Nov
19

What they’re saying about Derek Jeter

By

Like it or not, Derek Jeter will dominate New York headlines until he and the Yankees reach an agreement. We all have our opinions on what the Yankees should offer him, but that means little in determining what they will offer. All we can do is look to people who are closer to the people involved and see how they’re interpreting events. Of course, we can then interpret their interpretations, based on what we know about them as writers and reporters.

Just today we’ve seen plenty of takes on how the talks are going. The Yankees plan to make Jeter an offer soon, perhaps as early as today, and it’s not expected to exceed three years or around $15 million in average annual value. That would signal that he’s going to get more, if this is the Yankees’ opening bid. But will Jeter be insulted by the proposed pay cut?

As Joel Sherman writes this morning, the Yankees are trying to keep this thing respectful:

And [respect] is quite the devilish word in these negotiations, because the Yankees are trying to find the right way to pay Derek Jeter for his present value without disrespecting his legacy and his standing with the fans. In other words: What do you offer a player based on the current facts — 37 next year, coming off his worst offensive season, with dying range at short?

That’s not an easy task to accomplish, of course. Jeter has been worth plenty to the franchise. But haven’t they already compensated him for that? Didn’t they hand him a 10-year, $189 million contract after the 2000 season? I think that money, plus all the endorsement deals Jeter has signed because he’s the face of the Yankees franchise, adequately covers his past value to the franchise. In other words, they’ve already respected him for the past.

Steve Politi at the Ledger, in what has to be a play to drum up outrage, makes some specious connections as he tries to argue for overpaying Jeter.

This is the overlooked number with Jeter: 1,705,263. That was the Yankees attendance in 1995, the year before Jeter became the everyday shortstop in the Bronx. It was actually below the American League average.

Four championships and 14 years later, when the team played its final season at the old Yankee Stadium, that number had climbed to 4,298,655 — and, as any fan can tell you, the ticket price climbed right along with it.

The team moved to its giant ATM of a ballpark and started the YES Network, becoming the Bronx branch of the U.S. mint along the way. They were worth $185 million in ’95, and according to Forbes, that value is now $1.5 billion. Plenty of players had a hand in that, but Jeter tops the list.

Where do we even start with this assertion? First, 1995 was the year following the strike. The Yankees were actually good for the first time in a long time during the 1994 strike season, and I know that fans were beyond disappointed that the season ended in August. I’m sure that played into the diminished attendance. And yes, Jeter showed up in 96 and won four championships. But he’ll be the first to tell you that pitching had everything to do with those.

Plus, if you want to talk attendance you have to talk about Alex Rodriguez. In 2003 the Yankees led the league with 3,465,640 attendees. That’s quite a considerable leap from 1995, but again that was in large part because of the championships and general interest climbing as the sport moved further away from the attendance-killing strike. In 2004 attendance jumped to 3.775 million. In 2005 it crossed the 4 million mark. So why don’t we attribute these attendance records to A-Rod? Because it’s ridiculous to do so. Yet Politi does it for Jeter.

The $185 million to $1.5 billion franchise valuation? Again, that’s largely because of the championships, but also because of inflation and general economic growth. The sport became more valuable, hence its marquee franchise became more valuable. Jeter played a role, for sure, but the championships played a bigger role. Jeter was just one of 25 on that championship team.

Again, this is a blatant attempt to manufacture outrage. The Yankees have paid Jeter for the past. Why do they need to pay him for it again?

(Politi also makes the argument that baseball is entertainment and Derek Jeter entertains. OK. And if he’s terrible in Year 3 of the deal, will he remain entertaining? Have you listened to Yankees fans talk?)

If you thought Politi’s assertion was willfully ignorant, look at Bill Madden:

In the aftermath of all the rhetoric coming out of the owners’ meetings in Orlando, it appears Derek Jeter is about to join the ranks of Thurman Munson, Reggie Jackson and Dave Righetti in learning the hard reality of free agency as practiced by the Steinbrenner Yankees: More often than not, they are willing to pay more for somebody else’s free agent than for their own.

Because they didn’t pay Mariano Rivera more than any other team would have paid him. Ditto Jorge Posada and Alex Rodriguez. Andy Pettitte at $16 million in 2008? No one else was matching that. What about Jeter himself in 2000? Was any other team going to give him a 10-year contract at nearly $200 million?

For a really good read on Jeter, check out Keith Olbermann’s latest. It nicely balances the Yankees should overpay for Jeter articles. It puts his current situation into perspective, rather than yelling that the Yankees should pay him for his past performance. This is not the Derek Jeter who signed a 10-year contract for his ages 27 through 36 seasons. This is the Derek Jeter who will turn 37 next year. Why should the Yankees overpay him?

Categories : Hot Stove League

91 Comments»

  1. Hughesus Christo says:

    Whoa. Time out.

    The Yankees didn’t overpay Arod and Jorge? I’m pretty sure they overpay Rivera too.

  2. I think it comes down to the fact that Jeter needs the Yankees more than the Yankees need Jeter. The Yankees will exist and keep their earnings potential regardless if Jeter is on the team or not. Without the Yankees, Jeter is just another old shortstop in the twilight of his career, who has zero chance of earning anything close to the Yankee money on the open market.

    Hal just has to play that card enough to get Jeter to realize this and sign without him feeling so disrespected that he turns the whole thing into an ugly media war. Jeter gets his money, the Yankees don’t grossly overpay in dollars or years, everyone wins.

    • That. Yanks have the leverage, they just shouldn’t overplay it.

      Also of note: Where do the millions in endorsement money from Ford, Gaterade, Gillette go if Jeter is not a Yankee?

    • RL says:

      Many of our responses seem as if the Yankee brain-trust is completely unaware of how to negotiate and what Jeter’s value is. I get a laugh out of this. I’m quite sure they know what they’re doing and what the highest dollar value/years they should offer based on their situation. Jeter and his agent are also aware of the realities of the market.

      This will work itself out. It’s interesting to hear people’s opinions, but I, for one, won;t be saying “they should do this”.

  3. Steve H says:

    The Yankees were THE Yankees long before Derek Jeter arrived. Politi’s assertion is insane.

  4. I don’t know why people are making such a big deal of Jeter’s contract. He is being overrated, just like Moose.

    /Bigstein’d

  5. Plank says:

    I understand the argument and I think Jeter will be paid more than another player at his age and skill level, but can we stop referring to it as an overpay? That presumes that you want the owners to make as much money as possible and the players to make as little as possible.

    If Jeter can get a boatload of money from the Yanks, good for him. If I were the Yanks, I wouldn’t do it, but I hope he gets as much as he can.

    • “That presumes that you want the owners to make as much money as possible and the players to make as little as possible.”

      I don’t see how you can draw that conclusion. We just want the Yankees to spend the money on other players, too.

      • Plank says:

        I understand what you are saying, but I don’t really accept that premise. The Yankees are going to pay Jeter what they pay Jeter and they may use that as an excuse not to sign someone else, but it will be a lie.

        Hal and Hank make tens of millions every year running the Yanks. If they wanted to spend more every year, they could easily do it. Just like every owner, they want to make the level of money they are comfortable with, then they will spend the rest to grow their business. I’m sure from time to time, the expenses are more than the income, but that is a business decision, because they know how much a losing record will hurt their brand image.

    • This is an employee/management negotiation. He wants as much as he can get, management wants to pay as little as possible. The potential endorsement dollars — coming from a third party — will grease the wheels, just watch.

    • Would you be happy if the Yankees just pay Jeter for the hell of it and it causes them to not be able to field the best team possible? Would you also be happy when the corpse of Jeter is playing assuming he gets the 6 year deal that he wants. His range is pretty bad now, I can’t wait to see it when hes 42.

      • Plank says:

        No, I think the Yankees and Jeter are doing exactly what they should be doing, but I object tot eh terms overpaid and underpaid.

        Most people refer to Evan Longoria’s as the best contract in Baseball, that is assuming you want the owners to profit the most. I see it as the worst contract in baseball.

        People say AJ’s contract is one of the worst in baseball. How is it bad that he get’s 16.5 million/year? It sounds great to me. The Yankees and any other team can spend 16.5M more effectively to translate to wins, but AJ Burnett or any other player is stopping the Yankees or any other team from doing that. The only thing stopping it is the owners wanting to guarantee their healthy personal profits.

        • The Yankees have a budget though. Evan Longoria’s contract is great because it allows the team to expand their already tight payroll in other places. You are assuming that the Yanks will pocket the money they saved from Jeter, but as history has shown they will reuse that money to make the team better in other places.

          If you were saying this about the Marlins I would agree 100% but the Yanks are willing to spend, its just making the most of your resources.

          • Plank says:

            The Yankees payroll has been relatively stagnant the past 6 years, in that time, the team has increased profit significantly. The remaining money has all gone to the Steinbrenners. I don’t disagree that the Brothers set a budget, but I’m saying the budget could be much higher while still ensuring a profit for the bros.

            Even if Jeter signed a 50M/yr contract, it wouldn’t prevent the Yanks from signing anyone, the Steinbrenners desire for personal wealth is what prevents the Yankees from signing other players.

            • UWS says:

              Wait, what?

              Despite the fascist socialist pinko commie policy here in RABland*, baseball owners run a business. It’s fun, but in the end they’re in it to make money. Steinbrenners break the bank more than any other owners in MLB, but even they have their limit, no owner’s pockets are bottomless.

              *may or may not be true.

            • http://www.bizofbaseball.com/d.....ar_MLB.pdf

              From the beginning of the time frame to the end the change in payroll is ~90 mil. I know a around 199 the payroll was <100 mil so that's far from stagnant.

            • hello9 says:

              You seem to take issue with the fact that a higher payroll/revenue team also takes higher raw profits than other teams instead of funneling it back to the team. You’re ignoring the increased amount of risk they’re also taking on due to the higher cost of running a team. If the marlins have a bad year they lose 5-10 million, which is a lot but which would be a drop in the bucket if the yankees had an awful year and lost something like 50 million. You should be pointing to the profit margins the yankees run, which are probably in line with other teams (the yankees came in 10th year in operating income but that’s likely due to how they treat YES, etc)

              Additionally, your ‘they’re not increasing payroll’ recently argument ignores that (aside from the fact that with the exception of an outlier year in 2005 we have generally seen an increase in payroll) we’ve been in a recession for the past two years or so. Most businesses are looking to reduce costs and free agency and the mlb as a whole has been a glaring example of that. Your anger at the idea that a corporation dares to be profitable isn’t the type of logic that’ll subvert the trend or that’ll make other people more willing to accept an impression of inordinate greed by a star player.

              • Plank says:

                I don’t have any anger about the Steinbrenners trying to make a profit. All I was saying and all I’ve been saying is that deeming a contract as good/bad or overpaid/underpaid is taking a stand as either pro-owner or pro-player (almost always pro-owner.)

                Are you claiming that the Steinbrenners profits havent increased with the YES network and the new Yankees Stadium? I don’t want to misunderstand your post, but by bringing up the recession as a reason for no increase in payroll, that what it seems like.

            • OldYanksFan says:

              The Yankees’ payroll was something like 40%+ higher then any other team. This isn’t enough for you? Aside from purely financial considerations, maybe the Yankees and Cashman would like to play on a field that is only so lobsided?

              Maybe the Yankees can afford a $300m payroll and still keep stockholders happy. Should they do this? Would it be good for baseball? Will it really be that much fun to watch baseball if the Yankees buy Lee… and Pujols…. and Hanley… etc, etc.

              I am a social thinking person and I get your drift. But it is misdirected at the Yankees. More then any other team in MLB, and maybe in all of sports, the Yankees invest in their product and always field a competative team.

              Lastly, when you interview for a job, I hope you represent yourself well, and try and get the most money you can. But if you literally asked for TWICE what your known value was… well, good luck with that.

              I guess you cluld always try:
              “I know I’m worth xyz, and I know you know I’m worth xyz, but I want (2*xyz) BECAUSE AROD MAKES SO MUCH MONEY.

        • Steve H says:

          If you fill up your car with gas and it comes to $35, do you give them $50 for the hell of it?

          Or, do the owners of the gas station, who may have more money, only charge you $20 for $35 worth of gas because they can afford to?

          • Plank says:

            The analogy would be a rich person who refuses to fill their car because they want to save money even though they have plenty in the bank. That’s fine if that’s what they want to do, but saying their resources are limited in that scenario isn’t accurate.

            Again, I’m not advocating Jeter getting a lot of money, I’m advocating Jeter’s right to try to get as much as possible. If I were Cashman, I would offer 2/24 and say take it or leave it. If he signs for 3/60 or something equally high, I won’t call it an overpay, it’s just what he got.

            • UWS says:

              No, it will be overpay because his pay will not be commensurate with his production.

              • RL says:

                But it’s his right to negotiate for the best he can get. If he gan get 5 or 6 years at $15-20M/year, then he negotiated well. Did the Yankess do poorly? If they’re willing to pay that much, they don’t believe so or they wouldn’t have made the offer.

    • Steve H says:

      I want the Yankees to be as good as they possibly can. Overpaying for Jeter limits this possibility, it has nothing to do with whose hands the money ends up in. If the Yankees set their payroll at $215 million, they are going to spend around $215 million. The bigger chunk of that going to Jeter hurts the team, it doesn’t put any extra money in ownerships pockets. At the end of the day any extra money in Jeter’s pocket doesn’t come at the expense of ownership, it comes at the expense of another player who could help the team.

      • mike c says:

        If the Yankees set their payroll at $215 million, they are going to spend around $215 million
        except when they decide to spend more money and break the budget like they did when they signed tex and CC

        • RL says:

          Point being, they know their financial situation well enough to know what they can spend on Jeter (at least a good business person should know, based on today’s realities). They’ll spend as little as they can to secure what they want. Jeter will try to get as much as possible. They’ll find a common ground … or not.

  6. First Time Poster says:

    I would love to see how the contract negotiations would be going if Derek had of had another campaign similar to his ’09– or even a B+ version.

    What would the contract outlook be? Years and dollars? Would it make much of a difference? Would fans be more for Jeter getting more $?

    For the record, I would like to see a 3-4 year deal ranging between 14-16MM.

    • Pretty high amounts for your deals. Personally my options would be:

      Optimal: The Johnny Damon 2yr 8/yr
      Realistic: 3yr 15/r
      What I can say damn they overpayed but not get mad: Frontloaded 4 year 70 mil 22.5 22.5 12.5 7.5

      • First Time Poster says:

        Not trying to be rude; however, how is JD relevant to my post? Using him as a reference point?

        The 3-4 year deal I’d suggested was not my optimal contract for DJ, just a realistic “Best-Case” contract. I would say it is low, if anything.

        For the record; Presumably, the Yankees would not want to pay so much in the first year of the contract. Payroll is already being stretched to try for Lee. They would probably pay Jeter the most when they are no longer paying Jorge and Andy– not to mention A-Rod’s money goes down.

        • He wasn’t, I was just using the contract they offered him as what I think Jeter would receive on the open market.

          It would make more sense because Jorge, Pettitte, and possibly Mo are coming off the books. You also have the CC possible opt out and A-Rod will be making less money.

        • OldYanksFan says:

          The problem, Lee or no Lee, is not so much 2011, but 2013 and 2014, when they already have huge commitments to players that will be declining in production.

    • 4 years, 16 a year. That’s where this will net out. Endorsements may kick this to 25 a year, and Jeter will be able to look at himself in the mirror.

      Meanwhile bleacher tickets start at 15. Way to go USA.

  7. vin says:

    “Tee $185 million to $1.5 billion? Again, that’s largely because of the championships, but also because of inflation and general economic growth. The sport became more valuable, hence its marquee franchise became more valuable.”

    Exactly. If the team went in the toilet over the next 10 years, the value would take a hit. Of course the Yanks probably have more of a cushion (time-wise) than most teams because of all the interest they’ve generated over the years.

    I love watching Yankee Classics from the mid 90s (basically the Gooden, Abbott, Wells and Cone no-hitters/perfectos). The attendance was sorely lacking. But that’s the way it was around the game back then. Only the best teams drew – Blue Jays, Indians, etc.

    There is no more better way to increase team value than winning. I’m still amazed the Rays can’t draw fans – but I’m sure most of that is attributable to their horrendous stadium situation.

  8. nathan says:

    Well one thing is for certain the Captain wont budge much. You would think the would smell the coffee. That left side of infield is gonna look ugly in 2 years time.

    I think 2 years is too much, but he will end up with a 4 year contract. Just hope that Hal has more guts than Hank, I dont want to see another cave in. Still bummed abt that ARod deal.

    • First Time Poster says:

      I don’t think the left side will be that much worse than it was this year– and it wasn’t THAT bad.

      I truly think A-Rod will hit well for a few more years, and his defense should be acceptable. As for Jeter, it is not impossible that Jeter regresses back to the mean next year, improving upon his 2010 season. His defense has not been historically bad, either.

      Of course, there is always the other scenario in which Jeter gets worse and it could be the worse $50 Million spent in baseball…

    • RL says:

      He’ll budge if the Yankees hold a hard line that’s above what another team will offer and he still wants to play baseball for the Yankees.

  9. Brazilian Fan says:

    one thing is important to say.
    Neither Jeter or the Yankees are the center piece here.

    The fans are. If the fans dont like the team then the attendance will be poor and the merchandise will suffer.

    So as a fan I hope the Yankees brass manage to put the best team on the field. Period.

    As we say here in Brazil players vanish, the teams stay.

  10. Monteroisdinero says:

    Nunez and a ton of pitcher$$$$>>>>>Jeter.
    We have a hell of a lineup without Jeter’s 8HR’s/50rbi’s/25gdp’s. I love him but that is the reality going forward.

    /Just sayin

  11. Doug says:

    Thought this was a great article as well

    http://sports.espn.go.com/new-.....id=5821214

  12. Jace says:

    No ONE player is MORE IMPORTANT than the team….JETAH!!

  13. Zack says:

    The “outrage” is laughable. The same media members saying pay him whatever he wants, would be the same people who will rip the Yankees for not being like the Red Sox and knowing when to say good-bye to a player when Jeter is 39-41 getting 25m and doing nothing.

  14. APerrotta says:

    Wait wait wait… Jeter’s won five world series. By himself. He deserves A-Rod money. Or Pirates money. Whichever is larger.

  15. It's Always Sunny in....San Diego says:

    +12, Great article and I agree with it all.

  16. SNS says:

    I will say this, not in defense of the writers or Jeter, but the problem I have with the current stance is that it has never been consistent. The Steinbrenners and the Yankees have often overpaid for off the field concepts. They overpaid Arod for two reasons (1) necessity and (2) the value of the homerun record. Now the later has been completely diminished and while that is mostly Arod’s fault, when you sign a contract for $270-$300M, you do that with off the field production in mind. And thats not even getting to the random overpaid guys like AJ Burnett, Marte, Igawa, etc…For some reason the Yankees front office and ownership has taken a very aggressive public approach to dealing with Jeter and his “value”. I have only really heard one thing from Casey Close, so I really don’t like all these public comments and Jeter really deserves better.

    And the concept shouldn’t be overpaid in the context of baseball but it should be overpaid within the context of the Yankee universe. They preach a lot of fiscal responsibility but they practice it as a matter of comfort. To me this is simple and I know most of this is driven by the media who knows this sells papers but I am getting annoyed that I keep hearing Yankee people dropping quotes about how they value Jeter. Even if they are right, its not the right way to do business. This is not Bernie Williams. You have no alternative to the guy and while he is in decline, he has tremendous value both on and off the field. That a minimum should earn him a closed off negotiation.

  17. Bob says:

    I wonder what he could get from other teams. Can he get another offer for more than 2-3 years, at more than $12-15M per annum? Somewhat off-topic, wasn’t he rumored to be getting married this offseason? As a family man, he might need more security from his employer.

    • Brazilian Fan says:

      Imagine if the sox deal Scutaro and sign Jeter.

      The world will end before 2012.

    • Steve H says:

      As a family man, he might need more security from his employer.

      He’s coming off a $189 million contract. If he doesn’t have security at this point that’s his problem, not the Yankees’.

      • Bob says:

        …that was meant to be somewhat tongue-in-cheek…no kidding. Really, the rumor is 3 X$15M to start, and I’m not sure anyone else is going to offer that.

        • Steve H says:

          lol. Ok. Thought maybe you were pulling a Latrell Sprewell.

          • Bob says:

            His best leverage is probably getting another team involved — especially if their objective is as much to subtract an icon from NYY as to improve their team, a la Bernie to BOS, or Jorge to NYM — those scenarios hit a little too close to home. Big difference w/Bernie — he was in his prime and clearly had high value to any team.

  18. YankeesJunkie says:

    Baseball is like economics there are a scarce amount of resources (WAR and payroll) and people want to maximize it. The Yankees should not pay Jeter 25 mil a year because they can, they might as well just sign all there players to 5 mil minimums because they can it is just stupid. The Yankees have a budget and they need to maximize that budget by getting the most potential wins out of it. If Jeter wants six years and 120 million from the Yankees then he can find some other team willing to give him that because it would be idiotic if the Yankees did. In the end I think Jeter gets a 3/55 and thinks he gets shafted because he is not getting 20-25 a year then that is his problem not really the Yankees problem.

  19. Bryan V says:

    Is Jeter the great Yankee everybody believes he is? I think so, and that he’ll sign for less than the alleged “5-6 years at $20m per” he wants. But if he does stick to those demands, then he’s not who we thought he was. And therefore I’d say…GTFO!

  20. steve (different one) says:

    The REAL issue is not the one that people are talking about: the yankees can afford to PAY jeter as much as he wants. There is a budget, but there are creative ways to get Jeter his money (backloading, personal services contract, one year hit via signing or marketing bonus, blah blah blah).

    The issue is that the 2013 Yankees might not be able to afford to PLAY Derek Jeter as much as he wants. I expect a moderate bounceback in 2011, but how much longer is Jeter really going to “not suck balls”? If Jeter hits any worse than this year (and how good is his defense going to be at 39?), letting him rack up 600 ABs might be the difference between October or no October baseball.

    The stock answer from the fans has been “well, Derek will retire before he becomes an embarrassment”. Will he? How many players have walked away from huge sums of guaranteed money? Does he appear willing to recognize his decline this winter in his contract negotiation?

    To me, that’s the biggest issue: who is going to bench Derek Jeter once he is no longer a good player? How long is the leash? Because he is certainly not someone the org could trade or even waive.

    • hello9 says:

      the retire thing is hilarious to me
      because we all know he was happy to move to third base when a better shortstop was signed by the team not too long ago

      Jeter is going to go down as a legendary yankee and rightfully so. However let’s not embarrassingly lionize him until the YES specials a decade from now.

    • Steve H says:

      Good point. I think the more the Yankees pay him the more power they sway down the road. Give him 2/$20 and promise him he’ll remain at SS. Give him 4/$65 and tell him as soon as they want to move him off SS (and down in the lineup), he does so with zero complaints.

  21. Steve H says:

    If this were A-Rod of course the media would be painting him as selfish and looking to cash in on past successes. Instead the media is (in general) bashing the Yankees for being cheap with him.

  22. Crosetti32 says:

    Why don’t they just get rid of Levine and Trost and throw the extra money Jeter’s way?

  23. All Praise Be To Mo says:

    3 for $45 million, take it or leave it. Where else would he go? Who else would pay him that much? No one else but the Yanks. If he doesn’t like it, see you later. Take the money saved and sign Cliff Lee and Carl Crawford and trade an OF for a SS.

  24. SodaPopinski says:

    Dear Yankees,

    Whatever you do, please don’t waste your money. Spend it wisely, to put the best team possible on the field everyday for us to watch and enjoy. We like wins, and really could care less which particular players are on the team.

    If you need certain players in your advertisements to lure ignorant people to the games as well to make more money, that’s ok, as long as you really sell enough tickets doing this to make it worthwhile.

    We want the best TEAM.

    Have fun negotiating.

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