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Is Derek Jeter this year’s Johnny Damon?

Nov 18, 2010, 6:09 AM EDT

Jeter error

I had this crazy dream last night!  The Yankees offered Derek Jeter $21 million a year for three years . . . and he rejected it!

Oh my, it actually happened. And at least someone in YankeeLand is tired of it:

According to the source, there is at least one voice inside the Yankees’ hierarchy urging the front office to play hard ball with Jeter. “Tell him the deal is three years at $15 million a year, take it or leave it,” the person taking the hard-line approach said. “Wait him out and he’ll wind up taking it. Where’s he gonna go, Cincinnati?”

I find myself coming around to that man’s way of thinking.   That deal is easily twice what any other team would conceivably offer. Maybe more than twice.  No pay cut — his 2010 salary was $21 million — and three more years?  How is that not fair?

More importantly, how is this not like the Johnny Damon negotiation last year? I mean, sure, I know Damon was no icon, but the Yankees showed last season that they have no compunction about walking away from a negotiation that has taken a turn towards the unreasonable.  It may be harder for them to do that here, but ultimately he’s still just a below average shortstop, not a brick of Unobtainium.  And if Mr. “where’s he gonna go, Cincinnati!” gets his way, they certainly could.

  1. mvd513 - Nov 18, 2010 at 6:51 AM

    Ironically, Orlando Cabrera wore #2 playing SS last year. For Jeter, however, i would totally blow a couple hundred dollars on a jersey and t-shirts.

  2. proudlycanadian - Nov 18, 2010 at 7:10 AM

    Pay him what he is worth as a baseball player.

    • pisano - Nov 18, 2010 at 8:45 AM

      The problem is he wants to be paid for his past heroics . Like the old saying goes: ” What have you done for me lately ” and that isn’t much . I know the Yankees won’t do it , but I say let him walk . There’s plenty of SS that can hit .270 and have a lot more range than he does. He wants a contract that pays him as if he were 26 , Well father time catches us all and he’s caught Jeter .

      • carterterence85 - Nov 18, 2010 at 9:31 AM

        It’s a union my friend and it’s not always about him, or any particular player for that matter. He takes less it diminishes the value of the players as a whole for the union. And yeah one sub par year, his body or work is worth the channce. Everything in sports is not rated just in statistics. It’s character that wins championships jest as well as statistics. And we know he has plenty of that, he’s a winner. And there isn’t a price on that one.

      • fquaye149 - Nov 18, 2010 at 10:10 AM

        carterterence, the Union has time and again allowed formerly big money players with much diminished skills sign for what the market dictates. And in terms of not being able to put a value on winning? a.) It seems the Yankees did just that by offering Jeter $63mm and b.) It seems to me it’d be pretty hard to negotiate if your primary skill is something you can’t put a value on.

  3. Kevin S. - Nov 18, 2010 at 8:46 AM

    Not only do I think the Yankees should play “hardball” with him (which will still result in him getting more than he would anywhere else), but they should start trying to trade for a SS. Stephen Drew, maybe? Jason Barlett could be available. The Yankees don’t need Jeter, and he needs to recognize that, pronto.

  4. Old Gator - Nov 18, 2010 at 8:47 AM

    I don’t think a Jeterless Borg would be the end of the world, either for Borg fans or for Jeter. Even if he didn’t wind up pulling down $21 million per year, he’d certainly still be making enough to take a couple of supermodels to Cincinnati with him, afford all the weird chilli and pasta he could eat, and take in a couple of Over the Rhine concerts, which would be a lot better for his soul than all the stale disco faux music he absorbs now. Best yet, no one would recognize him there.

    As far as Damon, he had a right to make demands, which would seem a little less outrageous when you consider that by signing with the Borg he forfeited his big contract to play the caveman in the Geico commercials.

    • sabosgoggles - Nov 18, 2010 at 10:15 AM

      OG, have you heard the new Over the Rhine record? It’s superb. One of their best, actually.

  5. Jonny 5 - Nov 18, 2010 at 8:49 AM

    If I were NY 3 years at 17 per, plus performance related incentives packages, big ones (tee heee heee). Seriously. No one would beat that unless it was as a publicity stunt anyway. It’s fair. But you have to realize the Yankees will continue to be Derek Jeter’s cash cow until he dies if he stays. You can’t put a value on that. If he goes elsewhere, more than likely he loses most of that. Because even Derek Jeter is not bigger than the Yankees and the only thing the Yankees will get by retaining him is an OK SS who can hit. And maybe a 3000 hit franchise guy. Big Whoop, is what i say.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 18, 2010 at 8:59 AM

      If I were NY 3 years at 17 per, plus performance related incentives packages, big ones (tee heee heee). Seriously. No one would beat that unless it was as a publicity stunt anyway. It’s fair. But you have to realize the Yankees will continue to be Derek Jeter’s cash cow until he dies if he stays. You can’t put a value on that. If he goes elsewhere, more than likely he loses most of that. Because even Derek Jeter is not bigger than the Yankees and the only thing the Yankees will get by retaining him is an OK SS who can hit. And maybe a 3000 hit franchise guy. Big Whoop, is what i say.

      Quoting this for emphasis. One question though, aren’t performance incentives not allowed via the CBA? Milestones are one thing, but Jeter is only going for 3000 hits and not the HR record like Arod. They could offer him a huge bonus for that, but it should be a one and done thing.

      • Kevin S. - Nov 18, 2010 at 9:09 AM

        Performance incentives aren’t allowed, to prevent players from “chasing stats” at the expense of the team (fWAR bonuses, baby!). Ironically, playing-time performance incentives and vesting options have lead to some borderline abuse cases in the opposite direction. As for the milestone incentives, they aren’t allowed, per se. A-Rod and the Yankees had to do some very clever maneuvering around the CBA to get his milestone bonuses in, and even then they needed to be sold as marketing bonuses instead. What’s Jeter going to get, a $20 million bonus for 3000 hits? That’s insane.

      • Jonny 5 - Nov 18, 2010 at 9:36 AM

        Performance incentives based on awards aren’t allowed? Roy Halladay just landed 250k for his Cy young award which was in his contract from Toronto. I’m sure Jeter has no reason to think he won’t win another GG, LOL…. Plus his 3000th hit. Couldn’t they also give him “bonuses” for continuing to be a starter for a set # of games, stuff like that?

      • Kevin S. - Nov 18, 2010 at 9:59 AM

        Oh, right, awards too. Forgot about that one. Didn’t the BBWAA make a stink about not voting after Curt Schilling tried to get an incentive clause for one third-place vote? Regardless, my point was you can’t have stat-based performance incentives.

      • Jonny 5 - Nov 18, 2010 at 10:39 AM

        Honestly, I’m not sure. But usually pitchers get all kinds of extra $$ rolled into contracts for milestones, awards, and whatnot I thought. I don’t see why a position player couldn’t as well.

      • Kevin S. - Nov 18, 2010 at 10:57 AM

        I think you’re wrong on milestone awards being commonplace, but I’m just going off my memory of how difficult it was for them to work those incentives into the A-Rod contract.

  6. BC - Nov 18, 2010 at 9:12 AM

    If the 3-years-at-$21mil offer actually happened, then I say give him a choice between that and 4 years at $16mil. Basically the same financial commitment. Then shut things down for a while and let him shop around. He won’t get that anywhere else.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 18, 2010 at 9:24 AM

      The limit on years is far more important than the limit on money. If he gets 3 years, overpay him a little and see what happens. If he shows that ’09 is more indicative of his true ability now, and ’10 was a fluke, he might parlay that into a new deal in three years. However, I’d much rather pay him more money now if he drops off a cliff than be stuck on a 2-3 year deal beyond ’11.

  7. uyf1950 - Nov 18, 2010 at 10:38 AM

    In reply to carterterence85 post above. Virtually every poster in trying to justify paying Jeter “what he wants” invokes the “he’s a winner” phase. Let’s examine that theory. Yes he has 5 WS rings. But he didn’t win those on his own. Rivera is probably equally responsible for the Yankees winning most those World Series if not more so. Secondly, is it a coincidence that after the 2001 and before winning the 2009 World Series the Yankees only appeared in 1 other World Series. Is it coincidence that after 2001 both David Cone and Paul O’Neill were gone. As for the 2009 WS, Jeter had very little to do with the Yankees winning that one. That honor goes mostly to CC, ARod and Godzilla’s world series heroics. So yes, Jeter is a winner but by no means did he win anything by himself. Yes the Yankees will pay him and most certainly overpay him. But Jeter needs to realize this is a business, and he should get paid for his expected performance on the field, during his new contract will be. He got paid for what he has done. Now it’s time to pay him for what he will do. In time there will be a new face of the Yankees there always has been and always will be. Jeter needs to recognize this and bow out graciously, as his time approaches.
    I’ve been a Yankee fan since the mid 1950’s and that’s my honest opinion.

  8. bigbbfan - Nov 18, 2010 at 10:42 AM

    Give him a contract with incentives for every double play he hits into thereby killing a rally….he would be the highest paid player in the universe.

  9. twang621 - Nov 18, 2010 at 11:28 AM

    If Jeter doesn’t take 3 years at 21 mill per, he is a damn fool. You’re a icon on a team that is in the playoffs EVERY year. Not only that, you will make double what anyone else will offer. Jeter might be one of the “nice guys” in the MLB but I get the feeling that behind closed doors he is a d-bag. And I am a Yankee fan.

    If he doesn’t accept the deal, he has not come to grips with the fact he is no longer Derek Jeter, but is a shadow of his former self. And his Gold Glove this year? TRASH! I have never seen a more undeserving player of that award.

    Yanks should not let Jeter hamstring them in further years by giving him 4 years, which would totally kill them. The sad thing here is that many Yankees fans are Jeter supporters no matter if he is a rally killer and his range totally sucks now. I love Jeter and everything he has done for the organization but it is time to start preparing for an exit strategy and giving the guy 3 years @ 20 mill/year is too much but I understand why they might do that. 4 years would just be shooting yourself in the foot.

    • IdahoMariner - Nov 18, 2010 at 1:24 PM

      I am not a Yankee fan, but I mostly like Jeter. But I would really lke him, and think that he forever would totally live up to his hype as a “class act” and “team player” and “real baseball guy”, if he had issued the following statement before the BBWAA voting this year:
      “um, guys, we all know I am not the best defensive shortstop in the game this year. Last year I deserved it way more than this year (and more than I did the years before), but this year, meh. I’m getting older. I’m okay with not getting the award. Besides, when you give it to me when I know I don’t deserve it, it doesn’t mean anything to me. So give it to a guy who earned it. Then it will mean something. And I’m working my ass off right now to do a better job next year defensively. Me and Ichiro have been stretching and running, so keep an eye on me next year.”

      Never gonna happen, but man, wouldn’t it be awesome?

  10. airedale1950 - Nov 18, 2010 at 1:06 PM

    The biggest question of all….

    Why is anyone paying Craig Calcaterra? He is an arrogant ignorant fool.

    • IdahoMariner - Nov 18, 2010 at 1:25 PM

      WHAT is your deal?

  11. Chris Fiorentino - Nov 18, 2010 at 1:44 PM

    I hope the Yankers play hardball and El Capitan leaves the Bronx for Boston. Then he gets hit #3,000 for the Sox, against the Yankers, in Fenway Park.

    If we hooked a generator to George’s grave, the torque generated from his spinning could light up the island of Manhattan for the next 50 years. And for those of us who hate the Yankers, it would be a beautiful thing.

    • Glenn - Nov 18, 2010 at 8:05 PM

      The Sox are a little too sabermetrically inclined to sign Jeter. The best move for the Sox (and we’re all rooting for this in New England) is for the Yankees to sign Jeter long term for big bucks.

  12. frankvzappa - Nov 18, 2010 at 1:45 PM

    overpaying a has been wouldnt exactly be breaking new groung for the yankees…

  13. frankvzappa - Nov 18, 2010 at 1:45 PM

    overpaying a has been wouldnt exactly be breaking new ground for the yankees…

  14. IdahoMariner - Nov 18, 2010 at 1:55 PM

    …and I just got reminded that he wouldn’t move from shortstop for A-Rod who, although a monumental tool, was clearly a superior shortstop. so, yeah, the way to show that he isn’t just a purely ego- and money-based guy would be to show that he knows he doesn’t deserve those gold gloves, and to take a baseball-valued contract, not a “face of the yankees” contract.

  15. ta192 - Nov 18, 2010 at 2:09 PM

    I don’t care what the Jankees and Jeter do, just as long as he doesn’t wind up in Cincinnati…

  16. airedale1950 - Nov 18, 2010 at 9:11 PM

    Ever notice the guys knocking Jeter are from Cities with losing franchises? Each and every one of these fools would have given their first born child and left nut to have had Jeter for the last 9 out of 10 years….and that’s a fact Jack.

    • ta192 - Nov 18, 2010 at 9:49 PM

      Yeah, but not next year…

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