One year later, the same Jeter conundrum


Yankee history, personified. Credit: AP Photo/Kathy Willens

Derek Jeter picked a bad time to get old.

For nine years, Derek Jeter made the Yanks’ 10-year, $189-million contract they gave him after the 2000 season look like a great deal, and then he turned 36. With one month left before Jeter’s final regular season game under this deal, the Yankee Captain is having the worst season of his career. Mired in a 2-for-30 slide, Jeter is now hitting .266/.332/.376 on the season, and he’s on pace for career lows in every triple-slash category. His OPS is .130 points below his career average, and although he’s out-pacing the average American League short stop, he may put up an OPS+ below 100 for the first time he was just a 21-year-old rookie.

It hasn’t been easy for the Yanks to diagnose Jeter’s problems this year. His isolated patience — on-base percentage less batting average — is .066, not far off from his career norm of .071, but his .298 BABIP is well below his lifetime .356 mark. He’s not striking out, and he’s not really walking. Yet, he’s also not hitting the ball with authority as his ground ball rates are up and his line drives are down. He’s swinging at way too many pitches out of the strike zone and is making bad contact with those pitches. In other words, he’s having a very bad, no-good, rotten season (for him, at least).

We can talk about Jeter’s swing, his personal frustration and his poor approach at the plate — as Frankie Piliere has this afternoon — but for the Yankees, the future matters more than the present. Jeter is a free agent, and as we’ve explored in the past, he wants to get paid. Now, he doesn’t just want a token contract for a reasonable-but-still-high amount; he wants to be recognized as the face of the Yankees. He wants, in other words, to be treated like A-Rod.

The tabloids today tackle just that subject. In his 3UP column, Joel Sherman ponders the nature of Derek Jeter. “If his name were not Derek Jeter,” Sherman writes, “the Yanks would have definitely moved him to eighth or ninth in the lineup and possibly considered playing Eduardo Nunez at shortstop more.” I disagree with playing Nunez more, but Jeter shouldn’t and wouldn’t be batting at or near the top of the Yankee lineup if he were any other short stop with a .332 on-base percentage.

Sherman eventually broaches the delicate topic of money. He doesn’t believe Jeter would get more than a one-year, $7-million deal on the open market — in other words, Marco Scutaro money. Jeter, according to John Harper’s anonymous sources, will expect more. The Daily News columnist rounded up some people who wished to remain nameless, and surprisingly, none of them had nice things to say. “”Knowing Jeet,” one player said to Harper, “he’s not going to let an off-year, if it turns out to be an off-year, play a role in what he thinks he should get paid. He just doesn’t think like that. He’ll be more convinced than ever that he’ll come back and hit .330 next year.”

Another of Harper’s supposed former teammates echoed those concerns: “The question is whether Cashman and the others think this is the start of a decline, and if so, are they going to factor it into the negotiations or just pay him for being the face of the franchise all these years? Knowing Derek, he’ll say all the right things, but he won’t give an inch based on his numbers this season.”

I grew up with Derek Jeter, and it’s tough for me to admit that he’s getting old. No one likes to come face-to-face with their own mortality and their own aging, but that’s very likely what’s happening with Derek Jeter. His eye isn’t as discnering; his bat speed not as quick; his fielding more suspect. But age is not on his side.

Take a quick gander this:

That list represents every single short stop in Major League history who, at the age of 36 or older, played 75 percent of his games at short stop and played at least 200 games before calling it quits. It isn’t a very long list, and it isn’t one filled with successful players. Now, few of these guys could approach peak-era Derek Jeter in terms of offensive production, but history and age aren’t on Jeter’s side.

Any agreement the Yankees and Derek Jeter reach this winter will set the tone for the immediate future of the franchise. They can risk overpaying Jeter for the good will of his 3000th hit and the end of his career. They can play hardball with Derek and risk ill will from everyone. But they can’t expect to pay Derek Jeter $18 million and A-Rod north of $25 million in 2013 and 2014 and compete at a high level. Even the Yankees’ resources are limited, and poor investments at such high levels are tough to overcome.

The easy answer is one of hope. We have to hope Derek Jeter can kick in gear as the Yanks head for October. We have to hope he can defy age. We have to hope he can battle back the question marks. And we have to hope he’ll reach an amicable deal with the Yankees. Anything else might just be too depressing to ponder. After all, none of us are getting any younger.

Categories : Musings


  1. UWS says:

    1 year, $10M, with an option and a bunch of incentives, take it or leave it. I mean, honestly, who will match that offer?

    • Guest says:

      Its not a matter of someone matching the offer. If we go to the table with one 1 year 10M and an option with a bunch of incentives, he will walk away from the table.

      This is not a simple free market exercise.

      This is a game of chicken. This is the first time I can remember in a while where an athlete can play hardball in negotiations, and in all likelihood have the fans/media on his side. If the Yankees play this just by the numbers, Jeter, without saying a word, can make this very difficult for them. All he has to do is not sign and listen to the hue and outcry and the wailing and the nashing of the teeth in Yankee universe.

      I think A-Rod really helps Jeter out a lot here. I am a big Arod fan. Have been since well before he became a Yank. But it is more clear to me than ever that the NY media/many fans just can’t bring themselves to actually like him. Respect his accomplishments/gangsta? They can do that begrugrudgingly (while throwing in the roid stuff, which its seems many of them look at as a gift from heaven since it allows them to say more negative things about Arod). But like him? Nope. Sorry. Asking too much.

      And so, standing right next to Jeter is this figure. Like Jeter, the figure is a star in decline. Unlike Jeter, he isn’t the face of the franchise or the core of the “core four”, and heck, he isn’t even liked. And yet there he is making a crap ton of money from now until approximately the end of time.

      And they’re thinking…”Wait. Captain Jetes doesn’t deserve at least as much money as that roided out ass-clown who had the gall to say that Jeter won those championships back in the late 90′s because he was on good teams? No way! Captain Jetes deserves to make A-Roid money. He’s earned it and did it the right way!”

      And…the Yankees have to deal with this reality when negotiation with Jeter. And most importantly, Jeter knows it.

      1 year 10 million dollars + options and incentives (as close to fair market value as that might be) will not get the job done. Not even close.

      • MattG says:

        “And…the Yankees have to deal with this reality when negotiation with Jeter. And most importantly, Jeter knows it.”

        Yet they don’t. The $27 million they are paying Rodriguez–well that they have to deal with. They can take all that money and bad PR and do just fine in 2011 without Derek Jeter.

        If the history books don’t lie, Babe Ruth finished his career on a different team.

        • Guest says:

          Good point. I wasn’t trying to say that the Yankees will cave to Jeter’s demands.

          I was just saying that 1 year 10 mill with options and incentives won’t get the job done. Jeter isn’t playing well, but he has a ton of leverage.

          Now, the Yankees might tell Derek just what he can do with that leverage and choose not to resign him. And I won’t be mad at either Jeter or the Yanks if he does that.

          My main point was the negotiation won’t be easy and Jeter won’t settle for a market rate contract.

        • Evan in NYC says:

          Marketing and PR are a lot bigger aspect of sports now than in 1935.

    • vin says:

      Any other team with a need for a SS? The Derek Jeter brand is too big to pass up for a stale team that’s looking for a shot in the arm.

      His production this year and in the future may not warrant 10+ million/year, but we’re not talking about Jermaine Dye here. Fair or not, Jeter is a different entity all together.

  2. DFD says:

    My theory, based on no science whatsoever, is he was awesome before he was engaged, and now, not so much.

  3. Steve H says:

    If he truly thinks he can get A-Rod money than nice knowing you Jeets.

    If the talks get contentious I would tell him to go out in the open market and any legitimate deal he is offered they Yankees will increase by either 25% AAV or extend it by one year at an increase of 10% AAV over his best offer. I love the guy, but they need to play hardball if his demands are truly this insane. The Yankees are bigger than Derek Jeter.

  4. AndrewYF says:

    “But they can’t expect to pay Derek Jeter $18 million and A-Rod north of $25 million in 2013 and 2014 and compete at a high level.”

    Sure they can. Unless you think this FO is incapable of performing at a high level with an (effectively) $160M payroll instead of a $200M one.

    • They’d also be paying Teixeira, Burnett and probably Sabathia too. You’re talking about $100 million in five players — or what’s happening now but with two of those players pushing 40. They could be competitive, but it’s going to take some age-defying magic from the left side of their infield.

      • All Praise Be To Mo says:

        Also, that’s not counting Cliff Lee (he’s destined for pinstripes @ $20mil+/yr) or Carl Crawford or anyone else. No need to pay someone just because you can. I can pay $10 for a Snickers Bar, it doesn’t mean I should.

  5. ChrisS says:

    Where’s he going to play if they re-sign him? Will they keep wheeling him out there to make the occasional jump throw on routine grounders?

    I love Jete, and he’s had a helluva career, but I love the Yankees more. His defense is lacking and when the bat goes, Pasta Diving Jeter is going to grow tiresome. I don’t trust defensive metrics year-to-year as a be-all-end-all, and guys get old and they lose their range. It’s not too far out of the probability that Jeter comes back next year and he puts up an .825 OPS, but his defense just crumbles (or he tweaks a knee – old age sucks, I know).

    I think my personal line is 4/$60. The Yankees will easily make enough money from Jeter’s Yes!Capades to pay that man his money [/rounders]. But with Teixeira at 1st, the ghost of A-Rod or Posada at DH – where will a SS who can’t play SS anymore slot in? Especially at $15/yr.

    Thankfully, I’m not Cashman and I don’t have to bet a whole lot of money on Jeter defying Father Time.

    • Hughesus Christo says:

      Boston, LAD with Torre/Mattingly, NYM

      The part people seem to forget is that “Bad Jeter” is still better than all but a few SSs in baseball. And it just so happens that he’d be a performance upgrade (not even getting into the publicity/economics) for the biggest spenders in baseball.

    • Evan in NYC says:

      I could see the Yankees letting Posada walk. He is catching less and less every year (where his offensive numbers have value). If you put him at DH, he becomes standard. You are not going to pay him upwards of $15M per for average DH numbers. Plus that spot will be needed for ARod, Jeter and such.

      • All Praise Be To Mo says:

        We have Posada next year. After that, we thank him graciously for his borderline HOF career with us and usher in the age of Romine/Montero behind the plate.

  6. Ross in Jersey says:

    If a Jeter contract prevents us from getting Lee that would make me a sad panda.

    I assume this contract won’t be in Cashman’s hands. He’ll have input, sure, but I’m guessing this will be in the hands of the Steinbrenner family to decide just how much to pay him, and for how long.

    And that’s the whole wild card, isn’t it? It boils down to Hal, but we don’t know how he’ll handle it. He signed off (after being sold by Cashman) on Teixiera and increasing the payroll to sign Berkman/Wood/Kearns, but this doesn’t even scratch the surface of being as potentially detrimental as those moves. What will Hal do? We have no history to tell us. George surely would have made sure Jeter was happy. Will Hal do the same?

    • ChrisS says:

      There is the possibility of the ol’ the “lifetime” contract that the Royals gave George Brett years ago.

      • Steve H says:

        I’d rather him get the lifetime Tim Wakefield contract.

        • UncleArgyle says:

          I’ve thought for a while that a Wakefield style contract would make sense for Jeter. A 10 Mil perpetual player option seems excessive, but fair (in Yankeeland terms). I think Jeter would retire before going in the tank anyway, and that type of contract will prevent us from ever having this discussion again…

  7. PaulF says:

    Somebody would match that offer. He’s already been worth 8 million this year, and he might rebound at least a little next year. A lot of teams are running out pretty terrible shortstops, and some people might not realize he’s bad at defense. He’s also Derek Jeter. I think 2 Years, 15 a year is fair, but he’ll probably get more than that. Also, everyone always suggests incentives, what would they be for? You can’t have performance bonuses for like BA or anything, and he never takes days off so he’d earn any games played/AB incentives. The only other incentives would be for all-star games or post season awards.

  8. Kiersten says:

    NO ONE is getting A-Rod money anytime in the near future, much less a 36-year-old shortstop coming off the worst season of his career.

    /stating the obvious’d

    • Ross in Jersey says:

      Imagine you’re a salesman at a company who basically helped build the place from the ground up. You’ve done more for the brand than anyone in the last 50 years. You’ve won awards almost every year you’ve been there. Along the way, the company hires a high-results salesman who contributes admirably.

      When it came time to negotiate your next contract, would you look at the market rate or would you want to be paid comparably with your co-worker who, despite being more accomplished, hasn’t been there as long or done as much for the company as you have?

      • You can’t say that without paying some heed to the fact that the Yanks have paid Jeter $190 million over ten years. They don’t particularly owe him anything in that sense, right?

        • Steve H says:

          Not only that, but every single dollar that Jeter is paid over the going market rate hurts the team. If they spend $20 million on him you’ve just pissed away $10 million that could (should) have been allocated elsewhere.

          If you’re that salesman that has helped build the company but is no longer vital and would have to take a paycut to leave to go to any other company, you stay where you are without ridiculous demands.

        • mike c says:

          it’s mutual, more than money, jeter and the yankees have built a legacy together. at this point, cutting the relationship off on bad terms will cost more than whatever jeter gets in compensation

        • Ross in Jersey says:

          I can’t say they owe him anything, no. But I can understand the mindset of wanting to be paid comparatively.

        • Hughesus Christo says:

          They don’t “owe” Rivera, Pettitte, or Posada anything either. But… they’re getting paid for their history.

          • Kiersten says:

            Who’s getting paid for their history? I think Rivera, Pettitte (minus the injury) and Posada are all well worth the money the Yankees are paying them.

          • All Praise Be To Mo says:

            Rivera and Posada both had monster years before becoming FA’s a couple years ago. Mo is still the best closer in the game and Posada is the best hitting catcher besides Mauer.

      • AndrewYF says:

        Um, you’d look at the market rate, because that’s what you’re going to get if you’re not an executive, and especially if you’ve severely underperformed in the past year and have clearly lost some of your skill.

        Ever seen Glengarry Glen Ross? Executives don’t give a shit about what you’ve done in the far past.

      • Kiersten says:

        Your comparison is missing one element: performance. At the time of A-Rod’s contract, not only was the market different, but he was one of the top three players in the game, and four years younger than Derek is now.

      • Sweet Dick Willie says:

        You’ve done more for the brand than anyone in the last 50 years.

        Last 20 years, okay. Last 50 years includes the likes of Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford & Thurman Munson. As much as I admire Jeter, he hasn’t done more to build the Yankee brand than those guys.

        • hogsmog says:

          I feel like Derek ranks up there, if not past those guys, because he is something of an icon for the post-steroid renaissance of clutch hits and tight fielding (because, regardless of the numbers, Jeter is considered a top defensive shortstop by too many to be ignored).

          Jeter is the guy everyone looks at, across not just the Yanks but the entire major leagues, and says “If we found out HE’D done steroids, I’d lose all my faith in baseball”. He has done a lot to build not just the Yankee brand, but that of baseball itself. Now, I don’t think that this means he should get a stupid contract; in my opinion, he should get ~15m for one year so we can see him hit 3k and everybody goes home happy before things get ugly. All I’m saying is that you can’t disregard how much he’s done for ‘this company’.

    • JGS says:

      Agreed on the lack of A-rod money in the near future, but I’m interested in seeing what Pujols’ next contract looks like. He’ll be coming off his age 31 season with a very, very impressive resume.

    • All Praise Be To Mo says:

      Albert Pujols says hi.

  9. Tom says:

    I’d like to assume that Jeter would simply have the Yankees best interests in mind. If he demands A-Rod money he’s certainly not doing the franchise any favors, and for most fans that might create a negative image of him. I can’t imagine being disappointed in Jeter, but I would if he demanded an outrageous contract.

  10. Frank says:

    What Jeter needs to do, although I realize it will never happen with him,is check his enormous ego at the door and take a long hard look at himself in the mirror, agree to a reasonable salary for a year or 2, and also be willing to move from SS.

    • Tom Swift says:

      He will seek to get as much money as he can. That’s what people do in a capitalist economy. But at some point, the FO has to think about whether the salary that Jeter and his agent demand would be better spent on Carl Crawford.
      Add Cliff Lee and Carl Crawford to the 2010 team and subtract DJ, while letting Nunez man shortstop? That’s a darn good team for 2011.

      • MattG says:

        Carl Crawford wOBA: .364.
        Brett Gardner wOBA: .362.

        Let them spend the $20 million on something else.

        • JGS says:

          Also–average of bWAR and fWAR, to get a sense of both defensive metrics:

          Gardner: 4.1 (4.0 and 4.2)
          Crawford: 4.5 (3.5 and 5.5)

          UZR has always had a statcrush on Crawford.

  11. JG233 says:

    I would give him a blank check…but in all liklihood 4/60 seems reasonable to me.

  12. Moshe Mandel says:

    I agree with everything said, but wanted to just make a comment on that list of SS. How many of those guys had numbers like Jeter in their age 34 or age 35 season? In that sense, his great play over the last 4-5 years makes him an extreme outlier. You likely could have made the same list last year and it would have been close to as short, yet he had a great year. If anyone is going to beat the trend on that list, it is an outlier like Jeter, who has been effective through 35.

  13. Johnny O says:

    In March I would’ve said 3/$60M. Now I wouldn’t be super upset if he still got that, but after Jeter’s season I think I’d be more comfortable with 2/$40M. Realistically it should be 2/$20M, but being the “face of the franchise” give him the bump.

    Jeter clearly has a massive amount of pride (whisper: “ego”), but he HAS to be realistic.

    • Ross in Jersey says:

      I really dislike this “he has to be realistic” nonsense. Look at it from his side.

      If you were Derek Jeter, wouldn’t you do everything in your power to get the most money possible? Your entire career, you’ve done nothing but the right thing. You’ve won. You performed every year. You played hard. You said the right thing. You put fans in the stands. You played with class. Why should you take any less money because of one down year? This is likely his last contract ever and he has all the leverage. Shouldn’t he do his best to ensure his, his children’s, and his children children’s financial future? I know I would.

      • Steve H says:

        If you were Derek Jeter, wouldn’t you do everything in your power to get the most money possible?

        I would. But if I’m the Yankees I don’t pay him double what anyone else would pay him. If he’s offered 2/$25 elsewhere, give him 2/$30 and it’s still getting the most money possible.

        • Ross in Jersey says:

          Yeah, I understand that. But like I said, Jeter has all the leverage. Any long negotiation or lowballing is going to turn people against the Yankees very quickly. I guess they might take that risk if they feel it won’t impact fan attendance or sales. But if it might? They may just have to cave.

          • Rob H. says:

            How does he have all the leverage? He will be coming off a very down year and he’s 36 years old. I don’t consider that leverage in any way.

            • Ross in Jersey says:

              If he doesn’t have any leverage then why are people worrying about what he’ll get paid? Clearly, it’s because who he is transcends what he is.

              • Rob H. says:

                I never said Jeter doesn’t have any leverage but he certainly doesn’t have the high amount you think he does. Who he is should not transcend what he is. The production on the field is what matters most and Jeter should not be getting paid double what any other team would likely pay him just because he has been with the yankees his entire career.

          • Sweet Dick Willie says:

            Any long negotiation or lowballing is going to turn people against the Yankees very quickly

            I disagree.

            Would you stop rooting for the Yankees because they refused to give Jeter a ridiculous contract? I know I wouldn’t.

            I admire Jeter as much as the next guy, but if he insists on an Alex-type contract, I’d have no problem with the Yanks saying “Don’t let the door hit you in the ass.”

          • Johnny O says:

            Jeter’s leverage extends as far as Joel Sherman wants to sell newspapers. No other team will pay him nearly as much as the Yankees. His only leverage is retirement, which he likely doesn’t want to do. If the Yankees offer is near or better than 2 years/$40M then it is way more fair.

        • mike c says:

          are you considering loss in merchandising revenue and damage to the yankees brand? from a business standpoint, it’s probably a smart decision to expand the budget if necessary in order to preserve that golden egg

          • Steve H says:

            Like I said, I have no problem paying Jeter more than any other team in baseball would. But that means 10% more, or 20% more, not double. Jeter isn’t going anywhere so they won’t lose a dime. It’s just insane to pay him $20 million if the market is $8 or $10 million.

            • mike c says:

              give the yankee marketing dept. some credit here, the front office knows exactly what jeter and his brand is worth to the team, and will factor that in addition the market rate value of what jeter’s value would be as a FA. they aren’t going to be stupid with the money here, so unless you really know how those factors add in, you are making a short-sighted assumption

              • Steve H says:

                Again, as long as the Yankees resign Jeter and if they offer him 20% more than he can get elsewhere they will. Then they don’t lose a dime in marketing.

                • mike c says:

                  where are you getting this 20% figure from?

                  • Steve H says:

                    It’s completely hypothetical. I’m saying you don’t pay him based on his prior contract, A-Rod’s contract, his image to the team. You take whatever the market value is and bump that by some percentage. I don’t mind if they overpay him by that percentage, but not without knowing what the market holds.

                    • mike c says:

                      right, of course. i’d actually be very impressed if you did a cost/benefit analysis of this situation and break it down. there’s really no point in arguing hypotheticals here

                    • Steve H says:

                      No breakdown is needed. At all. Pay Jeter 20% more than he would make elsewhere. Simple concept.

              • whozat says:

                the problem is that I think what he’s worth to the brand and the team is a lot less than what fans THINK he’s worth to the brand and the team due to revenue sharing. Any money from Jeter merch sold not at the Stadium gets divided 30 ways. So, if they pay him commensurate with his monetary value (on field and off field), I think that number will still raise an angry media/talk radio/fan hue and cry.

          • Johnny O says:

            Seriously? So if they don’t sign Jeter then is there attendance going to drop? Not likely? Will they sell less t-shirts? Doubt it. Jeter is important to the team, but like the Matsui/Japanese market argument, it’s probably much less than people think.

      • Why should you take any less money because of one down year?

        Because that one down year is likely to be duplicated with multiple down years going forward? There’s that.

      • A.D. says:

        Sure he can, but doesn’t mean the Yanks have to give it to him

      • Rob H. says:

        The 190 million he just made over the last 10 or so years is more than enough to set the financial future of his children and his children’s children. The yankees owe Derek Jeter absolutely nothing. People come out to see the Yankees more than they come out to see Derek Jeter. You are going to tell me people would stop coming if Derek Jeter wasn’t still on this team?

        Derek has been the face of this franchise for a long time but that doesn’t mean he should completely forget the absolute fact that he is 36 years old and this year can’t just be chalked up to a fluke. If he was 32 or 34 then yes, this year could be considered more of a fluke than a precursor of things to come. However at 36, soon to be 37, it starts leaning more towards consistent decline than fluke.

        • The Yankees owe Derek Jeter absolutely nothing.

          Agreed. Similarly, though, Derek Jeter owes the Yankees absolutely nothing.

          So the 190M and the 10 years of production the two sides just gave to each other is equally irrelevant to his next contract. Jeter doesn’t owe the Yankees a break for the money they’ve already paid him, and the Yankees don’t owe Derek Jeter a break for the production/titles/marketing/etc. he’s given them.

          • Rob H. says:

            Agreed. Neither owes the other anything. I find it surprising that some are thinking there will be some huge hit in merchandise sales or anything like that if Jeter leaves. The Yankees brand will live on and be just as profitable with or without Derek Jeter, IMO.

          • Ross in Jersey says:

            Exactly. Everyone seems to want to view it from the Yankees perspective. I’m just playing devil’s advocate a bit here. It’s not Jeter’s responsibility to accept a penny less than he’s capable of getting.

            • Rob H. says:

              agreed, however it takes two to tango and I don’t see other teams outside of the yankees who would logically give Jeter anything close to what he is potentially asking for. The yankees need to get away from bidding against themselves and in essence that is potentially what will happen here and that makes no sense.

          • MattG says:

            Actually, if Derek Jeter were a brand, he would owe quite a lot to the Yankees. The Derek Jeter brand, if separated from the Yankees, and put on (what contender needs a shortstop? Any contender, who cares) another team, loses a lot of luster.

            So no, he doesn’t owe the Yankees anything, but if he thinks about this clearly, his legacy does owe the Yankees quite a lot.

            • mike c says:

              you know what i haven’t had in a while?
              big league chew.

            • Hughesus Christo says:

              Derek Jeter on any other team would still be a .315 lifetime SS with X number of gold gloves, 12 ASGs or whatever, and (likely) an MVP or two.

              This line of argument was stupid 10 years ago, and it’s even worse now.

              • Steve H says:

                I disagree. He likely wouldn’t have made as many All Star games in Kansas City. Gold Gloves mean nothing, and if he had his identical career for losing teams he wouldn’t have sniffed an MVP.

              • MattG says:

                Hardly. Just view any pre-2004 “Who’s the better shortstop poll.” Derek Jeter routinely beat Rodriguez, and that’s solely because of the rings. It doesn’t happen here, in these comments, but the NY Post reading populace is convinced that Jeter “knows how to win.”

                Had he never won, he’d be indistinguishable from a healthier Barry Larkin.

  14. mike c says:

    i trust that jeter will do the right thing and be realistic about the rest of his career and how long he really wants to continue playing. after all he’s done for the yankees, he’s not going to bring the team down if he knows he can’t be that player anymore

    • I trust that Jeter will say:

      Business is bad? F#$% you, pay me. Oh, you had a fire? F#$% you, pay me. Place got hit by lightning, huh? F$%# you, pay me.

      • mike c says:

        i’m not talking about jeter getting paid, i’m talking about the years. he’s got enough money already– he doesn’t need to embarrass himself on the field if he knows he won’t be able to be good anymore. he’s done everything perfect in his career so far, so i doubt he would truly want to do that to himself and the team

        • Guest says:

          Jeter might choose to have fewer years in his contract because he wants to go out on top/close to the top.

          But why should the impact on the “team” play a role in his thinking? In other words, if Jeter thinks he can be good for 5 years, and he will only play as long as he thinks he’s good, then he will want five years. But if the team thinks he will only be good for three more years, Jeter (rightly) won’t care what the team thinks and will ask for five years. Then, either one side or the other will blink. But Jeter isn’t going to think “Oh, itll be bad for the team for me to stick around for five years, they think i will only be good for three years, so I will play for three years, since thats good for the team.” He won’t think that way and he shouldn’t think that way.

          The Yankees have to try to do what’s best for the Yankees and Jeter has to try to do what’s best for Jeter. Hopefully, while both sides are attempting to do that, they will find a middle ground.

          • mike c says:

            because there’s nothing sadder than watching an aging superstar suck on the field and bring the team down. he has a chance to do something that other greats didn’t, and leave the game before he becomes a shell of his former self

  15. Kiersten says:

    The money doesn’t concern me as much as the years do. Offer him two years, hope he takes it, then if he’s till performing, do an Andy Pettitte thing and go year-to-year. If he’s still hitting reasonably well, the Yankees will take care of him (not like he needs it).

  16. Daniel says:

    does anyone else think it at all possible that Jeter will receive a minor percentage of stock in the team? He has always expressed interest in running an organization, and this could be an easy way of not having to give him tons of guaranteed money.

  17. Steve H says:

    Giving Jeter A-Rod money would be like having you gas tank filled for $40 and just paying $80 for the hell of it. It makes no sense. The going rate for that gas is $40, you pay $40 for it. If I’m the Yankees I’m certainly willing to go a little over the market rate for Jeter, but the market isn’t get by A-Rod.

  18. UncleArgyle says:

    3 years 30 mil is more than generous. Anything beyond that is insanity. Anything below that will be a (relative) bargin.

  19. ZZ says:

    But they can’t expect to pay Derek Jeter $18 million and A-Rod north of $25 million in 2013 and 2014 and compete at a high level. Even the Yankees’ resources are limited, and poor investments at such high levels are tough to overcome.

    I was thinking about writing a long post in response to this but it will only further the amount of wasted time being spent on this discussion. It is really much ado about nothing, so I’ll keep it short.

    The Yankees have been planning for this contract for years. Yankee fans are acting as if they are being blindsided by this. The Yankees are nowhere close to their limits in spending. They are basically middle of the pack in terms of payroll % vs revenues. If you honestly think the Yankees won’t compete at a high level because of Derek Jeter you must have been watching the Yankees with a blindfold on during the past 10 years.

    Basically you are saying the Yankees, the most successful and profitable sports franchise in probably the world, will prioritize placating Derek Jeter over winning.

    That’s absurd.

    • mike c says:

      agreed. this will be an absolutely professional negotiation. the two sides have proved that is fact, so to assume otherwise is a disservice to both

  20. Poopy Pants says:

    Yes. Let’s compare Jeter to players who played long ago because they really took care of themselves, conditioned and trained so well back then. Obviously, all things are equal.
    That’s like comparing a 2007 Porche to a Model T.

    • pat says:

      If these guys were playing SS past the age of 36 it’s pretty safe to assume they took good enough care of themselves. Maybe not the dudes from the 1900′s but most of the Top 10 players on the list were from the “modern” era.

  21. Steve H says:

    What teams would consider Jeter if on the market?

    New York Mets-No
    Baltimore-Maybe, but would Jeter go?
    White Sox-No

    Which of those maybe teams would outbid the Yankees? None.

    • Kiersten says:

      Why did you only list 12 of 29 teams?

      • Steve H says:

        Wasn’t going to waste my time with the Marlins and Pirates of the world. Just did a quick glance through either contenders or teams with money.

        • Kiersten says:

          Left out the Angels – I think they’d be in on it.

          • Steve H says:

            Maybe, though I think they are pretty happy with Aybar. He’s having a poor offensive season but is great defensively and cheap. Scoscia loves guys who can’t hit but can field.

            • MikeD says:

              Didn’t stop them from taking Abreu.

              It’s not a question of a team outbidding the Yankees. It’s a case of the negotiations turning nasty, and Jeter turning his back on them because he feels he’s not being valued. The points in the newspaper are valid points. Just because we may recognize/believe Jeter is slipping, there’s really no chance that Jeter believes he’s slipping. He will want to be paid.

              Now if Jeter thinks he’s a 4/100 guy, then good luck and go see if anyone will pay that. They won’t. Yet if negotiations turn sour, all it takes is a single team.

              BTW The Red Sox have had, what, eight SS’s going back to 2004. Yes, I can see the Sox signing Jeter to a two-year deal. Oh, Henry would love that. Stealing Jeter from NY and the Yankees on his march to 3,000 hits. Goodbye Marco.

            • MikeD says:

              Sorry, misread your initial line. Abreu doesn’t fit that scenario! Overall point stands, though. The only way Jeter leaves is if things turn nasty. I don’t think it will happen. Maybe a few ruffled feathers along the negotiating path, but both sides will come to an agreement. They will pay Jeter more than what the market says they should pay, but the Yankees are also their own market. Teams will be very interested in Jeter is negotiations turn sour because at that point it becomes less about the money and more about the situation created by the negotiations.

  22. EndlessMike says:

    Does everybody think that with Jeter gone no one will watch the Yankees.Willie Randolph came back,Bernie Williams came back,Yogi came back and so will Jeter.

    Think of how much we will save if Jeter walks and two Draft picks.Let him walk.

  23. Sizeole says:

    If your Cashman I don’t think you can afford the ultimatum of ‘see what the market bears’ because if he does, and actually does sign with another team no matter what he accomplishes he will always be the guy who let the face of the franchise walk out the door. I think the bottom line is you’re going to over pay the guy, and if there is one person who transcends the true market, its Derek Jeter. While this very well might hamstring the team, you don’t mess around with guys who are getting a monument.

    By the way, great business acumen in that post by Ross

    • pat says:

      Won’t Jeter then be the guy who left the Franchise for a couple bucks?

      • MattG says:

        Unfortunately, no. If Jeter leaves, it’ll be because the Yankees dissed him. Even if he signs for less, ala Torre.

        Which is a very distinct possibility. It is not hard to fathom a situation in which Jeter takes, say, 2 and 26 from the Tigers, while the Yankees offer 3 and 42.

        • Steve H says:

          It is not hard to fathom a situation in which Jeter takes, say, 2 and 26 from the Tigers, while the Yankees offer 3 and 42.

          If that happens that is 100% on Jeter. The Yankees won’t take a hit if they offer more years and the same money and he takes a paycut to leave. If you take a paycut to leave anywhere it’s on you.

  24. nolan says:

    Truth be told Jeter (even in his down year) is still a productive SS. There are plenty of teams with Shortstops worse than Jeter (Jeter is the 10th most valuable ss according to fangraphs… and he’s more valuable then every other ss in the AL East). If they Yanks can get him to sign a 3 year deal we’ll be in great shape. We don’t have any youngsters blocked in the minors. We will still have money to go out and get cliff lee and resign Pettitte. Leaving us with the same lineup as this year (best in the majors) and a much improved starting rotation: CC, Lee, Hughes, Pettitte, AJ, Nova.

    Girardi is going to need to move Jeter down further in the batting order though… can’t have a lead off hitter with a 332 OBP. I think its time for Gardner (390 OBP) to lead off and Swisher to bat 2nd. I also think its a smart idea to move ARod to the 5th hole to protect Cano. Cano is the superior hitter at this point.

  25. yankthemike says:

    Cashman and company must have long had a plan in place for this off-season with jeter. What I’m curious about his how Jeter’s bad year has altered what they might have had in mind a year ago. Cash may not be as cold and ruthless as theo, but w/o George looking over his head it does seem like this time the Yanks hold more cards than does Jeter. obviously his main chip is his legacy and the love he gets from the fans. I hope they offer him 2 years for 36 million with an option for a 3rd year. – actually what i’d really hope is that he’s be willing to go year to year at say 15 per…say to him “this is what we’re doing with Mariano, and we hope that you feel that this is a fair deal for everyone”

    as only Ben can say with authority: time will tell!

  26. Hughesus Christo says:

    Derek Jeter’s next contract is probably already signed.

  27. Jerome S says:

    Why do we all think that Jeter will simply go for whoever offers him the biggest bucks? Could he maybe be that one guy in modern MLB who will stick with his team?

    BTW, I say 20 mil over 2 years.

  28. MattG says:

    This is Cashman’s realm. He is going to lay it out for Jeter, and Jeter will understand, and eventually, acquiesce. By the time Cashman is done with him, Jeter will feel truly appreciated and overpaid…which, coincidentally, will be exactly the case.

    We saw it with Pettitte two years ago, and we saw it with Damon last year. Cashman knows how to value these players, and he knows how to communicate that value. He is a master at this.

    • Tom Swift says:

      As I noted in another thread months ago, letting Johnny Damon walk may have been laying the groundwork for a tough negotiations.

    • MikeD says:

      Ummm, well, uhh, the Damon thing didn’t work out too well when we factor in the Yankees wanted Damon to come back and Damon wanted to come back. Yet, he didn’t come back.

      • MattG says:

        I wonder why the misconception that Cashman wanted Damon persists? I think many Yankee fans were hoping, and this led them to read into things. Damon priced himself out of New York very early on, and Cashman was all too happy to go in other directions.

        Now, had Granderson fallen through, it might well had been different. But Damon was plan B at best.

        • MikeD says:

          It persists because it was true.

          They wanted Damon to serve more as the DH, and back-up 4th OFer, or primary OFer is the Bret Gardner experiment failed.

  29. BadaBling says:

    Jeter won’t come close to A-Rod money, period. I think he’ll get paid on par with a 2 or 3 year average of his performance. Everyone who’s played as long as Jeter has had bad months here and there, especially those who are playing hurt. I would love the whole lifetime contract thing but I highly doubt that. Realistically, Jeter will get a 4/60ish type deal because his name and his upcoming milestones. The Yankees don’t need Jeter and Jeter doesn’t need the Yankees, it would however be nice if this was a seamless process done quickly after seasons end. I still feel Capt Clutch will have a stellar postseason, further increasing his value.

  30. Mike HC says:

    Jeter is going to get paid, and everything will be done privately for the most part, and everyone will be happy. Everything else is just fun bullshiting to pass the time.

    • BadaBling says:

      I hope they do absolutely all negotiations in private. Jorge got s 4/53 contract at around the same age Jeter will be signing his. That’s why I think in terms of years it will be 4 and total dollars 60-69m. Doesn’t Mo’s contract run out after this season as well, why is none speaking of his next payday?

      • MikeD says:

        Jorge got that contract coming of a career year, where he hit .330. There was nothing that suggested age had caught up to him. Jeter is the opposite. He’s having a career off year.

        • BadaBling says:

          They knew, without a doubt, Jorge was not gonna repeat that season and they still gave over the cash, my point, Jeter has an edge.

          • MikeD says:

            Yes, they knew he was not going to repeat the season, but he wasn’t showing signs of age. Jeter is. Just sayin…

            • BadaBling says:

              Jeter is having an off year but he shown sustained success, from a sample size perspective these 2-3 off months are small. If you do a 2-3 year average I think that paints a picture of the real Jeter. I still feel Jeter gets more money than Jorge did and at least equal years.

              • Chris says:

                Everyone is so quick to label Swisher’s ’08 season as just a down year and point to his track record to argue that he’ll return to form, but unwilling to make a similar argument about Jeter. The odds are certainly less for Jeter because of his age, but it’s still significantly more likely that next season will be better than this season than worse.

              • MikeD says:

                Jeter’s had sustained success for 14 years. It’s for that reason people are concerned that in his 15th year he’s having an off year for him and by a good margin. If this represents his decline phase then there is real reason for conern. It’s not as if he went from .320/.390/.470 to .290/.355/.430. He’s in the .260/.330/.370 range, and we don’t know why, so we have to go with the obvious, which is age. Now, that said, I’ve seen aging players change their approach and have rebound years, so while I wouldn’t expect a return to the .330 days, I leave open the door that he might still give us a .290/.350/.400 year or two. Unless we really do find out there has been an injury, I’m not expecting a return to the heights of Jeter. I’m just hoping for better than what we have now, and certainly hoping that another bottom doesn’t drop out next year.

                Back to the original note. Getting as much money as Jorge isn’t an issue since Jorge got a raise. Jeter would be taking a paycut. I do think he’ll get at least $15 million per from the Yankees. Factoring in the marketing value to YES and his march to 3,000 hits, I wouldn’t expect less. I’m more concerned about the number of years they give him. This could get ugly fast. I’d be quite happy if both Jeter and the Yankees would go to year-to-year contracts. That way they can overpay Jeter by quite a bit, but not be locked in to a long-term deal.

  31. MattG says:

    Q: do the Yankees offer Jeter arbitration?

    Aaaah–see? Hadn’t thought of that, had you?

  32. Jerome S says:

    Let’s be honest, since the day A-Rod arrived, Jeter has been jealous. Jeter meant more to the team than any player in at least a decade, and yet when Alex came him, they offered him far more money than any player in history. I don’t think that Derek has every been ready to admit that he is not the most talented player on the field. He might very well say, “If A-Rod’s getting this much, then I should at least get “this” much.”

    • Mike HC says:

      He didn’t do that for his first 10 year contract, which came shortly after ARods 10 year deal, so I hope he will not do the same this year. I hope he also realizes the home run milestones play a role into ARods deal, which Jeter does not have.

      • Jerome S says:

        ARod’s ten year deal came, I believe, on the Rangers; but the idea that Jeter is not the most valuable player (cash wise) to the Yankees? I bet he’s looking for extra dough.

        • Mike HC says:

          I say there is no way he expects to get paid as much as ARod. But I clearly don’t know for sure. He might want to get paid as much, but he knows it is not going to happen, just like he knew it was not going to happen with his first ten year deal. I get what you are saying though that the rangers signed the first one and is different now that the Yanks are the team to give ARod the deal.

      • Steve H says:

        Jeter signed his 10 year contract after A-Rod signed with the Rangers though. I think Jerome S. is saying that the Yankees should value him more than A-Rod, not in general, but specific to this team.

        • Jerome S says:

          No, they shouldn’t value him more than ARod, ARod is, overall, the most talented guy on the team, I’m just saying that Jeter is frustrated that somebody else on the team gets paid more than him.

  33. gc says:

    Such a bad year….and it still won’t surprise me to see him hit .375-.400 in the post-season, score a shit-ton of runs, get some huge hits and maybe even a big home run. Then what?

  34. Jerome S says:

    I still love it whenever I see a commercial saying that Jeter’s got an Edge. Come to think of it, they’re actually quite irritating and shouldn’t be on TV.

  35. larryf says:

    If all he wants to do is, as he always says, “win”, then he should take a realistic contract offer and not tie our hands.

    Jesus is coming my friends….

  36. MikeD says:

    Derek Jeter? He’s got the Edge. Totally!

    • MikeD says:

      Okay, fine. I got that out of my system.

      Some team will pay Jeter more than $7 million because unlike those other shortstops, he does have marketing value (read that as dollars) to those teams. And he has more value to the Yankees than seven million. You don’t think Jeter heading in toward 3,000 hits is going to help the Yankee and YES marketing machince? So, yes, he is worth more than Marco Scutaro.

      The Yankees are going to overpay for Jeter’s services the next few years, but that’s not really what bothers me. It’ll be the length of the contract and an understanding that he is going to have to move off of short at some point in the next year or two. If he’s okay with that, I’m not too concerned about the dollars. Not at all. (Unless is A-Rodian!)

  37. CapitalT says:

    I think part of his hitting problems were due to getting drilled in the hand early this season. There was a definate fall off after that but he also should have recovered by now.

  38. Evan3457 says:

    1. In addition to everything else, in a few years, Jeter is going to be Joe DiMaggio; i.e., “the man they save for last.”

    2. He also, as we know, holds a grudge forever.

    3. Therefore, if Hank and Hal intend to hang on to the Yanks for the long haul, they will overspend, perhaps severely, to keep Derek happy. If the Boss were still in charge, this would be a given.

    4. On the other hand, if they’re not in this for the long haul, they can kick Jeter out of the nest, take the onslaught of negative publicity, prove the team can be successful without him, and then sell for an obscene amount of money.

    5. Which will allow the new owners to make nice with Jeter and bring him back “into the fold”.

    • steve s says:

      I agree with your spin on this in one respect. This is not going to be a successful negotiation for Jeter unless he directly deals with the Steinbrenners and by-passes dealing with Cashman who will most likely be the “bad cop” here. I don’t think the Steinbrenners will refuse to deal with him directly or have the nerve to look him in the eye and tell him take it or leave it.

  39. Warren says:

    So many column inches and time on radio spent on a situation that only affects The Yankees and Derek Jeter.

    That must mean that The Yankess are playing well and are in first place in the East and have no actual problems as a team.

    Good for all Yankee fanatics.

  40. Chris says:

    Now, he doesn’t just want a token contract for a reasonable-but-still-high amount; he wants to be recognized as the face of the Yankees. He wants, in other words, to be treated like A-Rod.

    All of this is just speculation. Neither Jeter nor anyone connected to him has given a real hint of what he wanys in terms of a new contract (If I’m wrong, someone please link me). Up to know all of the information is just speculative that he may want a big money and/or long term deal.

  41. macxz says:

    jeter is having a bad year? so what???? every player has gone through that, jeter is not perfect.
    would some of you guys change your mind if he struggles last year, and came up big this year???
    its just 1 bad year… (and it does not affect the yankees.. THE YANKEES ARE STILL WINNIG) its not like he has a bad year back-to-back-to-back…. the guy averages .300+ lifetime
    give this guy a break… and all you guys think that jeter has a big ego, will not take a paycut, well let me ask you this… ARE U DEREK FREAKIN JETER??? can you read his mind?? you dont even know jeter personally…
    watching him for 10 years, i dont thing he has a big ego.
    and yes, derek is getting old.. but he is still better than other shortstops in the league.

    3/45 is reasonable… +incentives or option for the 4th year

    • MattG says:

      You’ve watched him for 10 years and haven’t noticed his ego? I suppose he’s not egomanical, like Reggie!, but Jeter clearly believes he’s the shit.

  42. sandy g says:

    point #1 derek jeter will go down as the greatest yankee ss ever.point#2jeter is 36 years old not 36 years young.he is playing like a 36 year old. point #3 the yankees owe jeter nothing. he has made over 205 million dollars from the yankees since he started.if jeter was having his normal year we would not even be talking about this.rivera is a free agent how come no one is talking about his reason,he is still performing on a high level.jeter is not a 22mill player.if the yankees offer 2 years 20 mil,i think that would be fair.

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