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Jeter’s agent unhappy about offer, negotiation process

Nov 21, 2010, 11:48 AM EDT

jeter jumping

If we told you that a 36-year-old free agent shortstop with poor range defensively and a .270/.340/.370 batting line in 2010 felt slighted at a three-year, $45 million contract offer, you’d call us crazy, right?

Fine, we’re nuts.

According to Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News, the agent for veteran shortstop Derek Jeter is hoping for more years and far more money than what the Yankees’ most recent contract proposal will provide.

Why?  Because his client is a legend in pinstripes and because his value to the franchise goes beyond his contributions on the field.  Yup, that’s the sales pitch.

“There’s a reason the Yankees themselves have stated Derek Jeter is their modern-day Babe Ruth. Derek’s significance to the team is much more than just stats,” said agent Casey Close.  “And yet, the Yankees’ negotiating strategy remains baffling.  They continue to argue their points in the press and refuse to acknowledge Derek’s total contribution to their franchise.”

The Yankees undoubtedly recognize that Jeter is an important part of the club’s past and present.  It’s why they made him such a generous three-year offer — the kind of offer that he wouldn’t come close to landing on the open market.

A former general manager told Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York in October that Jeter is worth no more than $12 million over the next two seasons.  That might sound like a stretch, but it’s not far off if we’re just talking about on-field value.  Middle infielders don’t age well and Jeter showed real signs of wear and tear this past season.

Reports last week had Jeter seeking a contract of at least four years and preferably five or six.  A deal is going to get done between the two sides — that’s pretty much a sure thing — but it’s become apparent that negotiations are not going to be completely pleasant and that “the captain” is not going to be handed a blank check.

  1. yankeesfanlen - Nov 21, 2010 at 11:57 AM

    When it comes right down to bottom line somewhere in yhe next month, does anyone care about what Beep-beep’s agent thinks? Except Lupica, who would think it news if dog bites man.

    • bigharold - Nov 21, 2010 at 3:13 PM

      Consider the source. If Lupica writes anything about the Yankees it’s to take a shot at them. This kind of low grade rabble rousing is right up his ally. First he’ll write this BS to attempt to show how callous and disrespectful the Yankees are towards Jeter. Then, eventually, he’ll write a follow up on how the Yankees have more money than brains and are running baseball and will point to Jeter’s contract as an example. He hates the Yankees and takes every opportunity show it.

      As a Yankee fan I want to see the Yankees resign Jeter and I’m less concerned about the total amount than the years. That being said, I think both sides are smart and intelligent and will eventually arrive at a contract they both can live with. In short I could due without the daily rumor mill update. All the speculation is nothing more than fodder for the hot stove league and the so called baseball intelligentsia. And, in Lupica’s case, jackasses with an ax to grind.

  2. pisano - Nov 21, 2010 at 12:26 PM

    If he doesn’t accept the 3 yr. @ 45 mil. he can grab his hat and get in the wind . The BS about what he means to the Yankees is just that, BS. He is in decline and when he starts hurting the team with his play the fans are going to let him hear it . I’m a lifelong Yankee fan and I’m already done with his BS . He isn’t worth the generous offer the Yankees are offering him . This offer has alot to do with the Yankees feeling they have to pacify Jeter and the fans . If he makes this ugly the fans will turn on him like a pitbull . Personally , I hope he pisses the Yankees off and they tell him to test the waters . There are plenty of SS’s that can hit .270 and have alot more range than Jeter .

  3. andrewkw - Nov 21, 2010 at 12:30 PM

    As far as every other team is concerned they should be happy to see this deal go as long as possible and for as many dollars as possible.

    While the dollar figures might not actually hurt the yankees it will mean more luxury tax paid out, and the years mean the longer the yankees will have a liability in the field and possibly the lineup at least in the later years of the contract. If this was anyone else they wouldn’t let him continue to be a liability in an important defensive position. See Bernie Williams.

  4. Kevin S. - Nov 21, 2010 at 12:51 PM

    As Joe Posnanski said, what incentive do the Yankees have to raise their offer? The Yankees could pretty easily acquire somebody like Jason Bartlett and allocate the savings towards improving their rotation, mitigating the hit they’d take at shortstop. Jeter loses both the monetary difference between this offer and whatever else he gets, plus however much intrinsic value of his brand is tied to him being a Yankee.

  5. grouchomarx4 - Nov 21, 2010 at 1:05 PM

    I know I’m old and out of it when I hear someone is insulted with a 15 mil for 3 year contract.

  6. aious - Nov 21, 2010 at 1:24 PM

    This idea that Jeter should be paid a ridiculous amount for many years just b/c of his past is laughable

    He just got done a HUGE contract that he never came close to living up to production wise

  7. Rosenthals Speling Instrukter - Nov 21, 2010 at 1:30 PM

    LOL at modern day Babe Ruth.

    Ruth probably has better range at SS.

  8. uyf1950 - Nov 21, 2010 at 2:36 PM

    The Yankees are acknowledging the Jeter is more then a SS by offering$15M per for 3 years. He obviously isn’t going to take the Yankees 1st offer and I’m sure the Yankees realize that. I would not be surprised if he settles for about $17M per for 3 years with a club option for a 4th year with a buy out. I think that 4th year would be just to make him feel warm and fuzzy. I don’t think there is anyway the Yankees exercise a 4th year option, they wind up buying him out for $3 or 4M. This way he effectively will have been paid $55M over 3 years. At that point he should thank God there is a Santa, and take the money and ride off into the sunset or get a personal services contract and show up at the next 30 or 40 “old timers games”. As Bob Hope said “Thanks For The Memories”.

    • Old Gator - Nov 21, 2010 at 9:51 PM

      He sang “Thanks for the Memories, you young whippersnapper.

      Whatever the hell a “whippersnapper” is, anyway.

      • bigharold - Nov 21, 2010 at 10:28 PM

        “whippersnapper” is,”

        Apparently, I am as I’ve only been a Yankee fan since the mid 60s!

      • uyf1950 - Nov 22, 2010 at 4:54 AM

        To Old Gator – Not that young my friend, I’ve been a Yankee fan since the mid 50’s. I may be wrong but I believe the title of the song was “Thanks for the Memory” he sang the words “thanks for the memories”. Also, I think another appropriate line from Bob Hope’s USO appearances is “thanks for a job well done.” Soon it will be time for Jeter to leave the baseball stage (2 or 3 years at the most), there are no 40 year old MLB shortstops. He needs to accept & recognize that leave graciously.

      • Adam - Nov 22, 2010 at 3:50 PM

        ufy1950 – Omar Vizquel is offended (though relieved that you don’t think he’s 40 yet).

  9. uyf1950 - Nov 21, 2010 at 2:48 PM

    I have another thought on Jeter’s contract and his agents disappointment in the Yankees potential offer. If the agent and Jeter are so confident that 2010 was an anomaly let them propose a one year deal for $15M to the Yankees and then negotiate a new contract after the 2011 season. I’m sure the Yankees would jump at that.

    • bigharold - Nov 21, 2010 at 3:53 PM

      Both of your post are on point an logical. But, at the same time you are forgetting the Yankees responsibility. They did turn him into the face of the franchise. That is part of the equation.

      They gave Posada a “Hail and Farewell” contract that was relatively speaking less deserved and at about the same age. They gave A-Rod a ridiculous contract, with all those milestone bonuses, that takes him until he 42. Does anybody think he’ll be playing in the field at 38-40 years old? Not to mention that how important is the HR record now that he’s admitted to PED use? These two examples are not good reasons to give Jeter a six year 100 million contract but nor can they be over looked. As I posted before, I’m less concerned about the amount, (the one thing the Yankees have is money), than the years.

      If Derek Jeter gets his 3000th hit wearing a Baltimore uniform it will diminish his legacy but over time it will do far more damage to the Yankees’ image. The one thing the Yankees have is money and history will not forget it if they look stingy or callous in their negotiation with Jeter. I can understand why the Yankees are concerned about creating a precedent but that really isn’t the case. Jeter is a once in a generation player and should be accorded that privileged because he’s earned it.

      • uyf1950 - Nov 21, 2010 at 4:27 PM

        Bigharold – I can appreciate where you’re coming from. But let’s not forget a few things. First, Jeter has been paid very, very well for the last 10 years on average $19M per. During most of that time he was in the top 3 in salary in all the Major Leagues. Second when ARod renegotiated his current contract he was what 32 I believe and coming off of several great years. Jeter will be 37 a few months into next season and coming off a terrible season. I personally believe if the offer mentioned is correct the Yankees are paying him far more then his on field performance would dictate and taking his “other” status into consideration. I’ve been a Yankee fan since the 1950’s, yes Jeter is a fan favorite, yes he is the face of the Yankees. But over the years the Yankees have had many players that have become their face from Ruth and Gehrig to Joe D, to Yogi to Mantle to Munson. There have been and will be other “Jeters”. If Jeter leaves with the Yankees offer somewhere as mentioned it says more about him then it does about the Yankees. Will some Yankee fans be disappointed and angry probably. But losing and Jeter hitting into rally ending DP’s will anger the Yankee fans more. One World Series win and Jeter will be a fond memory and be received as fan favorite at old timers games. No one player is bigger then the Yankees and that includes Jeter. Jeter needs to realize and understand that. That’s just the opinion of a long time Yankee fan and very long time Yankee fan.

      • bigbbfan - Nov 22, 2010 at 9:35 AM

        “history will not forget it if they look stingy or callous in their negotiation with Jeter.”

        Sorry to break the news to you, but history does not give a **** about Derek Jeter or his contract.

        If 15 mil a year for a has been is stingey….where do I line up.

  10. Glenn - Nov 21, 2010 at 2:49 PM

    Come on, Yanks – six years and $120 million. You’re going to do it for Cliff Lee and he hasn’t done anything for you yet except beat you. This is the Captain we’re talking about – Captain Jeets for crying out loud!
    Signed,
    The rest of the American League

    • pisano - Nov 21, 2010 at 6:08 PM

      Exactly Glenn , the rest of the AL would love to see the Yankees make fools of themselves by having a sub standard SS in the field for the next 3 to 4 years . I say play hard ball with him let him decline the offer and be done with him . From what I hear on the Mike Francessa show alot of teams are asking about Nunez , the back up SS , so maybe these teams know something the Yankees don’t . I hope the Yankees cut him loose . I for one am long over him .

  11. Adam - Nov 21, 2010 at 2:56 PM

    Jeter’s agent does realize that Ruth didn’t end his career with the Yankees, doesn’t he?

    • bigharold - Nov 21, 2010 at 11:37 PM

      When Ruth went to the Braves he was 40 years old, which was positively ancient for that time period. Aside from the fact that Jeter isn’t 40, he is a lifelong Yankee and, unlike Ruth, Jeter isn’t a managerial nightmare. Comparing Ruth to Jeter is like comparing apples to oranges with a magnitude of about 6.5 out of 7 on the irrelevant scale.

      Jeter is the DiMaggio of his generation. That doesn’t mean that he gets a blank check but money should be the least of the issues. He’s earned the special consideration that he’s getting. It’s a given that his salary will be in excess of his on field production. What is more important is that he finishes his career as a Yankee and with a contract that neither he nor the Yankees’ have to “explain”. The Yankees are not the Royals. The one thing they have is money. As long as they don’t paint themselves into a corner with regard to eventually replacing Jeter, money should be te least consideration.

      And, this isn’t about sentimentality, .. both Jeter AND the Yankees gain by him finishing his career as a Yankee. Obviously in the short run Jeter will benefit by whatever the Yankees offer over what he could expect as a FA. In the long run the Yankees image will be enhanced by Jeter remaining a Yankee especially if the Yankee don’t come across as cheap or disrespectful. Like the line from the Godfather, .. “… leave the gun take the cannolies”, .. eh no, ..”it’s not personal it’s business”, it’s good business for the Yankees to appear magnanimous. In the long run the Yankees are better served by giving Jeter a contract that doesn’t have the least bit of insult hanging over it. Money is not a big issue.

      • Jonny 5 - Nov 22, 2010 at 8:03 AM

        Everyone keeps mentioning how the Yankees benefit from signing Jeter, but I have yet to see one example of how. I fail to see how sub par defense at SS helps them. I fail to see how diminished batting helps them. I fail to see how a personal milestone for hits benefits them. I fail to see how this offer is insulting in any way, and i fail to see how hamstringing one of the most important positions on a team for 3 years is a benefit. Your rose colored Jeter glasses will fade to black halfway through this contract, I garuantee it.
        Honestly, If i were cashman “take it or leave it” would be my slogan from here on out. No one will offer him better. Period. He has alot of gall turning it down imo. The only situation that will benefit the Yankees right now? Jeter walks. They will replace him with someone who can field like a SS for half the $$ and all your Yankee brains will care less that Jeter is playing for half of what he was offered with some other team.

      • Adam - Nov 22, 2010 at 3:38 PM

        “There’s a reason the Yankees themselves have stated Derek Jeter is their modern-day Babe Ruth. Derek’s significance to the team is much more than just stats,” said agent Casey Close.

        That’s why I mentioned that Ruth didn’t finish his career with the Yankees.

        The Yankees let Ruth walk after a season in which he had a 160 OPS+. To put that in perspective, Jeter’s career high OPS+ is 153. If you’re saying that Ruth isn’t considered a Yankee by everyone then I guess you and I will have to agree to disagree. If you asked someone to name five Yankee players in history I’m willing to bet at least 75% include Babe Ruth.

        Also, saying that a 3/45 contract has insult hanging over it is an insult to common sense. If Jeter tries to portray that as a slight he’s going to lose a lot of his glorious Yankee mystique.

  12. jfk69 - Nov 21, 2010 at 3:12 PM

    Does this mean we will have to pay him to trot out for the Old Timers Game. He don’t take the 45 million for 3 years. I then hope the Yankees have the balls to say Good Bye
    The fans will turn on him in a heart beat if he does not hit or starts costing us games

  13. hardjudge - Nov 21, 2010 at 3:29 PM

    Yankees should forget about Jetter and figure out a way to get Elvis Andrus from the Rangers. They would be set a short for about 15 more years.

  14. chipmaker023 - Nov 21, 2010 at 8:18 PM

    In 1934, Ruth put up .288 / .448 / .537, .985 OPS, 160 OPS+, with 22 HR and 104 walks, in 125 games. At age 39. Granted he was awful in the outfield.

    The Yankees released him.

    How valuable is Jeter?

    • hackerjay - Nov 22, 2010 at 12:59 PM

      But just look at how much dropping Ruth hurt the Yankees! Why, nobody goes to their games now!

  15. Walk - Nov 22, 2010 at 1:54 AM

    As an outsider to the buisness aspect of baseball it is hard for me to figure out value beyond the raw numbers. I agree that derek brings more to ny than just his playing stats. But the offer on the table in terms of money per year seems more than fair to me. “Derek’s significance to the team is much more than just stats” as stated by his agent is hard to quantify and i suggest he provides an itemized list for those unspecified and vauge money earning talents. If his agent is talking about team ambassadorial duties and autographs and the like i suggest he makes it clear in the contract or else with derek being abe to turn down such duties it will cost the yankees money instead of earning goodwill and a bit of cash for the team. I am sure that this is covered in the course of a normal contract but when an agent makes such an issue of it to the media then they need to be prepared to make good on these intangibles.

  16. henryd3rd - Nov 22, 2010 at 5:44 AM

    Babe Ruth ended his career with the Braves. Mays ended his career with the Mets. Spahn ended his career withe the Mets. Gil Hodges ended his career with the Mets. Hank Arron ended his career with the Brewers. Yogi ended his career with the Mets. Wade Boggs ended his career with the Rays. My point is? They were all icons with their former teams; just like Jeter.

    • uyf1950 - Nov 22, 2010 at 9:12 AM

      To Henryd3rd – I understand where you are coming from and you are 100% right about the icons and your point about Jeter is 100% on. The case about Yogi though while you are technically correct, he effectively ended his playing career with the Yankees. He only went to the Mets in 1965 the year after he managed the Yankees to the AL pennant in 1964 and was fired after the World Series loss. He went to the Mets as a player/coach and only appeared in 4 games as a player for the Mets. But again I couldn’t agree more, just because you are an “icon” there has been and is a limit to the teams responsibility to you. I hope Jeter realizes as the Yankee ownership has stated “this is a business, it’s not personal”, and I for one hope the Yankees stick to their guns so to speak.

  17. uyf1950 - Nov 22, 2010 at 10:24 AM

    In reading the comments and replies here It appears we have a general consensus on at least 2 points. First, Jeter is an icon and that’s nice, but it’s his current on field performance that should weigh more heavily in the negotiations. Second, Lupica is a jerk.

  18. Adam - Nov 22, 2010 at 3:22 PM

    If Jeter is offered arbitration, like many people are expecting, how awesome would it be for him to accept it? He’d likely get at least the same salary, if not more, for next year and could then go through the same process next year. Now THAT would be some fun.

    • Kevin S. - Nov 22, 2010 at 8:57 PM

      Yankees would be pretty okay with Jeter accepting arbitration. He’s balking at a three-year deal, so he’ll take a one-year deal instead?

      • Adam - Nov 23, 2010 at 12:13 PM

        Because his annual salary would be more than the Yankees are currently offering. Then he could look for a 2 year deal next offseason. It’d be fun, you have to admit. The Yankees and Jeter fighting it out in arbitration, better than most the shows you see on TV these days.

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