Sherman: Pondering Jeter’s second half


Now that Derek Jeter is only a half a season away from free agency and hitting just .275/.342/.392 on the year, the issue of his impending contract situation is starting to become more urgent. While Jeter isn’t playing up to the lofty standards he has set for himself, he’s not doing anything worse than most other 36-year-old short stops, but the Yankees have publicly stated that they will “take care of him” come November. Today, Joel Sherman opines on Derek’s situation and notes that the Yanks have so far been justified when they decided not to extend Jeter after the 2009 season. “At this point,” Sherman asks, “if his name were not Derek Jeter, who would even give him a one-year, $10 million contract when this sure looks like late-30s decline?”

Right now, Jeter’s production puts him in line with a Marco Scutaro-type player, worth around $7-$8 million a season, and the Yankees’ front office clearly recognizes that Jeter won’t get better as he climbs through his late 30s. We’ll have more on the Captain over the next few weeks, but Jeter’s role on the team both this year and into the future is, as Sherman wrote today, one of the more pressing issues facing the Yanks as they begin their drive toward October.

Categories : Asides, Players


  1. Pete says:

    god i hate how much we’re going to have to pay him.

  2. pat says:

    By take care of I hope they mean send him out to stud at the Bunny Ranch.

  3. Ed says:

    You know if he played for the Red Sox, Theo would be running a whisper campaign against him and he’d be gone at the end of the season

    • Pete says:

      and then they wouldn’t be stuck paying a 36 year old shortstop twice as many years at twice the AAV they should be

  4. Reggie C. says:

    A “salary drive”, if such a thing even exists with the discovery of BaBip, is better than no drive.

    If DJ can’t recover to post something reasonably close to career norms, Cashman can’t go anything beyond 3 years at 20 mm per. There’s no way Cash offers a 4th year, unless its a club option. I do think DJ will have a better 2nd half, but he’s a long way off of career norms.

    • $20 million per?


      • yankthemike says:

        Cashman might not be as sentimental and foolish as some fans think. I hope they offer him a 2 year deal with an option

        • It’s not about Cashman being sentimental or not, it’s about Cashman considering both the present and the future.

          Yes, overpaying Jeter would suck, but if overpaying Jeter is the way to keep this symbiotic relationship between the premier sporting franchise on the planet and the premier sporting personality on the planet*, overpaying him a few dozen million may not really have a negative ramification in the long run.


          *(now that Tiger and LeBron have permanently sullied their images)

    • Reggie C. says:

      Ugh. I didn’t edit the amount before clicking submit. I meant to type: $15 mm per.

      Everybody takes a pay cut at some point.

      • Scooter says:

        Then there’s the elephant in the room – how much longer does Jeter play SS? How badly does a sub-.800 OPS (and a 3/45 contract) play at other positions?

        And what’s the Plan? A lot may depend on ARod’s health, Jeter’s defense, and the development of our young infielders (Nunez, Laird, Adams, Joseph). The rest depends on what free agents and trade candidates are available.

        • Reggie C. says:

          I would hope Cashman can cap the guaranteed years at 3, and if then offer club options for a 4th and 5th year with generous buy-out amounts when the options are declined.

          I’m not even thinking about the 2nd half scenario where Derek Jeter DOESN’T improve over his 1st half. Cash would then have to seriously reconsider a 3 years guarantee offer.

  5. I wonder–if Jeter wasn’t coming up on 3K hits, say it was far away or he’d already somehow passed the mark–would they even bring him back? They probably would, but I think it wouldn’t be such a sure thing.

  6. Theoretical Joel Sherman: “Yankees on verge of giving Jeter massive extension”


  7. ultimate913 says:

    If his numbers continue to decline this year, the Yanks can’t go more than 3 years at about 15 per. Anymore than that would handicap the team.

  8. Sam Malone says:

    I know we pay the high priced tickets and food and blah blah blah, but lets still put this in perspective. It’s Steinbrenner money, so what should we care if they pay him 5, 10, 20 million a year? I know articles like this need to be written, and it was interesting enough from a baseball standpoint, but all I care about is his production (or lack of) on the field. Not how it effects his salary next year. That’s not my problem. Unless Derek was thinking of taking his paychecks next year and splitting it amongst all of us.

    ugh I dunno, I woke up hung over to find out Sheppard died, I’m just in a bad mood.

  9. I can see 4 years at 12-15 per most likely.

  10. “At this point,” Sherman asks, “if his name were not Derek Jeter, who would even give him a one-year, $10 million contract when this sure looks like late-30s decline?”

    Right now, Jeter’s production puts him in line with a Marco Scutaro-type player, worth around $7-$8 million a season,

    Slow down.

    At the halfway point of 2010, Derek Jeter has put up a 1.8 WAR at shortstop, which is worth $7.4M in WAR Dollars. Double that, and you’re at $14.8M. This talk that Jeter isn’t worth a 1/10M or should get Marco Scutaro $7/$8M money is quite a bit of hyperbole, no?

    I’ll agree that Jeter has declined to the point where he’s not worth a 5 year deal at 20M per; that’s obvious. But he’s worth way more than an 8M deal as well. Even in his decline, Jeter still posts an annual WAR of at least three and a half wins a season. Marco Scutaro’s done that exactly once in his lifetime and isn’t going to ever do it again.

    Old, broken down Derek Jeter >>>>>>>>>>>> Every MLB shortstop not named Hanley, Troy, or Elvis

    • Reggie C. says:

      Old, broken down Derek Jeter has no market for his old, broken down services at 20 MM per. No team will even give him $15 MM per, which right now, is where i’d want Cashman to make his stand. Its a reasonably situated number that respects DJ’s career brilliance.

      What is DJ going to do? Not play b/c he’s taking an insignificant pay cut?

      • No team will even give him $15 MM per, which right now, is where i’d want Cashman to make his stand.

        I can think of a perennially contending team that currently has an offensive black hole at shortstop and will be flush with cash this winter as countless bad contracts finally drop off the books.

        They have a deep-pocketed owner who’s not afraid to spend money and they happen to be the team in closest proximity to Derek Jeter’s childhood home, to boot.

        If Cash gave Jeter a firm 15M AAV cap, I bet they’d leap into the fray at 17 or 18M in a heartbeat to steal his brand away from the Yankees and bolster their already strong title-ready team.

        Jeets can even play with his old buddy Johnny.

        • Carlosologist says:

          Jesus, that would be a nightmare. The Yanks would be stuck with Nunez/Pena/whatever other offensive black hole. You can only hope Cito develops into an ML caliber shortstop.

          • JMK says:

            There’s no reason to expect Cito to make it, although you can certainly hope. He’s a kid playing in GCL. More likely the position will be filled externally. Nunez, whose bat is intriguing (I’ve underrated him because of questionable on-base skills and erratic defense), is the only shortstop even near ready to contribute and with Jeter sure to get an extension for 2 or more years, he’s probably out of the picture. Then we’re really only left with Cito, who at 18 playing in GCL, is nothing to bank on.

            • Reggie C. says:

              “More likely the position will be filled externally.”

              Gotcha. Since Cashman wants to trade Montero so bad, why just build a good package around Montero (Adams, Warren, Z-Mac) for Hanley Ramirez?


              • bexarama says:

                Montero rules and all but I’d trade Montero for Hanley in a hot second.

              • Doug says:

                keep going

                • Reggie C. says:

                  i can see such a trade proposal capped at 4 minor league names, but we’d have to give the Marlins a ready to use ML. You are right as I can see the Marlins demand for another lottery ticket.

                  Montero, Joba, Nova, Warren, and David Adams. Joba gets to start in the NL East. I’ll upgrade Zmac to Nova.

                  Gosh this fantasy is fun.

                  • Montero, Joba, Nova, Warren, and David Adams.

                    Keep going…

                  • Doug says:

                    are you sure joba’s a ready to use ML?

                    • ROBTEN says:

                      It would have to be Hughes over Joba and as a “dashing, suave, debonair, well endowed gentleman” said, you’d still have to “Keep Going.”

                      The time to get Hanley, like the time to get Montero, is before he makes his debut or then as a free agent.

                      Once he started averaging OPS+ 137 and a .394 wOBA I think that ship had sailed. Without some kind of crisis, you probably couldn’t put together the prospects/talent to land him without decimating your system.

                    • I’d say if you want to build a package for Hanley right now, it’s either going to have to include Hughes or Joba + Montero + Brackman + one of our super-elite low-level guys like Gary Sanchez, Jose Ramirez, Dellin Betances, Eduardo Sosa, etc.

                      This McAllister/Nova/Adams/Warren level guy is enough to get an Octavio Dotel or a Jeff Keppinger, but it’s utterly irrelevant when Hanley Ramirez is concerned. If you’re not giving the Marlins a legit CURRENT All-star for him (i.e. Hughes), you’re going to have to give them minimum two blue chippers and two future blue-chip potential guys.

                    • JMK says:

                      Agreed with TSJC. It starts with Hughes, Montero, Brackman, Nunez (?) and Ramirez.

                      And you know what? I’d probably pull the trigger on that.

    • bexarama says:

      Old, broken down Derek Jeter >>>>>>>>>>>> Every MLB shortstop not named Hanley, Troy, or Elvis

      Thank you.

      This deal is terrifying but people don’t seem to realize how bad shortstops are nowadays. Even a terrible Jeter is so much better than pretty much every shortstop out there. Of course, the big issue is when he’s forced to move off SS because he can’t play it any more…

      • Chris says:

        Something seems to have happened over the last couple seasons (steroids?) and almost all of the really good hitters are now at corner spots. I’m not sure if this is a long term trend or just a couple year aberration, but it makes a short stop that can hit even a little very valuable.

        As far as sabermetrics goes, I wonder if this will drive a change to the position adjustments given. Catcher is another position that doesn’t seem to get enough of a boost based on the offensive talent (or lack of) at the position.

      • JobaWockeeZ says:

        A slumping Jeter puts him around average to the other shortstops in the league according to OPS. He’ll get better probably but he’s not one of the best shortstops when slumping.

        • ROBTEN says:

          Actually, even this year Jeter is still (according to Fangraphs):

          Tied for 5th in WAR among all SS, 3rd in the AL
          5th in wOBA, 3rd in the AL
          Tied for 5th in OPS, 2nd in the AL

          so even a slumping Jeter is still above average.

    • Mike HC says:

      Exactly. Even in his down years, he is still among the best shortstops in baseball. And in good years, he is an MVP candidate.

      • Reggie C. says:

        You think he’s got a reasonable shot at approximating career norms, which would classify as a good year for DJ, as he gets older? We’ll find out with this 2nd half, but dont hold your breath.

        • Mike HC says:

          I’m holding my breath. While this may be a down year overall, I believe he will have better offensive years in the future.

          • JobaWockeeZ says:

            In his age 37, 38 and 39 seasons you see better offensive years? While I hope you’re right I find that unlikely.

            • Mike HC says:

              I think Jeter worked his ass off for the 2009 season, and honestly, I think he took a bit of a break to enjoy it all (getting engaged and everything that goes with that) this year. I think this was just a down first half, combined with the fact it is harder to just turn it back on as you get older.

              I honestly believe he will have better years in the future, more in line with career norms. But everything I write is pure speculation and can surely understand why people think a 36 year old player will never be the same again. I just disagree.

          • Doug says:

            not just a down year, this is looking like his “downest” year. not sure we can expect him to rebound in any sort of meaningful way as he hits his late 30s.

  11. Cletus Jones says:

    Derek Jeters next contract: An undisclosed revolving perpetual contract with incentives for club and ML hit records.

  12. jon says:

    Everyone always says how the yankees need to take care of DJ

    why cant DJ take care of the yankees? how about a nice wakefield like contract for 10m a year

  13. fact police says:

    Jeter’s on pace to be a little over a 3 win player provided he keeps going at this rate (not terribly likely, given his rates don’t indicate any precipitous decline in skills), and going rate for that is something like $12 million in a bad market.

  14. cody says:

    A 3 year extension is pretty much assured after the Yanks extended Posada for so long. A reduction is $$$ is also required. 3 years for 50 Mil would be generous by the Yankees standards. I suspect something more creative might be in order to save face: perhaps a lifetime contract with partial ownership of the team. I’m serious. Jeter will be the Yankees next manager.

  15. Steve says:

    3yrs 40Mil-does he take it?

  16. Problem is…Jeter can ask for whatever he wants and probably get it.

    If he sits across the table and says, “i want a 4 year deal for $80M” are the yankees going to tell him to take a hike? eeee…my best guess would be no.

  17. Kevin Ocala, Fl says:

    Heading into today’s first half finale Jeter has 360 AB’s and a .392 slugging percentage. That number, coupled w/ 53 strikeouts, strongly suggests that if he’s healthy, he’s going the way that older players have gone,(pre-peds era) which is towards retirement. There is no way, none, that ownership caves and tosses big money for multiple years. My bet is that he will be offered a fairly decent amount of money,a year to year, mutual-optioned contract (think Wakefield). If Jeter balks, he’ll be forced to look for another team, or retire. Again, he may be playing hurt and maybe recovers to have a good year with rest during the Break…

  18. Texas says:

    even suggesting that the Yankees would tell Jeets to “take a hike” is probably one of the most ridiculous things anyone could say. There is no viable replacement and this is Derek Frigin Jeter we are talking about. The team captain who is on the verge of 3K hits. Risk straining a relationship with your franchise and global icon? So stupid. Pay him his dollar, limit it to 3, if you can, and deal with it. Seriously, who is the alternitive if you tell him to take it or leave it? Is he worth $20 a year? No. Is he going to get it? Of course.

    • Kevin Ocala, Fl says:

      He may get it, then again he may get the Torre/Bernie Williams/Yogi Berra/Phil Rizzuto,Babe Ruth, etc treatment…. George ain’t runnin’ the Show anymore, 60 mil is still some decent money, even by pro athlete standards…

  19. Kevin P says:

    For ANYONE to actually think there will be any problems or “issues” with DJ’s next contract, they must be delusional.

    There are 3 things guaranteed in this lifetime:

    - death
    - taxes
    - Yankee management not screwing up and making ANY bad moves when it comes to Derek Jeter

    Thankfully DJ is not the type to sling mud or be unreasonable, so it makes him easier to work with. The Yankees can pay him whatever they want, he means that much to the franchise/fanbase/revenue streams, that he can be using a walker and they’d still pay him. Don’t be surprised if there is a handshake agreement that will make him part of the management of the team when he retires.

    This isn’t the Red Sox front office we are talking about. The Yankees care about tradition and the history of their players waaaaaaay to much to screw this up in any facet.

    • Kevin Ocala, Fl says:

      I may be totally wrong, but this notion of the Yanks pouring money all over Jeter is, IMHO, best expressed by the following lyrics, courtesy of The Jefferson Airplane: ;)

      One pill makes you larger
      And one pill makes you small
      And the ones that mother gives you
      Don’t do anything at all
      Go ask Alice
      When she’s ten feet tall

      And if you go chasing rabbits
      And you know you’re going to fall
      Tell ‘em a hookah smoking caterpillar
      Has given you the call
      Call Alice
      When she was just small

      When men on the chessboard
      Get up and tell you where to go
      And you’ve just had some kind of mushroom
      And your mind is moving slow
      Go ask Alice
      I think she’ll know

      When logic and proportion
      Have fallen sloppy dead
      And the White Knight is talking backwards
      And the Red Queen’s “off with her head!”
      Remember what the dormouse said;
      “Keep YOUR HEAD

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