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Derek Jeter, six-year deals, and how HBT makes sense of the hot stove rumor mill

Nov 3, 2010, 2:58 PM EDT

Image (1) derek%20jeter%20triple.jpg for post 5683

Jon Heyman is reporting that Derek Jeter is asking for a six year deal. Oh noes! That’s crazy!  But hey, before we get into this, let me say a few words to those of you who weren’t reading HBT last winter — or those of you who forgot — about how we deal with rumors around these parts:

Between now and spring training, there will be at least one new rumor every day.  Often dozens, but even on Christmas freakin’ Morning, some Johnny Sportswriter will say that they heard this, that or the other about Freeagent Smith being linked with the Whereverthehell Gray Sox.  You’ll be surprised to learn that there’s not a lot of merit to most of them. They’re not made up — really, it’s rare that someone passes along word about these things without having some basis for it — but a ton of them just aren’t credible, either on their face or upon some scrutiny.

That’s where we come in. We post about a lot of rumors. Not all, but most. But just because we mention a rumor, doesn’t mean we think there’s anything to it. To the contrary, we often mention rumors in order to explain why we think they make no sense. Or why they do make sense. Or what six things would have to happen before said rumor could become a reality. Rather than merely aggregate them here, we view ourselves as filters of sorts, trying to help you make sense of where any given rumor fits into the grand scheme of things. Not because we have special expertise necessarily — we don’t talk to as many baseball people as a lot of the reporters do — but because we have the time and experience and wicked search engine skills to put those things into context so you don’t have to. You could debunk this stuff just as easily if you didn’t have real jobs and lives. Which we don’t, when it comes right down to it.

So: Jon Heyman tweets thusly:

jeter could take awhile. #yanks may be thinking 2-3 yrs. but industry sources suggest he could ask to stay ’til hes 42 (6 yrs), a la arod.

And we respond thusly: interesting, but implausible in our minds. Why? Because Jeter has never made an irrational, ill-considered business move in his baseball life, and we can’t see him starting now.  If he insisted on six years, the Yankees would tell him to go away. Even Derek Jeter.  They’re not going to commit to him that long because it makes zero sense for them to do so.

Does this mean that Heyman is wrong? No. I have no doubt that he heard what he heard. But if Jeter is asking for six years, there has to be more to it than we’re getting in this little tweet. Say, three years guaranteed plus a three year commitment that is convertible to a personal services contract with the team in the event he retires.  Or it could mean that Heyman heard it from someone who misunderstood what he heard. Or it could mean that Jon Heyman has a very low threshold for what he considers to be actionable gossip and that he has been accused in the past of being a tool of agents seeking to plant negotiation points in the press. You know, the normal grapevine dynamic.

What we can feel confident in saying, however, is that if Derek Jeter goes in looking for a straight six year contract, he’s kind of nuts, and we don’t have any reason to believe that Jeter is anything but shewed in terms of business and P.R. savvy.

So that’s how we operate here.  We hope you find it helpful.

  1. BC - Nov 3, 2010 at 3:07 PM

    6 years? What, is he trying to catch Pete Rose? Even then, he’d need like 190 hits a year. Ain’t happening either way, Derek.

    • ngearhart1981 - Nov 3, 2010 at 3:52 PM

      Looks like someone didn’t read the article…

  2. yankees1996 - Nov 3, 2010 at 4:00 PM

    I will file that rumour in the “Did not Happen” file as I tend to agree that Jeter has never been that moronic. If he is going to ask for a six year deal then this entire process between him and the Yanks is going to be a lot worse than ugly. I have always liked Jeter and want to see him back with the Yanks in the worst way, but not for 6 years.

  3. Jonny 5 - Nov 3, 2010 at 4:06 PM

    Does this mean Jeter is going to start smooching with mirrors and having his likeness painted onto centaurs? I hope not. If he wants 6 years he should change his name to De-ter, because that’s what’s going to happen with the Yanks if so.

  4. ThatGuy - Nov 3, 2010 at 4:06 PM

    How did you see that Tweet? I thought he blocked you.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Nov 3, 2010 at 4:09 PM

      I work in mysterious ways.

      • Gobias Industries - Nov 3, 2010 at 4:53 PM

        You took all of 20 seconds to set up a new anonymous account and then started following him again. Mystery solved. You diabolical genius. Actually I did the same thing so I could follow Kenny Loggins after he filed the restraining order against me.

  5. bigharold - Nov 3, 2010 at 4:46 PM

    If you assume that Jeter is going to get paid more than his productivity would suggest, and as much as I love him that certainly will be the case, than it’s just a question of figuring out what the total acceptable figure is to the Yankees and Jeter. I would think that total figure will eventually be between 60 and 80 million. Throw some incentives on top of that figure towards the end assuming that if at the age of 40-42 he still a significant part of the offense and the everyday SS he gets rewarded for what would be an unexpected contribution. Give Jeter six year deal with the bulk of it in the first three years. Each year his salaRy becomes less. Say; 21 mil 1st year, 18 mil 2nd, 15 mil 3rd…. The longer the contract extends the less he gets thereby being less of a burden n the Yankees and it dis-incentivizes Jeter sticking around for the payday.

    If last season was just a blip in his career and he goes back to hitting .310-.320 for the next few seasons then the Yankees are getting a pretty good deal. If this is the beginning of Jeter’s decline as a result of age, then the financial burden is minimized with each successive year and it becomes an easier decision for all involved. It becomes easier whether the team has to platoon or sit Jeter, drop him in the order or if Jeter wants to pack it in.

    Frankly, I think once he can’t get it done on the field he’ll pack it in. I don’t see him sticking around for either the money or the milestones unless he still thinks he’s an everyday player. But, if the Yankees give him the bulk of what they’re willing to pay up front it pays him for likely his most valuable remaining years and removes any temptation to stick around because there is a load of money on the table. Jeter gets years and dollars the Yankees get their Icon and everybody not only gets to save face, .. and they all get an out if things don’t go well. I dobt Jeter is expecting the world. He’s seen Mo and Pettett get short or one year deals the last few signings and as stated, he’s not stupid. It’s merely a question of agreeing to the total amount.

  6. uyf1950 - Nov 3, 2010 at 5:42 PM

    I can’t imagine the Yankees offering Jeter more then 2 or 3 years at about $15M per even at that I would think it with come the understanding that should he have another year like this past year he will change positions and will move down in the batting order. A personal services contract after his playing days are over I think is a given. The Yankees in the past have been willing to draw a line in the sand concerning contracts. Fans need to look no further then Rivera’s 3 year contract. He wanted 4 years and the Yankees basically said 3 was it. I can’t imagine Jeter turning down $15M per, his options are very limited at this stage of his career. He’s not going to get ARod money or length of contract.

  7. pisano - Nov 3, 2010 at 5:59 PM

    This guy must be on LSD . Cut the non producing SOB loose . He’s washed up anyway . If they give him any more than a one or two year contract they’re idiots . Let Jeter see what another team will give him . I say don’t even make him an offer ,get a free agent SS , let him rot .

  8. stew01 - Nov 4, 2010 at 11:36 PM

    I say he probably could get 6 yrs this way…..X amont as a player. As his production drops off…they could use the remaining other years left as a coach. Maybe even a Manerger. I also thought he would make a good outfielder….as he can really go get them balls. Remember him diving in the seats for a foul ball. He just has trouble going to his left at short stop. But he runs fast….and can catch most anything in the outfield. Plus he has a very strong throwing arm…..and knows which base to best throw it to.

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