Yankees take care of players who produce and I doubt a 36 year old SS coming off a career worst season and seeking an insane amount of money would change that perception.

        Jeter has a lot of incentives to be reasonable about this process as well. If he goes to the Red Sox or Mets and wins he’s remembered as stepping on the Yankees heart and not the Captain. If he goes somewhere else on a huge contract and loses, his reputation is tarnished at least a bit.

        • whozat says:

          “If he goes to the Red Sox or Mets and wins he’s remembered as stepping on the Yankees heart and not the Captain.”

          This contention I don’t agree with, necessarily. It’ll all depend on the spin, and I have to think that the storyline of Corprorate Hal nickel-and-diming the Captain, contrasted with the loyal King George narratvie would play too well for the media to ignore.

          • Ted Nelson says:

            Could be… there are a whole lot of variables: how does Jeter play, how does his new team do, how do the Yankees do/ what else do they do personnel wise… I don’t really see Yankees fans remembering Jeter nearly as fondly should he go on to win a WS with the Sox or Mets or wherever else.

            More likely is that he under-performs a huge contract should he get one elsewhere. Overall, though, this is probably a waste of time because I do not see another team valuing Jeter significantly higher than the Yankees do.

        • Sweet Dick Willie says:

          If Jeter goes somewhere else on a $20 mill per contract

          Let’s be serious. No team, other than the Yankees, would offer Jeter anywhere near that kind contract.

          36 year old free agent shortstops don’t command that kind of money.

          In reality, Jeter needs the Yankees more than the Yankees need Jeter.

          Having said that (Curb reference), I think he will sign for something like 3/45.

          • vin says:

            I’m feeling the 3/45 deal. Seems about right.

          • Ted Nelson says:

            3/45 is a reasonable expectation.

            For Jeter to get a huge deal elsewhere it takes a meddling and generous owner who thinks bringing in a “winner” like Jeter is worth overpaying. Say Mark Cuban were to buy the Rangers… maybe he’d do that just to announce his presence to baseball if he struck out on the Cliff Lee and Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder FAs… I really doubt it, but who knows.

  16. viasistina says:

    It’s all about the competition for Jeter’s services. What teams in the league will sign a 36 year old shortstop on the short side of 37 and for how much? Is he going to lead another team to a pennant? Will thousands of people come out to watch him get hit 3000? Jeter is worth $10-12M in my book, maybe with some personal services and incentive money added in. Where is he going to go? Arizona?

    • Ted Nelson says:

      Good point. Yankees may be inclined to offer a premium over his market value, but first you have to figure out what that value is.

  17. TLVP says:

    Derek Jeter is no 1 because he appeals to so many groups, but so do the Yankees.

    The NYY brand is bigger than the Jeter brand and would only be marginally smaller without him because there isn’t a group that really follows the Yankees because of Derek Jeter (as opposed to Matsui or Wang). He does help people feel better about following the Yankees (home grown talent, do-right kind of guy so the big bad Yankees can’t be all bad)but I doubt there are many that would stop folloiwng them if he left. Furthermore, if he left following outrageous salary demands it wouldn’t really impact the Yankees’ earnings that much.

    Actually signing a 4/20 deal would be horrible for the image of the team win in year 4 he’s a bench player batting .200. All the talk of bloated contracts would get even worse. This would also hit DJ’s marketability for his own contracts so it is in nobody’s interest.

    Look at Lebron. His marketability has fallen massively and he didn’t even do it for the money!

    The smartest thing for everyone would be a Wakefield type contract with rolling mutual one year options at $10m fixed + $5m incentives and a $10m buyout cost. I don’t know if the amounts are right (overall looks high to me but the figures are less important than the structure).

  18. ZZ says:

    It is pretty funny how quickly Jeter has become (or rather will become) a selfish drag on the team that drain the Yankees for every last penny on this board.

    • Mike HC says:

      There has always been a slightly negative Jeter vibe on this site. I shouldn’t say negative. Maybe I should say realists. I don’t know. Jeter is one of the few things I consistently disagree with people on around here.

    • I don’t think that’s the case at all. I think people are just saying he shouldn’t automatically be given whatever he wants.

      • ZZ says:


        I guess you have been reading different stuff about Jeter than I have on this board this season.

        People call for his head after every ground out, they say he will apparently refuse to switch positions if he can’t play SS anymore, they say he will be selfish if he takes too much money, and that he will be a drag on this team unless they play hardball with him and potentially force him to walk.

        • I think the groundout comments are mostly tongue in cheek. As for the other parts, those comments are wrong and on the opposite end of the spectrum. There needs to be a middle ground here: Jeter shouldn’t be given whatever he wants and the Yankees shouldn’t play too hard.

        • People call for his head after every ground out

          Crazy fuckers, sure. The crazy fuckers who do that aren’t the people you regularly have detailed, evenhanded conversations with around here. Don’t judge the most of us by the actions of the least of us.

          they say he will apparently refuse to switch positions if he can’t play SS anymore

          Which is a real concern, and he’s demonstrated real reluctance to move off of SS or even consider it, as have countless other older players who are the last to admit that they can’t do what they used to do. I fail to see how discussing that makes one a Jeter-hater, just a student of history.

          they say he will be selfish if he takes too much money,

          Again, crazy fuckers. Not most of RAB. We recognize he’s a man who is entitled to whatever he can get.

          and that he will be a drag on this team unless they play hardball with him and potentially force him to walk.

          That’s a nuanced position that the board is fairly split on, I’d say. But that scenario is a definite possibility, you have to admit it. There is a real possibility that Jeter will demand a contract longer and larger than his market value and projected future contributions should warrant, and if you admit that possibility, you must acknowledge the validity of taking a hardline approach to try to lessen that possible negative or avoid it altogether.

          It’s not what I agree with, but it’s not an invalid proposition.

          • ZZ says:

            Some of those crazy fuckers (lol) are the people who run this blog. But, maybe they are joking as Matt I suggested and if so I am wrong.

            Also, I understand not everyone on this board has turned on Jeter. No board ever has the same position on a subject. It seems to me though the majority of the people on here especially on this thread have really begun to portray Jeter in a very selfish light. There are also a lot of names I don’t necessarily recognize as “regulars” so that could be the reason why.

            The Yankees would obviously be better off with Jeter accepting a market rate deal, but it is not going to happen and I don’t see it stopping the Yankees from putting a WS contender on the field every year at all.

            I addressed my opinion on the position change thing a bit higher in this thread btw.

            • poster on a different computer says:

              Which RABbi are you referring to as crazy?

              (I could be opening a can of worms here).

              • ZZ says:

                Just want to preface this by saying that crazy fuckers was not my term. Was just going by what tommie used in my response. But, Mike and to a lesser extent Ben have no exactly been kind to Jeter’s struggles recently to put it lightly.

                • poster on a different computer says:

                  Right, I knew crazy fuckers was not your term, which is why I only used crazy.

                • Yup. You’re right; we haven’t. But think of it this way: The Yanks’ job is to win, and Derek Jeter atop the lineup isn’t helping them reach that goal right now. I know the Yanks aren’t going to alienate Jeter, but they don’t need to coddle him either. Considering his age and contract status, we have legitimate concerns even if our in-game hyperbole can be over the top.

            • It seems to me though the majority of the people on here especially on this thread have really begun to portray Jeter in a very selfish light. There are also a lot of names I don’t necessarily recognize as “regulars” so that could be the reason why.

              That’s very possible, that the majority of the people portray him selfishly, but I bet if you polled the longest tenured and most frequent, well-respected commenters, the guys and girls who are always here commenting on every topic (i.e. the backbone of the RAB commenting community, for lack of a better phrase), you’d find that to a man (or woman) we all acknowledge that any selfishness on Jeter’s part is his natural right to place his own interests at the center of his life, just as it’s the Yankees natural right to place their interests at the center of their business, and that all people are selfish in a normal, non-perverse or irregular way.

              I think Jeter is selfish in the manner that all people are selfish, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Saying that he’ll do what’s best for him is normal and appropriate. It’s not selfish, it’s self-interested, and those two concepts can often seem similar and be portrayed with similar language.



              It may seem like we portray him selfishly simply because we are frequently called on to disabuse some naive commenter from his fanciful notion that Jeter’s about to bend over backwards and give the team some massive team-friendly discount that benefits only the Yankees and massively undercuts his market value, a deal that no ballplayer of Jeter’s accomplishments and talents would ever take. I can see how my comments could be misconstrued to portray Jeter as selfish if I’m telling someone that “There’s no way Jeter’s going to sign a Tim Wakefield deal, that’s insulting, he’s not Tim Wakefield”.

              Perhaps that’s what’s happening here.

  19. Mike HC says:

    It is all about length of the deal. If it is a 3-4 year deal, even looking at worst case scenario, it won’t hamstring the franchise all that much. If it gets into the the 5+ years, then there is a lot of added risk, and I would definitely have to think twice. Thats how I see it.

  20. larryf says:

    he’s hoping to hold out until he is world series mvp and then use that…


  21. Jobu says:

    The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of just offering arbitration. If he accepts the Yanks get him back for $23ishM on a 1 year deal. Then pray that he gets to 3,000 hits and they win another world series in 2011 so they can push him into the sunset on the ultimate high. If he declines, who is going to pay more than $23M and lose a draft pick to sign Jeter? If someone steps up then the Yanks match. It would tarnish Jeter’s image at this point to leave the Yankees as much as it would tarnish their image to lose him.

    • If he declines, who is going to pay more than $23M and lose a draft pick to sign Jeter?

      The Tigers.

      • Jobu says:

        I may be grossly underestimating the overall level of GM incompetence and the way some individual GMs have excelled in this area, raising their incompetence to mind blowing levels. You might even say that there exist current GMs whose incompetence has ridiculous upside!

        • But overpaying Jeter wouldn’t be an act of stunning incompetence, because:

          A.) Jeter is still at this moment a good shortstop, and would be an upgrade to what many teams currently run out there at SS every day
          B.) Jeter is still a cash cow, and the ancillary dollars he brings to a franchise can offset (if not eliminate) whatever financial burden he carries
          C.) There are other big market teams that would be interested in him and can afford to take the financial hit he carries, like his hometown Tigers

          • Jobu says:

            Fair enough, but the Yankees could still match any offer from another team. Jeter could leave because he felt slighted but from a value and legacy perspective he is much better off stying with the Yankees.

  22. steve s says:

    Trying to analyze Jeter’s next contract with the Yanks through some kind of conventional performance-based crystal ball is not IMO how this is going to go down. The basic premise of the neogtiations will be how do the Yankees and Jeter come up with a “lifetime” contract deal including ownership interests down the road without tripping up any baseball rules or costing the Yanks any undue luxury tax $$$.

    • The basic premise of the neogtiations will be how do the Yankees and Jeter come up with a “lifetime” contract deal including ownership interests down the road without tripping up any baseball rules or costing the Yanks any undue luxury tax $$$.

      I don’t see the Yankees giving or even promising Jeter any type of ownership interest. He can be a lifetime Yankee like Reggie: a trusted advisor and hanger-on, but one who doesn’t own a piece of the family business.

      • steve s says:

        I agree with the Jeter/Reggie comparison and could see Jeter being to Hal what Reggie was to George. I’m not pretending to know how it could be done and it would need to be very creative but Randy Levine (love him or hate him) is a pretty savvy deal-maker so I could see him in the role of brokering some kind of lifetime type deal with an ownership potential tail (even if direct ownership interests aren’t involved offering Jeter some kind of right of first offer or right of first refusal to purchase the team etc.).

      • Brien Jackson says:

        Giving an ownership stake is prohibited by the CBA.

    • Jobu says:

      If I try to put on Steinbrenner shoes, why the hell would I give an ownership interest to a player. The Yankee organization is worth more than a billion dollars. So each 1% is worth $10M. Giving away ownership gets very expensive. Not to mention the fact that, finances aside, there is no way I would ever give away ownership to a player!

      • Sweet Dick Willie says:

        Giving away ownership gets very expensive.

        Fun fact: Donald Trump was ready to sign Don Shula to coach his USFL Jersey Generals. At the last minute, Shula asked that an apartment in Trump Towers be included in the deal. Trump said no.

        “I didn’t get to be a millionaire by giving away real estate.”

  23. Mike HC says:

    I know this can’t be measured with numbers, but I would like to know how much of an impact Jeter has in the clubhouse and on some of the younger guys on the team. He is so ridiculously closed doors and private, that we as fans really have no idea. If he has a huge locker room influence and truly sets the mood for the entire club, overpaying him does not seem as bad. If he is more of the type to just do his own thing and keep to himself (which is fine) that may be a negative factor.

    Not the biggest of factors, but just something I thought I would throw out there.

  24. Brandon says:

    5 years for 75 million. That is the contract they will give Jeter.The Yankees have Arod signed til hes 42 years old and Mariano says he wants to play another 4-5 years putting him around 45 years old and with that cutter he just might. So why not give Derek another 5 years. Im not saying at shortstop, 2011 will be his last season at short. He will then switch to left field and DH. He will probably finish with 3750 hits and retire one of the greatest baseball players to ever put on a uniform. Then he will go into marketing for himself and become part owner of the New York Yankees.

    • Jobu says:

      The problem with Jeter moving off short now is where to put him. He doesn’t profile well as a DH and Arod will be DHing more over the next 5 years. Moving him to LF was an option until Gardner emerged as a top notch left fielder. Gardner could fall off a cliff, but right now he is a more valuable LF than Jeter would be. Not to mention he is really cheap. One option would be to move Gardner back to CF, then Jeter just has to outperform Granderson. Given their current trends, Jeter has a better chance of outperforming Curtis but how much do you want to bet he will do it. This also doesn’t account for other options that may become available for LF or CF.

      • larryf says:

        How about Jeter to RF and Swish to DH in 2012? Say goodbye to Jorge and find someone with range to play short.

  25. vin says:

    The real question is – would you trade Jesus Montero for Derek Jeter?

  26. Alex says:

    i see tommiesmithjohncarlos’s name too frequently.

  27. Mike M says:

    Before the 2008 season, the Yankees gave Jorge Posada 4 years/$52 million. It was said that he received that more years and more money than he would have anywhere else because of his previous contributions to the Yankees. Posada’s still a solid hitter, but he’s been hurt every year since that deal. So why can’t they give Jeter 4 years/$80 million? It’s not like they can’t afford to. I am optimistic that Jeter will come back, as he always has, but even now as he’s slumping, he’s not a weakness in the field or the lineup. He’s just less of a strength then he was in his prime. The Yankees need to realize how important it is to treat the face of the franchise with respect.

  28. Cookiepuss says:

    I would offer Jeter two years at $20M per year for $40M total and $229M in total earnings for him 2001-13 plus what he made 1995-2001.

    If he doesn’t take it, thanks for the memories and he can have fun collecting his 3000th hit in another uniform he will wear for two years and far less than $20M a year. I’d defy him to win a World Series with his new team and he’d never live it down if he faced the Yankees in the 2011 and/or 2012 World Series (if his team was that good) and lost.

    The 2011 Yankees without Jeter? Easy:

    1. Sign Carl Crawford for LF and the #2 slot (Gardner leads off.)

    2. Sign a veteran for DH for this batting order and starting nine: Gardner/Crawford/Teixiera/Rodriguez/Cano/Posada/Swisher/Veteran DH/New SS

    3. Trade Granderson for prospects (Gardner to CF.)

    4. Trade for a solid defensive everyday shortstop who could bat ninth or sign one like Edgar Renteria for a year and $4M if his club option is not picked up (he’s making a ridiculous $10M this year.)

    • MikeD says:

      So we become the new Red Sox, constantly in search of a SS every year because the Yankees couldn’t afford to overpay Jeter, even though we overpay eveyrone else?

      It’ll be interesting when Jeter and Posada and Rivera retire. People seem to think there’s a place to call and easily replace them. There isn’t. We’re about to find out why we’ve had such excellent teams since the mid-90s. Those three players have given us a substantial step up at major postions for a long time and there are no replacements.

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