A late-night ‘what if’: Derek Jeter vs. Cliff Lee


For the past few weeks, the Hot Stove League rumors have mostly concerned Derek Jeter. While Cliff Lee remains the biggest off-season fish on the Yanks’ radar, the team has been preoccupied with the negotiations with Jeter. What if those negotiations are going to cost the Yankees more than just dollars? According to Yanks’ GM Brian Cashman, the team’s focus on Derek Jeter very well might do that.

According to Michael S. Schmidt of The Times, the Yanks’ courtship of Jeter has diverted them from their Hot Stove League shopping list. “We would like to have him signed, in the fold, and concentrating on other aspects of the team,” Cashman said. “Instead, we are concentrating on re-signing our shortstop.” By and large, all has been quiet on the Cliff Lee front, but as the Jeter situation drags on, the Yanks will have to turn their attention elsewhere if they want to check off the players on their off-season shopping list. I’d hate to see Jeter emerge as the reason why the Yanks can’t adequate pursue Lee.

Categories : Asides, Hot Stove League


  1. EndlessMike says:

    Didn’t cuban Shortstop Adeinis Hechavarria didn’t except a deal from the Yankees because he knew Jeter will be in the shortstop position for a long time.

    Well $20 million for a mascot is a little much.

  2. Dan Novick says:

    Lee’s not dumb enough to sign with another team before the Yankees can even begin really negotiating with him. Other free agents filling lesser roles they might miss out on because of Jeter, but not Lee

    • There’s absolutely no doubt that’s true, and there’s no discernible market for the big names yet. It’s interesting to see how it appears as though the Yanks and Jeter are holding up the rest of the market. We’ve had a shockingly low number of rumors considering the date, but it should pick up at the Winter Meetings in 12 days.

      • Ed says:

        I wonder if the difference has more to do with the new offseason schedule than anything else. We have arbitration offers, a major holiday, and the arbitration acceptance date all within a one week span. And that all happened a week after the GM meetings.

        I think GM’s have just been busier in November than they usually are, and the earlier arbitration deadline makes it reasonable to just wait that out rather than rush into dealing with other team’s players.

        • Don’t forget Andy Pettitte, ever since he’s been doing the year-at-a-time deals, hasn’t signed before December. I don’t think CC signed until December either, and I remember Tex didn’t sign with the Yankees until almost Christmas. It seems pretty common for the big free agents to wait until mid to late December now.

          • bexarama says:

            After the 2008 season, Andy didn’t sign until late January of 2009. Yeah, even last year, when he pretty much figured he was coming back and they worked out a deal really quickly, he didn’t sign until December or so. Tex signed on like, maybe December 23 of 2008 or so, very close to Christmas.

            I definitely agree with the sentiment that Lee isn’t going to sign anywhere without at least trying to go to the Yankees.

  3. YanksFan77 says:

    Jeter’s got nowhere to go (except maybe Japan). Let him stew about his legacy and listen to Minka nag about the yacht payments…he’ll come around.

    Concentrate on pitching.

  4. mike c says:

    kind of shocked to see cash running his mouth about jeter so much in the media. kind of makes me think he might be on the hot seat himself… the yankees do have a lot of bad contracts tied up in their budget and big hal’s probably pissed there’s not enough change in the couch cushions to hook up their iconic SS and get the hot new pitcher everybody’s talking about. i know i would be

    • Ed says:

      I’m surprised too to see the Yankees be handling the negotiations in the press so much. I really doubt Cashman’s on the hot seat though – he’s 2 years into a 3 year deal and has a World Series title and an ALCS loss to show for it. If you’re in any way upset with that, you set your standards far, far, far too high.

    • Sayid J. says:

      I don’t know what Cashman talking to the media has anything to do with him being on the hot seat. It more likely has something to do with the fact that Jeter’s agent continues to go to the media, and Cashman is forced to respond. Not to mention they are not trying to “hook up” the iconic SS, you could just as easily spin it as the Yankees trying not to overpay an old player throughout his decline years, although that wouldn’t really be spin, that would just be reality.

    • Sean C says:

      Since when is Cliff Lee a “hot new pitcher everybody’s talking about?” Did I miss something?

    • JerseyDutch says:

      I have to admit that I’m a little surprised that folks are so surprised that the negotiations are done through the media. That’s just how it’s done now, distasteful or not. It’s not like Cashman is calling Jeter’s mom bad names.

  5. Duncan says:

    If somehow both of Jeter and Cliff Lee don’t sign it is all on Cashman:


    If neither deals workout it’s on him and he should lose his job

  6. nsalem says:

    I find it hard that the Jeter negotiations are distracting the Yankee
    management from their pursuit of Cliff Lee. Then again I was surprised to hear Hal’s (on the FAN interview) foreshadowing statements that indeed the talks may get messy. Most surprising of all to me are fan proclamations (with very strong certainty) that Derek has nowhere to go but down. This after one poor year without taking into consideration the possibility of injuries or other factors we just don’t know about.
    Derek may very well be nearing the end but to express this view as if it is written in stone is extremely unfair.

    • Well RE: Lee I don’t think there’s much to do there yet. They’ve visited him already, and it doesn’t seem like he’s ready to accept offers yet.

      As for Jeter, could he rebound and post a better year? Sure, it’s just not very likely. You look at all the shortstops (hell, infielders) throughout history and there just aren’t many, if any, who hit well this late in their careers. It’s not unreasonable to think he still has something in the tank, but it’s also prudent to acknowledge that his continued decline is likely.

      • Jimmy McNulty says:

        This big of a drop off though? Has there ever been an all time great that wasn’t on roids or had AIDS that experienced this kind of drop off?

        • nsalem says:

          Yes the numbers strongly suggest that Derek is entering (to what extent though?) his decline. Stan Musial and Ted Williams had a great years (power numbers down I believe) at age 41 and 39 respectively, Hank I think Aaron hit 39 Hrs at age 39 (don’t know the splits and he played at “The Launching Pad”) and Willie Mays maintained a .390OBP in his decline years up to the bitter and abysmal end.
          Another argument in the case of Jeter is that it is more likely my
          dog would tell the press about an injury than Derek would. Maybe he
          was banged up this year and just played through it all. Probable no,
          possible yes. In the case of Derek I would have to see his 2010 level of performabce for at least another half a year to be convinced this his decline. I am thinking and speaking like a fan, His number
          is coming up sooner than later, but I am not convinced that is now.
          If it was my money I wouldn’t give him a contract of more tnah 3 years. However I would not discuss it with the press. Hal is still new at this amd like everyone else he makes mistakes (the interview).
          at work.

          • Monteroisdinero says:

            and all of these guys were on 1 year contracts.

          • LarryM.,Fl. says:

            Cashman, Hank, Hal and Levine have made comments about the Jeter contract through the media. Its obvious that the Yankees have a thougt process with the contract negoiations. Their first offer was fair and lends itself to consideration for Jeter’s play but rightfully so its about a baseball player not an institution. The Yankees believe that Jeter is in decline maybe not next year but within 3 years. So, I don’t see them moving off of years maybe an option but could and will go higher on the money.

            Its about the team, not Derek, he has not been dissed with the first offer but negoiating process has begun. Cashman will not loss focus on the goal of putting the team first and that is my wish.

            • Sal says:

              According to Cashman who basically told Jeter to go shop around for a better deal that first offer was their final offer, if it wasn’t they should have shut up and let the negotiations breathe

              • whozat says:

                Then Close shouldn’t have gone to the media with his “Baffling” comment. Jeter’s camp are the ones who put this in the media. Let’s not forget that.

                • MikeD says:

                  Wrong. The baffling comment was in response to comments that the Yankees were increasingly making and continue to make. I mean, for goodness sake, they’ve even trotted out Hank Steinbrenner. Every major figure in the Yankee FO, from Hal Steinbrenner, Brian Cashman, Randy Levine, and now Hank Steinbrenner have made comments, sometimes multiple comments over the past week, in essense knocking Jeter.

                  The Jeter camp response has been they’re “baffled” by the Yankees approach. I agree. I’m baffled.

          • Zack says:

            I hate the hiding an injury excuse. When you’re 36+ you get hurt, turning 37 isn’t going to make him healthier.

        • kenthadley says:

          the problem is the position he plays, SS, is primarily a defensive role. Through the years, sstops have not aged well defensively, so the problem folks have on this website with Jeter’s decline is more on the defensive side…teams that keep old shortstops as starters rarely are WS has that much of an impact on the pitching staff. His offensive numbers, while down for him, are really quite acceptable for the position, although maybe not worth 15 mil a year. Do we want a happy 20mil Jeter and a 3rd place finish?

          • Mike HC says:

            I keep hearing this “rare for a shortstop this old to be on a world series contender” thing. It is rare to win a championship, period. And it is rare to have a guy of Jeter’s talent who can play shortstop at such a high level until his mid to late 30′s. And not only that, the Yanks won the WS with Jeter at short in 2009. Plus, the Yanks were World Series contenders last year and are almost sure to be WS contenders for the next 4-5 years, especially if we can sign Jeter.

            The Yanks are fucking loaded. They just avoided paying like 500 million to the government in inheritance tax when George passed away. Let alone all the profit they make from everything they own. I can understand that they don’t want to overpay Jeter just because they can, but don’t get it twisted, they surely can overpay him if they want creating no other problems anywhere else on the team.

            • MikeD says:


              I made that very same point heading into the 2009 season when it was being reported that no team had ever won the World Series with a SS of Derek Jeter’s age (35). It was a pointless statistic that was designed to create doubt that the Yankees could win the World Series with Derek Jeter on their SS, when in reality what it did was point out how unique and special Derek Jeter was, and still is, as a player.

              Looking back, I was being kind because the statistic was beyond stupid. The only number being focused on was “35″, his age, while ignoring .300/.363/.408 and 3.7 fWAR, which were the important numbers representing how Jeter performed on the field the prior year heading into 2009. It was made further ridiculous by the addition of the qualifier “no team has won a World Series with a 35-year-old SS.” Winning the World Series reduces the field to a few, then it’s reduced further because we’d have to find teams that were collectively excellent enough to win the World Series, and then find one with a 35-or-older SS, and then find one with a SS the quality level of Derek Jeter at age 35. Once we add it all up, there were very few teams (if any) that fit all those qualifications, making the whole argument pointless.

              The 2009 Yankees were plenty good enough to win the 2009 World Series with their ancient, 35-year-old SS. Further 35-year-old SS’s can thank Derek Jeter for removing this pointless argument, or at least raising it one more year.

              Heading into 2011, the same argument will be made. No team has ever had a 37-year-old SS starting the majority of its games win the World Series. We can yawn at this, because in 2010, Derek Jeter still produced 2.5 fWAR, and was rated the third best SS in the league. Yes, they can once again win the World Series with an even more ancient SS.

              Happy Thanksgiving, all. I’m off to put on a few extra pounds today!

          • Sal says:

            Jeter’s offense declining is more of an an issue than his defense. Show me the method that is void of controversy that measures a players defense? While I enjoy the benefits of UZR it has many holes in it’s theory. Just like managers and coaches handing out a Gold glove, how do they know, they only watch a player max 18 times a year? Jeter is still a good player, I wouldn’t suggest any more than 2 or 3 yr’s, but I wouldn’t embarrass him into going on the market to look for a better deal either, not if your printing money like the Yanks are.

          • Ed says:

            hrough the years, sstops have not aged well defensively, so the problem folks have on this website with Jeter’s decline is more on the defensive side

            That’s completely wrong. Jeter was never a good defensive shortstop. He’s actually been far better over the last 3 years than was earlier in his career.

            teams that keep old shortstops as starters rarely are WS contenders

            For most shortstops their career year looks like Jeter’s 2010. If they were to keep playing shortstop into their late 30′s, they’d put up Ramiro Pena like numbers. That’s why you don’t see many old shortstops. Most can’t fall far before becoming useless offensively.

  7. BigDavey88 says:

    I never I thought I’d ever say this, but I’m warming up to the idea of Jeter not being our shortstop. Now, I don’t necessarily think it will come to that, I believe he’ll get signed eventually, but the idea of him playing somewhere else isn’t as “blasphemous” as it would have felt to me in the past.

    Still, I hope he’s back for next year. I’ve basically grown up with him since ’96 when I was seven/eight years old so it would just be weird without him. I just wish he would start using that unselfishy/captainy/ambassador of the gamery/team playery-ness he loves to flaunt so much.

    • Monteroisdinero says:

      This. Sign Cliff Lee and Carl Crawford and have Swish DH and Posada super sub (catcher/DH/bench).

      Bexy can play SS and we still win.

    • JerseyDutch says:

      Agreed. It’s not that I don’t like Jeter or appreciate all he’s done or think he’s being greedy or any of that. The fact is this is a ball club and he’s a player. Ninety-nine percent of his worth to the club is how he performs on the field, and his performance has been lacking. If he’s going to demand more than his performance numbers dictate, sorry but it’s time to go.

  8. Jimmy McNulty says:

    Well there’s an article on RLYW that’s suggesting that they need both, but Cliff Lee is my answer. Unfortunately.

  9. crawdaddy says:

    I’ve seen Cashman work too many offseasons to believe his crap about being distracted by Jeter. One thing to remember is to never believe Cashman when he’s in the process of acquiring players. He’s the King of the misdirection play among MLB GMs.

  10. RobC says:

    Does the contract offer have to be for him as a player only?
    Can they offer 2 yrs more money followed by and option for a front office position.
    2 yrs $50 million with an option of a front office job the 3rd year?

    • OldYanksFan says:

      I you are going to spend $50m (crazy), might as well get 3 years out of it. Considering Defense is part of the equation, What WAR would you expect from Jeter over the next 2 years? 5? 6? 7? Even at 7 WAR, your proposal would cost us over $7m/WAR.

      • RobC says:

        they are willing to spend $45 million what is another 5 to aviod a 3rd playing year having a poor.
        The idea is you do not want to give him 3 yrs.

    • JerseyDutch says:

      Count me as one vote against tying his contract as a player to a future front-office job. Let him play out his career and then we’ll talk about what he can do for the organization behind the scenes.

  11. Sal says:

    Come on fellas you have to be kidding thinking the Jeter drama for which Derek hasn’t said a word about will hold up the Cliff Lee signing. Who was the first visit Cashman made, don’t you think he told Lee and Darek Braunecker your our first FA priority? And when did the NY Yankees need to spend Thanksgiving Day at a soup kitchen? Didn’t we just raise ticket prices? NY offered Jeter 3 yr’s that means they know what he’s worth to the team and the brand, all of a sudden they want to paint by numbers and use his 2010 stats as a barometer of what this guy means and to their business, how Sabermetric is That!! Where were all the hardliners when they overpaid for Rodriguez,Teixeira, Sabathia, Posada and Burnett, not to mention they’re about to overpay for a 32 yr old lefty with a suspect back and a career losing record against Boston. The same guy a band of misfits beat twice in the World Series. With Jeter it’s more about how many years you want to pay him, not what you pay him, and NY can certainly afford to pay him more than AJ Burnett

    • Mike Axisa says:

      What does A.J. Burnett have to do with anything?

      • Sal says:

        Hey Mike Happy Thanksgiving. AJ Burnett is in the room.. no, he’s not worth what he’s getting paid either, I just find it strange that the front office wants to stop the bleeding on their gaudy spending ways by using Jeter as their hard line poster boy, when every one of their $20M a yr players are under achievers in relation to what they get paid

    • Mike Axisa says:

      Also, a career losing record against Boston.

      Record against the Red Sox is completely irrelevant. And besides, he’s held them to two runs in 17 innings in the last two years, a grand total of two starts, with two no decisions. He’s just fine against them.

      • Sal says:

        The record against Boston isn’t irrelevant, it’s a fact, just like Lee’s last two post season starts were loses, to a less than stellar offense. Great pitcher, an artist no doubt, but is he worth paying Vazquez and Pettitte’s money which adds up to $23M per and then giving him multiple years on top? Of course he is, the Yanks are desperate, but why go to the media with the face of your franchise and negotiate his deal, aren’t you lessening his intrinsic value doing that, and in the end aren’t they shooting themselves in the foot? Or do they make so much money they don’t care? Again explain to me why they want Jeter to play SS for 3 yr’s but they want to give him a pay cut. They want him to play SS because he’s worth it to the team on and off the field.

    • Mike HC says:

      It is tough to win that argument. Considering that argument is basically saying that you guys are always suckers and taken the cleaners making terrible deals and its not fair that you are being smart and reasonable for my deal.

  12. Mike Axisa says:

    Yeah I don’t by this at all. There’s enough manpower in the front office to multi-task. They do it all the time.

    • I Am Not The Droids You're Looking For says:

      Exactly this. The whole notion of this post assumes these guys can’t effectively multitask. Come on that’s a preposterous notion.

      • Mike HC says:

        Its not completely far fetched that the Yanks may be a bit hamstrung to make other moves when they have a 45 million dollar offer out there. They can clearly multi task, but they obviously want to get this huge deal resolved before making definitive decisions about the rest of the off season.

        Plus, on Cliff Lee’s side, if Jeter re signs, then nothing changes, but if Jeter does not, all of a sudden the Yanks undeniably have a lot more money on their hands to throw around.

        • emac2 says:

          Sorry Charlie – You don’t wait on a Cliff Lee while finding out if your over the hill short stop is coming back or not.

          It might cost us in terms of trade discussions where we now have to hold our chips in case we need a new short stop but no way for a top FA.

  13. Rich says:

    Let’s face it—Jeter is on the downside of his career. If he thinks he’s worth more than $15 mil a year tan go out and prove it. Give him a contract with incentives. If he plays better than last year he can make more. If not he’ll have to”settle” for his $15 million.

    • Mike HC says:

      Its tough to feel bad for a guy getting offered 45 million over 3 years to play baseball and own NYC. I mean, I think he should be able to find some positives there, ha.

  14. Sal says:

    Sorry Ben, but this is a pretty weak post. You are being riduculous Derek Jeter’s negotiations have absolutely nothing to do with the Lee negotiations. There is no way any other team besides the Yankees are going to get Lee. The Yankees are going offer the most money and that is the bottom line.

  15. I’m not really sure I understand what Cashman’s talking about here. Are he and the rest of the front-office sitting at their desks all day, on the phone waiting for Jeter/Close, like, on hold and listening to muzak? Their offer is out there, they’ve told the player to shop it around if he pleases and come back to them – so go move on to your other business while you wait for the player to get back to you. The idea that they can only concentrate on Jeter until Jeter is signed is just silly.

    On a related note, I find it a bit hypocritical for Cashman to be talking so much to the media about these negotiations when he has made it so clear the last few years that he will not negotiate with players/agents who leak information to the media. I’m not sure what the benefit of doing this so publicly is. He could say the same things directly to Close/Jeter and get the same results without playing this media game. I preferred it when he practiced what he preached.

    I like Cashman, but I don’t like the way he’s handling this so far. He has all the power in these negotiations, and he can exercise that power without publicly sparring with the player. I don’t think he’s getting closer to reaching his goals by doing this, I think it’s unnecessary and creates unnecessary acrimony.

    • Mike HC says:

      I think Cashman might be catching too much of the blame here. I get the feeling it was the Steinbrenner’s decision to play it the way they have in the press. Cashman is just an employee carrying out the bosses wishes.

      • Perhaps, but I’d caution against blaming the Steinbrenners every time Cashman does something we don’t like. Frankly, I think Cashman’s in control here. He and Hal have seemed, the last few years, to very much be on the same page, and we don’t have any indication Cashman’s not in control every bit as much as he’s been lately. Cashman’s not talking to the media against his wishes, here.

    • Attention Hugheses Christo:

      This is how you should be doing it.

  16. steve (different one) says:

    This is just Cashman being a dick. There is no way the FO can’t do two things at the same time, he is just trying to steer the PR war. “What, Jeter is costing us Lee? What a prick!”. Hopefully they wrap this up soon, so we can forget all of this nonsense.

    • I’ll co-sign on all of this. I liked Cashman better when he was above all this.

      • Mike HC says:

        Wouldn’t they also look like dicks if they no commented everyone and never explained why they only offered only 3 years at a pay cut. All you have heard from the Yanks is how great Jeter is before this negotiation. Their words and actions would have made no sense. I just think the Yanks are being brutally honest and above board on negotiations that every Yankee fan clearly has an interest and stake in. You can’t act like this negotiation is the same as every other one. The implications of not getting a deal done are greater than just losing out on a player. Look at how public the ARod negotiations were the last time. We knew all the dirty laundry.

        • You act as if there’s no middle ground. They don’t have to sling mud in order to explain their negotiating stance to the public.

          • Mike HC says:

            I guess I don’t see it as slinging mud. I see it as being very honest, which is rare for an organization. I personally understand the Yanks position perfectly because their explanations are reasonable to me. I obviously see it differently than others. The comments also imply to me that the Yanks are not going to wait all day for Jeter. If they move on, the offer will be pulled, and maybe they will get back to it later.

            It is just the way I see it though. I understand if people disagree.

            • “I guess I don’t see it as slinging mud. I see it as being very honest, which is rare for an organization.”

              If you have choice (a), which it to be brutally honest with the media and sling mud at your player (who in this case is a unique case as a homegrown future HOFer) or (b) maybe put those honest negative statements in your back-pocket, you choose (a), just because you like honesty?

              The goal is to get Jeter signed to a good contract and have everyone be happy. Talking smack through the media doesn’t help them achieve that goal. The Yankees are in the stronger negotiating position here – they’re making the biggest offer and Jeter doesn’t want to leave. Being “honest”, publicly, does nothing to get them closer to their goals than not being honest publicl would get them. All it does is create negative feelings, which might even delay the signing.

              Brian Cashman could pick up the phone, tell Casey Close in no uncertain terms that the Yankees are making the biggest offer to Jeter by far and want him back but won’t give him a ridiculous contract and expect Jeter to do what’s best for both him and what’s best and fair for the team, and that Cashman will be waiting for him to call back and have constructive conversations towards meeting those goals. He doesn’t need to go through the media to accomplish that.

              Extolling the virtues of honesty when that honesty is not being used to get you closer to your goals, in a PR context in a complex player negotiation, is just naive, I’m sorry.

              • Mike HC says:

                What if one of your major goals is to make sure the millions of fans who pay the bills at the end of the day understand why the Jeter legend does not have a new deal yet, and why his only offer is for 3 years at a major pay cut, and for why you might hear rumors of him to talking to other teams, because that is what the Yanks told him to do?

                • Mike HC says:

                  I realize everyone here at RAB is very sophisticated and understood all this already, so it was unnecessary for them to put it in the press. But a far more majority of the fans are not like that, and it might be a good idea to explain to them why their hero is not signed yet, and why he might see what other teams have to offer.

                  • There are very simple ways for the Yanks to make the public aware why Jeter isn’t signed yet without going negative and talking to the press about it daily.

                    “We value everything Derek has meant to this team and city, and we intend to keep him in pinstripes into the future because of what he has meant and what he will mean to this team. To that end, we’ve made an offer to Derek that we feel is generous to him while still being fair to the team, and we look forward to coming to an agreement with Derek and moving forward with him as the Yankees’ shortstop.”


                    Then you pick up the phone, and tell Casey Close that he’s not going to get any other offers that are close to the offer you’ve put on the table, and that he should give you a call when he’s ready to have a serious conversation and get the deal done.

                    This idea that the Yankees have to be talking to the media as much as they are, or that it really accomplishes anything other than creating bad feelings… I think you’re looking at this as a very black/white matter and not really considering how this could be done in a better way. It’s not “do what Cashman’s been doing” or “do nothing.”

                    Cashman wants everyone else in baseball to be adults and not talk to the media constantly about negotiations, but he’s not applying that rule to himself. Ask yourself why? Do you like that he doesn’t allow others to negotiate with him through the media? (I sure do.) Shouldn’t he be practicing what he preaches?

                    • Mike HC says:

                      I am torn. I have written in other threads that I would not have handled it like the Yanks have and I would have been far more diplomatic. But the longer this goes, I’m starting to think the Yanks strategy of just telling it like it is could be the way to go. They obviously anticipated that this would not go smoothly and maybe they know Jeter is more delusional and set in his ways than we think.

                      I really don’t know anything though. You could be right on target and this will be looked upon as a black mark on the franchise.

                    • Oh it won’t be looked upon as a black-mark on the franchise or anything of the sort. Jeter will eventually sign, and this will all be forgotten pretty quickly.

                      But that’s actually the crux of my point. Jeter will eventually sign, whether Cashman acts the way he’s been acting or more like I’ve been saying I’d prefer or any other way. That being said… Why create bad feelings in the first place? I just don’t think this strategy gains anyone anything, I don’t see the utility of it.

                    • Hughesus Christo says:

                      George’s sons are insecure a-holes. That’s what I have gathered from this “strategy”

  17. I’ve generally been okay with the tenor of the negotiations thus far, but like everyone here, I’m not buying this one.

    • Mike HC says:

      Maybe I’m gullible, but I don’t see why its so hard to believe that Yanks might not have that much flexibility to make new deals when there are so many unknowns with Jeter. First, the fact that they have a 45 million dollar offer on the table. I would think that offer comes off the table if the Yanks go ahead and start to spend money elsewhere. How can you make major decisions, and final offers to Lee and others if you don’t know if you have that 45 million to spend or not? It would be stupid. Second, if Jeter does not sign, then that creates a major hole at shortstop which changes the Yanks previous plans and strategy completely. It makes sense to come to a final determination on Jeter, before moving on. And it makes sense for other free agents to wait on the Yanks to make a decision as well, because a pissed off Yankee brass with money to spend can mean big things for some guys.

      • I would think that offer comes off the table if the Yanks go ahead and start to spend money elsewhere. How can you make major decisions, and final offers to Lee and others if you don’t know if you have that 45 million to spend or not? It would be stupid.

        I see what you’re saying, but don’t you think the Yankees have multiple budget option plans laid out? I’d be willing to think they have a plan if Jeter signs for 45-50, 55+, etc.

        • Mike HC says:

          Right. Meaning they have to wait to see what Jeter ends up signing at, or signing at all, before moving on to those other plans. I don’t think it is a good idea to just fly by the seat of your pants when making multi million dollar decisions.

          • The implication of what you’re saying is that the Yankees can only negotiate with one player at a time, and until that negotiation is done they can’t deal with other players. I’m sorry to use this word, but I think that’s naive. It’s just not the way any big business really works, let alone one as sophisticated as the Yankees.

            • Mike HC says:

              Fair enough. I’m not looking to “sling mud” with you on Turkey Day. Maybe I’m the only one buying Cashman’s comments in the world, but I think everything he is saying is honest. I believe the Jeter contract is making it tough for the Yanks to plan the rest of the off season. Could they do it, sure. But they don’t want to. I’m not saying the Jeter negotiations would end, I’m just saying that the original 45 million dollar offer might come off the table, and they will start from scratch if and when Jeter wants to come back to the table.

        • Exactly. Does this negotiation matter and have an effect on their strategy regarding other players? Sure. But if they can’t manage to carry on with their business while an offer is on the table with one player, then they probably shouldn’t be in the positions they’re in. And I’m not saying they shouldn’t be in those positions, I’m a fan of this front office. I just think it’s silly to think they can’t go about other business, and/or they’re unable to plan for other business, while an offer to Derek Jeter is on the table. The guy is going to sign eventually, just go about your other business until he comes back to the table.

  18. Accent Shallow says:

    I’ll take Jeter over Lee.

    Lee’s being talked about like he’s a left-handed Greg Maddux, but that’s really not the case. He’s heading for a cliff, and I have no interest in paying him for what he’s done, rather than what he’s about to do. Especially if paying him results in Sabathia going elsewhere.

    • Louis says:

      I’d take lee in his 32-38 year ol years over sabathia in his 31-36 years

    • bonestock94 says:

      Where do you see such a cliff? It’s not like he’s an overworked fireballer.

      • Accent Shallow says:

        He doesn’t have great stuff, he has an odd delivery, and back problems, which may inhibit his delivery.

        He’s not as young as Sabathia, nor does he have Sabathia’s track record. So why should he get more money than Sabathia when he’s four years older at time of signing?

        At least we’ve gotten the “he’s invincible in the postseason!” myth out of the way, not that I’d have given that any credence.

        • Mike Axisa says:

          he has an odd delivery

          Not sure I agree with that, but either way, odd does not mean bad.

          back problems

          It was a muscle problem, not a disc problem. Different animals, it’s not like he’s in Aceves or late career Boomer Wells territory.

    • steve (different one) says:

      Lee is not heading for a cliff.

      See, I can also state my opinions as if they are fact!

  19. Jonathan says:

    this sounds to me like a cop out. It sounds like if Jeter drags this out and we don’t get either of them, (apocalypse) Cashman might swing some public public sentiment towards the Yankees in the Jeter talks because people will see it as not only did Jeter pull a Damon, and turn down the best place for him and the most money, but he also cost them Cliff Lee.

  20. Louis says:

    What if cash Is purposely going to the media to turn the msm and the public against jeter? And mayb in the 1% chance he signs elsewhere it looks like jeter was in the wrong an not the Yankees? It seems like cash had the “making it public” part of the negotiations all planned out. If he didn’t want it out in the open it wouldn’t be.

  21. 28 this year says:

    maybe cash is taking a page out of the Red Sox playbook to smear a player so that when he leaves, no one cares.

    Just kidding but I think the Yankees are completely fair here and are definitely willing to sweeten the pot a bit. I think Jeter bringing this negotiation to the press is just wrong.

  22. Big Bertha says:

    This is ridiculous. Jeter has given us more than a decade of greatness. This will be his last big contract and the Yankees need to reward him for all he’s done. Whatever Jeter’s asking for, give it to him. This is no way to treat your captain. Johnny Damon ain’t Derek Jeter so stop making that comparison.

    • bonestock94 says:

      Sounds like a great way to run a business. I would rather have Juan Uribe in 2011 than Jeter in 2016.

    • The Yankees have already rewarded Jeter for all he’s done to the tune of $205,430,000.

      Think about that number for a minute, let it roll around in your brain. Two hundred five million, four hundred thirty thousand dollars… Already paid to Jeter…

      • Big Bertha says:

        And how much has he made for the Yankees? He was worth every penny of that $200 million. 5 WS rings, a career .300+ hitter, will be the first Yankee to get 3,000 hits, and a first ballot hall of famer. Jeter deserves one last big contract on his terms. Hank Steinbrenner is a a fool. George must be rolling in his grave.

        • 1 – Why does he deserve “one last big contract?” He’s been paid handsomely for everything he has done for the Yankees.

          2 – Hank isn’t in charge.

          3 – George let Reggie Jackson walk without making him an offer, and was in charge when Bernie was basically shown the door.

          4 – 3 yrs / $45-$50M IS ONE LAST BIG CONTRACT FOR DEREK JETER. I don’t understand how people don’t get that. He wouldn’t get a contract CLOSE to those numbers on the open market. The Yankees are being GENEROUS by offering him that contract.

        • Yo Quiero Montero (formerly LarryF) says:

          and his 3,000th hit will be a bouncer between second and first. Sign Carl Crawford and forget(with great honor and heartwarm thanks) about Jeter. Derek doesn’t deserve one last big contract at the expense of team success. He deserves what we offered.

          • Accent Shallow says:

            Yeah, Crawford will carry on the great legacy of Yankee SS . . .


            • Mike Axisa says:

              Heh, the “great legacy of Yankee SS” is basically Derek Jeter. Maybe Phil Rizzuto if you’re kind. The great legacy positions are CF, C, and LHSP.

              • MikeD says:

                …I’ve always wondered why a franchise as great as the Yankees have never really had great LFers for any length of time.

                The top four LFers of all time are names like Williams, Bonds, Musial and Henderson. While they’re LFers, if we put a list together of the 20 greatest ballplayers of all time, they’d all most likely make it. (I’m hedging that since I’d actually have to think of who are twenty greatest players are, but I’m pretty sure all four would make it.) Add in Simmons, and Brock, and Shoeless Joe, and Manny, and Goslin and Yastrzemski and etc.,etc., etc., and it’s a rich talent position.

                Yet, we’d have to go pretty far down the list to find a Yankee LFer, based on total career value. It’s probably Roy White, an underrated player who played his peak during the dark years of the mid-60s to the mid-70s, which was also a offensively depressed period. Yet considering how great the Yankees have been, it seems we’ve always been a bit light in LF. Even think over this great dynasty run from ’96 forward. No name really stands out.

                Who would be the Yankees top five LFers of all time?

                • Yo Quiero Montero (formerly LarryF) says:

                  Roy White couldn’t carry the jockstrap of any of those other names mentioned. We have been very weak in LF if he is the best that comes to mind. His arm made Johnny Damon’s look like Jesse Barfield’s.

                  • MikeD says:

                    White actually was a good player, yet if he’s the greatest Yankee LFer of all time, it illustrates the point.

                    This is all sounding familiar to me. I think the RAB guys (it might have been Steve H) might have done something on this recently. King Kong Keller is probably the best Yankee LFer based on peak value. White probably on career value. (BTW Ruth never played 100 games in RF in a single season, rotating among all three OF positions. He even played 20 or so games in center his first year on the Yanks, so he must have been a pretty good defensive player early on. In 1921 he as the team’s primary LFer.)

                    Of course, I forget that Rickey Henderson was the Yankees LFer. Ummmm, he was pretty good, but still was only, I believe, five years. Matsui was a LFer when he first came over. Dave Winfield played left for his first season or two.

                    I guess that’s the point. We’ve had some very talented players at time in left, but never for a good long run.

              • Sick Nwisher says:

                Maybe Phil Rizzuto if you’re kind.

                Are we talking about the 7 time champion and 1950 MVP?

            • Yo Quiero Montero (formerly LarryF) says:

              Not the point. Crawford’s bat and speed (over Jeter’s) and 7 years younger is the point. This would FAR overcome the Nunez (who won’t hit into 25dp’s) effect. Folks act as if we can’t win without Jeter even if we had the 8 greatest players of all time at every other position.

        • bigjuan says:

          Over/under on how many more times people will use the ridiculous, George must be rolling in his grave, line?

          I’ll set it at eleventy billion and a half.

      • YanksFan says:

        I believe that that is his salary only. It does not include his playoff shares & his endorsements. He would of gotten the endorsemets by being a great player but most likely not to the extent that he has gotten.

        • emac2 says:

          If he had played for another team he wouldn’t be a great player, wouldn’t have had the chance to shine in the playoffs and wouldn’t have the endorcements.

    • JerseyDutch says:

      Ridiculous is paying an aging shortstop anything he wants based on misplaced sentimentality.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      Seriously? Just give him whatever he asks for?

      And as far as “us”… If fans really feel this way send the guy a check or buy some of his merchandise…

  23. emac2 says:

    I’m willing to bet that Cash can multitask well enough to negotiate with Jeter and Lee at the same time.

    Does anyone know if the Yanks have invested in call waiting for their phone plans? I think that might be the best way to deal with conundrums like this.

  24. Batty says:

    Wow – Cashman’s really throwing as much dirt out in the press as possible! You don’t think they knew about how much they were going to offer Lee months ago – this is just a BS PR stunt.

  25. Ted Nelson says:

    I think this is just a ploy by Cashman… I mean he really devotes 12 hours of his day to wondering whether Jeter is going to sign or not? I sort of doubt it. Signing other players and filling up the payroll a little will actually put more pressure on Jeter as the Yankees can start to cite their budget in the Jeter negotiations. I think Cashman is just engaging in the PR battle and will sign someone when it comes up. Cliff Lee and maybe another pitcher or two are about the only guys the Yankees might be quick to sign, after that the Yankees are probably waiting for bargains to shake-out for their bench anyway.

  26. It'sATarp says:

    Honestly a part of me want to say screw Jeter, Cliff Lee is going to produce more for the franchise and mean more in a future play off run than jeter will. Jeter’s “blaffing” has annoyed me to no end in recent days.

Leave a Reply

You may use <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> in your comment.

If this is your first time commenting on River Ave. Blues, please review the RAB Commenter Guidelines. Login for commenting features. Register for RAB.