Yanks, A-Rod settle on 30 million reasons to break the HR record

Because it’s been five whole days since we last heard from Alex Rodriguez, let’s check in on how everyone’s favorite third baseman is doing. Courtesy of The New York Times and Murray Chass comes the news that the Yanks and A-Rod have cleared that last hurdle: The two sides have figured out the home run incentive clauses of A-Rod’s new contract.

Chass details how A-Rod could earn up to $30 million more if he tops various home run milestones:

Rodriguez will make $275 million over 10 years in his Yankees contract, which becomes the biggest baseball contract ever. Terms of the contract are expected to be confirmed early this week.

The nonguaranteed part of the contract will be the marketing agreement, which the commissioner’s office and the players union have approved. The Yankees and Rodriguez had to keep changing the nature of the agreement to gain approval because players cannot receive bonuses for achievements like home run totals.

In the approved agreement, Rodriguez will share in revenue the Yankees generate by marketing his home run milestones…Under the agreement, Rodriguez will receive $6 million when he reaches each of five milestones: the career home run totals of Willie Mays (660), Babe Ruth (714), Henry Aaron (755) and Barry Bonds (762), and when he breaks the record…

He will get the marketing money in exchange for making certain appearances linked to his home run milestones over and above what players are required by their contracts to do.

Those are some pretty lofty numbers both in terms of home run and salary, and of course, we won’t know how much of this non-guaranteed $30 million A-Rod will see until he actually reaches — or fails to reach — those home run plateaus.

With these new performance/marketing bonuses in place, A-Rod is sacrificing certain other incentive clauses. Gone are the monetary rewards for All Star Game appearances and MVP awards. For $27.5 million, A-Rod better be making the All Star team.

So in the end, A-Rod gets his deal potentially worth over $30 million. If all of these bonuses kick in, he’ll earn $305 million over 10 years. It’s what the Yanks were willing to give him in October before he opted out, and it is seemingly what he and Boras thought he would be getting anyway. But, as we’ve said before, the Yanks turned this deal on their terms. Hank Steinbrenner, the new face behind the game’s most powerful franchise, faced down the game’s most powerful agent and player and won. We get A-Rod; the Yanks get their win. Sounds good to me.

Thanking the Baseball Gods

With Thanksgiving upon us, blogging — and readership — will be light today. Go spend time with your family and forget about the Yanks for a few hours. We’ll be here when you get back.

But for those of you jonesin’ for some baseball, let me present five things for which I’m thankful right now. It all relates to baseball or sports. I’m thankful because…

…The Angels — and not the Yankees — are going to be paying Torii Hunter $80 million over five years to play centerfield. And, yes, the Angels now have $120 million tied up in centerfielders over the next five seasons. That’s just unnecessary.

…The Steinbrenners — and not the Dolans — own the Yankees. The Knicks lost against last night, and since Isiah Thomas was undeserved awarded a contract extension last season, New York’s hapless basketball club has gone 6-24. That is a fireable offense.

Alex Rodriguez will be manning third base coming April. The Yankees are better with A-Rod at third base. That’s not an opinion.

…Spring Traning is just 2 months and 20 days away.

…so many people read this blog every day. Thanks to all of you for stopping by, reading and contributing to the discussion. Enjoy your Thanksgiving.

Quick hits from Yankeeland: Shelley, Joba and Andy

With Thanksgiving upon us, blog traffic dies down, and I wanted to get all of this news to you before everyone jets from their computers for the long weekend. So a few hits from Yankeeland:

  • Shelley Duncan was hospitalized a few days ago with what The Post is calling a blood clot in his arm. While this is the first I’ve heard of this disturbing injury, Duncan has been released from the hospital after a stay that may have included some time in the ICU. The Yankees and Duncan’s family are not commenting on the issue, and there’s no word on how this clot – which may have developed as a complication following hernia surgery – will affect his long-term health. We’ll definitely keep an eye on this story.
  • The Yankees are not sure if Joba Chamberlain will be in the rotation or the bullpen come Opening Day. Basically, some in the organization see Joba as a Josh Beckett-type starter while others see him as the answer to the Yanks’ recent set-up woes. We’ve been pretty clear where we stand: 200 innings from Joba the starter are worth a whole lot more to the team than 75 innings from Joba the reliever.
  • In the world of the bullpen, the Yanks are one of a handful of teams interested in Troy Percival. The righty was utterly dominant in St. Louis last year, and his signing could push Joba int the rotation. That being said, there are a lot of questions surrounding Percival. Does he want to close? What sort of deal does he want? The Yanks have simply expressed interest.
  • Joe Girardi himself will try to convince Andy Pettitte to return. That along with $16 million may just do the job. My bet is that Pettitte is the Yankees’ Opening Day starter.
  • Finally, following up from yesterday, the Jets say they plan to address the Gate D problem. That’s good.

Yanks, A-Rod agree on contract outline

This should silence a few more of the doubters out there, but I won’t breathe easy until A-Rod and the Yanks are holding the requisite press conference.

From ESPN:

Alex Rodriguez and the New York Yankees have agreed to the outline of a $275 million, 10-year contract, a deal that potentially would allow him to earn millions more if he sets the career home run record.

The amount of the guaranteed money was revealed by a person familiar with the negotiations who spoke Thursday on condition of anonymity because the deal hasn’t been finalized. A-Rod met Wednesday in Tampa, Fla., with the Steinbrenner brothers but the parameters of the deal were set in place last weekend.

All that’s left is for the Yanks to draft the agreement, and, yes, Scott Boras will be involved there. I guess I’ll have to move A-Rod back into the “Current Yankees” category.

Cap’n Jetes in tax trouble

At a time when Alex Rodriguez is looking to bank some serious dough, Derek Jeter might be out some. The State of New York is seeking back taxes — possibly totaling over a million dollars — from the Yankees captain from the years 2001 through 2003. But it’s not that Jeter outright didn’t pay his taxes. It’s that he paid them to Florida, where he claimed residence, not New York, where he was a prominent figure for at least six and a half months of the year.

Lawyers for Jeter, who has an off-season home in Tampa, Fla., dispute the claims that Jeter “immersed himself in the New York community” and made “numerous statements professing his love for New York” during the disputed period, according to documents published this week on a state Web site monitored by FOXNews.com.

I’m not quite sure how his lawyers are disputing his immersion in the New York community. I’m also not sure how “numerous statements professing his love” for the city would denote his residence in it. He has claimed residence in Florida since 1994, when he spent the majority of his season with the Tampa Yankees.

That the State is seeking taxes from 2001 is significant for two reasons. First is his ten-year, $189 million contract which was signed that winter. Second is his $13 million purchase of an apartment in Trump Towers.

Honestly, I’m not sure how the law works in these instances of dual residency. If anyone can shed some light, please do so in the comments or shoot me an e-mail. All I know is that no one from the Jeter party is commenting on this case. It’s probably for the best, at least from a public relations standpoint.

Hip hip, Jorge! Hip hip, Jorge! Hip hip, Jorge! Hip hip, Jorge!

Mark Feinsand and Bill Madden break this story: The Yanks and Jorge Posada have agreed to a four-year, $52-million contract. The deal, of course, depends on a physical and some final language. It is not finalized yet, but the inking of the deal seems to be a mere technicality right now.

Per The Daily News:

After being schmoozed by Mets general manager Omar Minaya Monday afternoon during a lengthy lunch at Le Cirque, Posada and his agents finally received the offer from the Yankees they had been hoping for all along. The Yankees offered Posada a four-year, $52 million contract … to remain in pinstripes. The deal will become official pending a physicial and final contract language being ironed out.

In a lunch meeting with Brian Cashman on Friday, Posada and his wife, Laura, made it clear to the Yankees’ GM that they were seeking a four-year contract. Cashman had been holding firm to the team’s original three-year, $40 million offer throughout the negotiations, but after mulling over the issue this weekend, Cashman, Hank and Hal Steinbrenner agreed during a morning conference call yesterday that they would give Posada the fourth year.

Four years is good. I can deal with four years. While I doubt Posada will be an effective catcher by the end of this deal, it’s miles better than a five-year deal, and the dollars are right. Posada has basically set the market. He signed for $13 million a year when most people were pegging him at $15 mil per. I wonder how this will affect Mike Lowell who supposedly wants a similar deal and Alex Rodriguez who really shouldn’t get an offer higher than $25 million.

Posada picked a great year to turn in an MVP-caliber season. Had the Yanks negotiated with Posada before he hit .338/.426/.543, they probably could have signed him for less. Of course, no one expected him to hit that well, and I’m not sure he will approach those numbers during the course of this season. But, hey, at least now he can feed Latrell Spreewell’s family.

Credit on that video there goes to my sister. Click the link and watch it. It’s funny.

Pettitte declines his option but…

Andy Pettitte has, according to his agents, declined to exercise his 2008 option. While the initial reaction among Yankee fans is one of panic, there’s comparatively little to worry about here. Pettitte will either pitch for the Yankees in 2008 or retire.

Randy Hendricks, his agent, issued the following statement:

“I have spoken with Brian Cashman, who has reiterated what Hank Steinbrenner said about the Yankees wanting to give Andy all the time he needs to decide about next season. Accordingly, we are declining to exercise the option for 2008 and Andy will declare free agency in order to free up a roster spot for the Yankees.

“If Andy decides to play, I am confident we can reach an agreement with the Yankees within 24 hours. The only options, as Andy has stated, are the Yankees or retirement. He appreciates the Yankees’ willingness to give him the time he feels he needs. I do not expect him to make a decision for quite some time.”

Don’t panic. Pettitte isn’t jumping ship. It was anticipated that he would take a little bit longer than ten days to determine his future. I’m still betting he’ll be back.

Update: PeteAbe has a little bit more from Brian Cashman. The Yanks GM has politely asked Pettitte to decide within the next two months. That seems quite reasonable to me.

It’s clear that the Yanks want Andy to stay. They see big things for him in his role as staff ace next year, and his departure could radically change the Yankees’ offseason plans. Johan Santana is just moving higher and higher up their Wish List.

“Obviously we want Andy to stay with the Yanks and pitch for us in ’08,” Cashman said. “In fact I’d say I need him to. He’s an important piece for us.”