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It’s time people got real about what Derek Jeter means to “The Yankee Brand”

Nov 24, 2010, 9:35 AM EDT

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I promise: I’ll stop writing about Derek Jeter when something else happens. But since there ain’t nothin’ else happening, more Jeter it is.  This time a fisking of Ken Rosenthal’s latest. He thinks the Yankees are treating Derek Jeter poorly and harming “The Yankee Brand.”  I think this is a bit silly.

Just answer me this: Why are the Yankees taking such a harsh stance, devaluing their franchise player and effectively damaging their own brand?

The harsh stance? Because they can. And it’s worth noting that when they failed to take harsh market-based stances against other free agents they were excoriated for skewing the salary structure of Major League Baseball.

But let’s be clear about something: the $45 million offer on the table — which may actually increase — does not “devalue” Jeter. It overvalues him. The Yankees are being generous with that offer, because it’s at least half again more than what any other team would offer him.  And even if it was a “devaluing” deal, the devaluation is attributable to time and the degradation of Jeter’s skills, not anything the Yankees have done in the past week of negotiations.

And the brand?  Please. To suggest that their somewhat sharp dealings with Jeter will harm the Yankee brand is to misunderstand the nature of the Yankee brand. Babe Ruth was left to dangle at the end of his career. Reggie Jackson wasn’t even given an offer to come back when his deal was up. Bernie Williams was given the cold shoulder. Even if Derek Jeter was forced into signing with the Nippon Ham Fighters the “Yankee Brand” would carry on just fine.

Is Jeter asking for that large a contract?

Yes. Yes he is. And I’ve yet to see anyone, even the most adamant Jeter backers, make an actual case for him to make more than $15 million a year for the next three years. Chase Utley makes that and he’s better than Jeter. It’s more than Hanley Ramirez makes.  Unless the argument is that people fill up Yankee Stadium specifically to see Derek Jeter and not the New York Yankees, I can’t see any “intangibles” case that justifies $15 million a year, let alone more.

Do all those empty premium seats at the new Yankee Stadium have club officials spooked?

The Yankees are a sophisticated business that prices their seats based on what the market will bear. If the empty seats spook them, they’ll adjust prices, like they just did. They also probably realize that the single biggest factor in attendance is wins and losses, and it’s a lot harder to win with a massively overpaid 37 year-old shortstop on the decline as opposed to a merely moderately-overpaid 37 year-old shortstop. Don Mattingly was on the team in the late 80s and early 90s. Everyone frickin’ loved Don Mattingly. Don Mattingly didn’t bring anyone to the ballpark on his own.

Are the Yankees trying to send a message to their other free agents, Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte?

They’ve been sending Andy Pettitte messages for years. Remember that $5.5 million deal he signed before the 2009 season? This is not unprecedented.

What is it?

I don’t think it’s anything other than a negotiation between a baseball team and a player. To the extent anyone is reading larger narratives into it or is finding injustice here it’s because they believe Derek Jeter to be different in kind than other players. He’s not. He’s a shortstop. A Hall of Fame shortstop to be sure, but he’s still just a shortstop. If he played in any other city he’d be pilloried for asking for the kind of money for which he’s asking.

Eventually, all of the rancor will diminish and the two sides will reach agreement, probably on a three- or four- year deal worth $18 million to $20 million per season. But Jeter might not easily forgive.

If the Yankees give Jeter between $18-20 million a year by the time this is all said and done Derek Jeter should not be in the business of forgiving. He should be in the business of kissing Brian Cashman full on the lips and thanking him for his outrageous generosity.

The Yankees have overpaid for countless other players, virtually all of them inferior to Jeter. Rarely do they draw the line in contract negotiations, as they soon will demonstrate again in their all-out bid for Cliff Lee. Now they’re going to start? With Jeter, of all players?

This is the line of reasoning that has driven me the craziest over the past few days. For one thing, it’s counter-factual, and you need only look at that Pettitte deal and many other deals out there.  The Yankees overpaid Alex Rodriguez. They ended up overpaying for a few others based on the performance they got in return, but gave them market or slightly-above-market deals at the time. The list of players the Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants have overpaid is way, way longer than the list of players the New York Yankees have overpaid.  The Yankees have signed expensive players. They have not, however, comically overpaid nearly as many players as people pretend they have.

But let’s say they actually are the worst overpayers in the history of baseball. Why must they continue to be? Why should dumb financial decisions in the past require that they continue to make dumb financial decisions now?  The Yankees have been signaling for some time that the Alex Rodriguez deal was a mistake. If Casey Close told Jeter “don’t worry — they’re going to overpay you too,” he has seriously misread the tea leaves. Both common sense and history have made it clear the the Yankees aren’t as crazy as they used to be. George is dead. Hank is Fredo. Hal and Brian Cashman are running the show, and they are doing exactly what they should be doing. And it has worked.

Though the numbers might suggest otherwise, Jeter does not see himself as Marco Scutaro. Nor should he. Not after helping the Yankees enhance their brand to the point where they could start their own regional TV network, build a new stadium and yes, generate enough revenue to buy players such as — ahem — Alex Rodriguez.

The quality of the Yankees teams between 1996-2010 have built that brand. Those championships have built that brand. Derek Jeter did not, in and of himself, build that brand. He had help, every single year, in making the Yankees what they are. He has been handsomely compensated for his contributions, but make no mistake: if it was just him and a bunch of scrubeenies, there would be no YES Network or Yankee Brand.

Yes, Jeter is 36. Yes, his decline only figures to accelerate. Yes, the question of how long he will remain at shortstop is a real issue. But his on-field performance next season is almost certain to include his 3,000th hit. Jeter is 74 hits shy of the milestone. And let’s just say the Yankees are going to make a little extra coin when he gets there.

Tell you what: let’s take the average historical attendance and TV ratings for whatever date it is Jeter hits #3,000, subtract it from the actual ratings and attendance on that day, and write a check to Jeter for the balance. If he is so incentivized, Will a $15 million deal then be sufficient?

Look, I don’t mean to pick on Rosenthal here. He’s not saying anything that a lot of other columnists aren’t saying.  I just think everyone is having a real perspective problem with this Derek Jeter business.  Rosenthal compares Jeter to Ruth, DiMaggio and Mantle. The Yankees marched on without Ruth and DiMaggio, actually improving in both quality and marquee value after each of them left, depending on how you measure such things. They faltered terribly in both regards, however, when a declining Mantle was  surrounded by a poor cast and ownership started to make poor business decisions.

It’s not the player. It’s the team. The Yankees are being more than fair with Jeter. They don’t want to lose him obviously, but they would do just fine without him. To not acknowledge that is to ignore the history of the team and the reality of Jeter’s contributions.

  1. yankeesfanlen - Nov 24, 2010 at 9:51 AM

    Here’s the problem: Timing Is Everything. ARod (leave him alone) won’t have this because he’ll be 42 when his rope is at it’s end. Silly Beep-beep the Jete signed a $189M contract at age 26 never realizing it would expire when he was 36. OOOOOOPSIE, my bad.
    So now we go through this Damon-Volume II nonsense, or Bernie escapade that we know the ending before it happens.
    Let Fredo handle it- he will break your heart but something will be done

  2. Old Gator - Nov 24, 2010 at 10:08 AM

    Comparing Jeter to Hanley Ramirez? Craig….OK, maybe if Hanley were a DH, you’d have a point about the offensive numbers, but he plays baseball, not designatedhitterball. Jeter’s range may be diminishing but in another two years or maybe three it will have “diminshed” to the extent of Hanley’s range in his prime.

    And the hands? The throwing? The magic, quantum passage between Hanley’s legs where balls mysteriously disappear in front of him and reappear behind him? (I think that as long as they’ve given us quarks, and we already have Buckeyballs, the nomenklaturae of physics ought to go ahead and call those magic particles Bucknerballs.) But really, now. If the Feesh had been serious about improving their defense up the middle, they would have kept Uggla and signed Werner Heisenberg as an infield coach.

    • fquaye149 - Nov 24, 2010 at 10:20 AM

      Jeter, in 15 full seasons has a total defensive WAR of -13.6 according to B-R. Hanley in 5 full seasons has a total defensive WAR of -2.2. Those are negatives in front of both. According to Fangraphs, Jeter’s total defensive value (UZR) is -113.4 (15 full seasons). Hanley’s is -39.3 (5 full seasons). Once again those are negatives in front of each. I’m not exactly sure where we can say concretely that Jeter is a clearly better SS than Hanley. If anything, those seem to suggest he might be worse.

      • paperlions - Nov 24, 2010 at 10:24 AM

        Exactly. The reason Jeter is over-rated is because he doesn’t make mistakes (which are easy for people to see/count). Balls that a defender turns into a hit because they can’t reach them are ignored, whereas balls that a defender turns into an error are remembered.

    • Old Gator - Nov 24, 2010 at 1:41 PM

      Considering how quickly things happen in the infield, “not making mistakes” is nothing to sneeze at in itself. I don’t know how much it helps to get to a ball if you’re going to boot it anyway. I suspect that having it merely get by you augurs for less damage than kicking or swatting it into terra incognita for an extra base or two.

      I’m also not sure how those stats evaluate balls that someone didn’t get to when the should have if an error wasn’t assigned to the play, but Hanley not only lets balls get by him – and this is a guy I watch on an almost daily basis during the season – but I don’t recall Jeter being benched or walked off a field for failing to try hard enough to get to a ball.

  3. uyf1950 - Nov 24, 2010 at 10:21 AM

    I agree with yankeesfanlen. Timing is everything. Even discounting the 10 year contract and when it expired. If Jeter’s contract expired last year at 35 after that “very good” year he had. He probably would have gotten some more money and maybe one extra year. But no way this Yankees ownership are going to offer a 35 or 36 year old SS a 5 or 6 year contract for a boat load of money, “icon” or not. Also, all of these so called sports writers that keep up how the Yankees are playing hard ball (no pun intended) with Jeter and disrespecting him or devaluing him, act like he’s being offered minimum wage. Wake up people it’s $15M per for 3 years, and as everyone admits there is no possibility that any other team will even come close to that type of offer. In my opinion at this point it’s Jeter who is disrespecting the Yankees and looking more and more like a greedy, selfish ballplayer. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it one more time no one ballplayer is bigger then the Yankees. There have been Yankee Icons before Jeter and there will be Yankee Icons after Jeter. It’s time for him to accept reality $15M is a very generous offer. Take it or move on and see what the real value of a 36 year old SS with diminished defensive skills and and offensive skills on the decline are really worth.

  4. Jonny 5 - Nov 24, 2010 at 10:30 AM

    Agree on all counts but one.
    “Derek Jeter should not be in the business of forgiving. He should be in the business of kissing Brian Cashman full on the lips and thanking him for his outrageous generosity.”

    He really ought to be kissing his derriere. For the first offer he was given. If it get’s sweeter? Well let’s just say Ronald Ermey say’s it best when it comes to common courtesy. If you don’t like expletives don’t click on this

    But that sums it up best…..

  5. diamondduq - Nov 24, 2010 at 10:39 AM

    Everyone is overreacting just because it’s Jeter, he’s the Icon, he plays for the “Evil Empire” and everyone is pushing for his demise. Guys get hammered all the time for having career years, getting some ridiculous contract and never living up to the contract and living room GM’s scream “look at what he’s always been, he had 1 good year and you’re paying him like that’s the player he is”. Well look at what Jeter’s always been, he had 1 bad year and they’re trying to give him a crappy contract like that’s the player he is. 1 year doesn’t make a trend! Hell, just the previous year he had an MVP caliber season! If his contract was being negotiated this time last year the Yankees couldn’t pay him enough, now they’re low-balling him, that’s absurd! Just negotiate off the average of the past 2 seasons and Jeter’s a .301/.367/.416 guy instead of a .270/.340/.370 guy.

    Then Cashman plays this “test the market” crap with Jeter but where was that when they were negotiating with A-Rod? They bid against themselves with him and for no reason at all. No one else in baseball could afford what his current contract was and they gave him a raise on top of the $12 million per year they were no longer getting from the Rangers because A-Rod opted out. So the Yanks bid against themselves to give A-Rod essentially $17 million more per year than they had been paying him and they can’t even pay Jeter, let’s say $4 million per year less. What’s wrong with a 4 year, $72 million deal? Hell, 4 for $64 million at this point would be a bargain. The Yankees handling of this situation is dispicable! They print money in NY as evidence by flushing $40 million down the toilet for Carl Pavano, $82 million down the toilet on Burnett, and those are just 2 examples, but they make a mockery of the face of their franchise?

    Don’t think Jeter can play SS anymore? While the bashing of his defense, like everything else with Jeter, is overblown, he could easily move to LF if it were deemed necessary. The Yankees thrived with Chad Curtis, Shane Spencer, Ricky Ledee, etc. in LF, Jeter could certainly make that move, a la Craig Biggio.

    This whole episode is appauling. I expect the hateration from outside the Empire but from the front office? Dispicable!

    • ngearhart1981 - Nov 24, 2010 at 11:22 AM

      “Well look at what Jeter’s always been, he had 1 bad year and they’re trying to give him a crappy contract like that’s the player he is.”
      Dude, 3/$45 is NOT a crappy contract. He’d be the highest paid shortstop in baseball. What’s crappy about it?

      • diamondduq - Nov 24, 2010 at 11:42 AM

        Again, you people are trying to compare apples to oranges. Would it be a crappy contract for Marco Scutaro? Hell no! It’s all relative. A cold February day in Miami is a hot one in Buffalo! The rent on a 400 sq. ft. studio apartment in NYC is a 2,500 sq. ft. luxury loft in Des Moine. But would it be a crappy deal for you if your boss told you that you were getting a 40% pay cut after 15 excellent years because you had 1 year that would be considered average for your position? I think it’s fair to say this is a crappy deal for Jeter.

      • ngearhart1981 - Nov 24, 2010 at 12:29 PM

        “But would it be a crappy deal for you if your boss told you that you were getting a 40% pay cut after 15 excellent years because you had 1 year that would be considered average for your position?”
        NOW who’s comparing apples to oranges?
        1. Jeter’s job is a physical one, which is susceptible to peak ages and drops in performance as he gets older. History shows that players his age almost always get worse. Even if he put up better numbers in 2010, you HAVE to expect him to get worse, and pay him accordingly.
        2. I don’t have a contract.
        3, I had a great year in 2009, but got a pay cut anyway, because millions of people don’t pay $50 bucks to sit on a bleacher and watch me work in my cubicle.

        3 years, $45 million is a great contract for Scutaro, or Utley, or Ramirez or any number of shortstops that are both better and younger than Jeter. Jeter is nowhere near the best shortstop in the league, so why pay him like it?

    • Jonny 5 - Nov 24, 2010 at 11:23 AM

      4 years 64 million is a bargain for Jeter? No matter where you place him, unless it’s DH, he’ll be a defensive liability.

      I wonder how much Votto’s worth? Pelfry? Shin soo choo? Prado?All these guys make around a half a million per. All of these guys are better than Jeter.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 24, 2010 at 12:01 PM

      sigh, here we go again:

      Well look at what Jeter’s always been, he had 1 bad year and they’re trying to give him a crappy contract like that’s the player he is. 1 year doesn’t make a trend!

      Look at the last 4 years WAR values: 3.5, 3.7, 7.1, 2.5
      One of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn’t belong…

      Then Cashman plays this “test the market” crap with Jeter but where was that when they were negotiating with A-Rod?

      What possible reason do the Yanks have for repeating their mistake with Jeter?

      Don’t think Jeter can play SS anymore? While the bashing of his defense, like everything else with Jeter, is overblown, he could easily move to LF if it were deemed necessary.

      Brett Gardner both defensively and offensively is better than Jeter right now, and is only 46times cheaper than Jeter last year

    • crackmc - Nov 24, 2010 at 12:55 PM

      Jeter in the outfield. LOL. if I had the cash, I’d pay $45mil to see it.
      Jump throw to the cutoff man!

  6. biffula - Nov 24, 2010 at 10:42 AM

    Jeter may have been on the Yankees team for forever, but no one thinks of him as the ‘Yankees’ brand. Thats ridiculous. Plus, he’s peeing up a rope if he thinks he can do better than what the Yankees have offered him. They even told him to go out and test the market. He’s on the downhill slide and should jump at what they’ve offered him. Otherwise he’s going to end up in some place like KC making 2.5 mil a year playing left field.

  7. elibolender - Nov 24, 2010 at 10:51 AM

    “But Jeter might not easily forgive.” Is Ken Rosenthal actually suggesting that “The Captain”, the consumate team player, the classiest man in professional sports, the “True Yankee”, the most intangibliest intanglibles person in the world would hold some sort of animosity towards the Yankees for ONLY giving him $45 million after the worst year of his career???? Doesn’t this fly in the face of all the nonsense he and other writers of his ilk have been spewing for years? Isn’t the question implying that the Yankees should increase their offer in order to keep Jeter happy meaning the antithesis would be that they are risking him possibly polluting the entire team. Then wouldn’t his intangibles be worth a negative amount.

    I’m so confused by all the Derek Jeter memes my head is spinning.

  8. kmc212 - Nov 24, 2010 at 11:16 AM

    Jeter will be a $15 million dollar a year bench player. Great.

  9. jkay123 - Nov 24, 2010 at 11:17 AM

    Get off the guys sack already. Finally someone made a good pt. people get insane deals for having one good season in a walk yr, he has had one bad season in 16, give the guy a break, everyone stop obsessing and let this blow over. Chill with the hanley and jeter talk too, talk to me when hanley is playing at 36 yrs old. It’s funny how ripken is a warrior for playing at that age but jeter is a lowlife. PLease

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 24, 2010 at 12:03 PM

      It’s not one bad year though. The problem is people take ’09 as if that’s Jeter’s normal level of play when, looking over the last four, ’09 was the outlier. If Jeter gets back to the 3-4WAR/yr player, then the $15M contract is right in line with that. Stop looking as if ’09 was the norm.

      • mallethead329 - Nov 25, 2010 at 6:02 AM

        Hey church, Wade Boggs got his 3,000th hit while playing for Tampa Bay, not the Yankees. If Boggs had Jeter’s class, he would be a Red Sox immortal. You can’t pay Kei Igawa $40 million to pitch in the minors, and then pull this stuff on Jeter. Keep it up. The Yanks will be playing in front of 25,000 when they’re in third place, playing .515 baseball.

      • Kevin S. - Nov 25, 2010 at 8:15 AM

        Actually, you can “pull this stuff” with Jeter precisely because you overpaid on Igawa. The Yanks didn’t overpay on Igawa expecting he’d suck. Or Burnett. Or Pavano. Or A-Rod (not that he’s sucked, exactly, but he’s not exactly the best player in baseball). Large amounts of those contracts are/were wasted because the Yankees thought they’d be getting more than they did. Not only should they learn from those mistakes with Jeter, given the constraints of a finite budget, they must learn from them. And again, if paying a guy coming off a league-average season the most money at his position is some kind of crap-pulling, then you’re living in the same fantasy-world Jeter and his agent are. This is what happens to stars as they get old – they get less money for their services. This isn’t unique to Jeter.

    • tomemos - Nov 24, 2010 at 1:19 PM

      If Jeter had had one good season in a walk year (that is, if 09 was his walk year) then you absolutely would be saying he should get an insane deal. Now he had a bad year in his walk year but you’re saying that he should get an insane deal anyway–and make no mistake, anything more than 3/15 is insane.

  10. dondbaseball - Nov 24, 2010 at 11:31 AM

    Great article by Craig. I think it is interesting to see writers start to appear either pro-Jeter or pro-Yanks. Ken is clearly in the Jeter camp. Many of the NY writers seem to think along with Craig and the Yankees side. The talk radio on WFAN-specifically Francesa is pro-Jeter. The logic Craig breifly touched on that the pro-Jeter sides talk about is the overpaying for Burnett, Nick Johnson, Posada (most forget his contract) and the fact other teams actually were bidding similar amounts for them. So while those free agents may not have performed as well as the contract warrents, there were similar bids. Everyone agrees the ARod contract was a mistake as no one else was even bidding and why Cashman said yesterday (which has be taken completely out of context if you were to read the entire interview) if you don’t like this offer, see what other teams will offer you and come back to us with it. I do understand even Jeter has an ego and the fact he wouldn’t adjust his approach to hitting until August showed me his ego may accelerate his demise and departure from NY faster than I ever would have anticipated and has left me feeling a bit sadder for it. Icons fall hard when youth succumbs to age.

  11. jkay123 - Nov 24, 2010 at 11:38 AM

    He is coming off the worst season of his career, and although im too lazy to pull his stats, how many other SS’s and most of them 10 + yrs younger had more hits, runs etc. 67 rbi’s in a down yr isnt even that bad for a lead off hitter.. Girardi should have put him on the DL at least on 2 occasions this season. There is a big difference playing banged up in your 20s and early 30s than your late 30s. Your skills dont just diminish and you drop 64 pts on your avg in one season. I love how most of you compare him to SS’s in their early 20’s who have one good season and a lot of lousy ones.

  12. yankees1996 - Nov 24, 2010 at 11:40 AM

    I think the uproar over this entire situation is slightly over done and to be honest Hank Steinbrenner has hit the nail right on the head. Look, everyone knew that when Jeter became a free agent after his 10 year deal there was going to be a huge production and now we have it. The “Yankee brand” is not being hurt by all this I don’t think, because this is the natural evolution of this type of situation. The Yankees are being logical about this process and Jeter should be logical as well. The deal he has been offered is FAIR and he should seriously consider it, he will not be offered anything close to it by another team. He had an off year or 2010 was the begin of the decline whatever he needs to realize he is a veteran player in the waning days of his career take what is fair and play out your days with dignity and respect. These Yankees are not the George Steinbrenner Yankees, the Yankees still have plenty of money but Hal and Hank seem to be much smarter when deciding what and who and how much to invest and there is nothing wrong with that. Derek listen to all of us lifelong Yankees fans take the fair deal because we do want you back for at least a couple of years and hopefully a couple of more Championships, but you are near the end of a fantastic ride don’t be unreasonable.

  13. Robert - Nov 24, 2010 at 12:42 PM

    Meet the Mets!!!!

  14. uyf1950 - Nov 24, 2010 at 2:08 PM

    Who on this board remembers reading a while back that the Yankees needed to give Jeter a small piece of ownership in the Yankees? Because he was such an icon, a great team player someone everyone looked up to and someone the Yankees would never want to lose. Well guess what, that ain’t gonna happen. While I doubt that he will go anywhere else to play, regardless of the rhetoric the longer this drags on the better the chance of the Yankees reducing their offer (not increasing it) or him moving on, however small that chance is.

    One final comment “many” sports writers need to stop talking out of both sides of their mouth. They chastise the Yankees for spending to much and offering outlandish contracts and now they chastise the Yankees for being to stingy with Jeter. Well if $15M per is stingy sign my name on that check, I’ll gladly cash it no ifs ands or buts.

  15. Chris Fiorentino - Nov 24, 2010 at 3:20 PM

    Again, Craig and many other miss the point. Jeter is not competing with other Shortstops. He is not competing with other Free Agents. HE IS COMPETING WITH ALEX RODRIGUEZ. Jesus, it is really just that simple. He wants A-Rod cash…or close to it. Period. Whether you think he deserves it or not is irrelevant. Personally, I think he does. But that’s what he wants. He wants a big bonus for his 3,000th hit. What he DOES NOT WANT is a 20% pay cut. That is unacceptable to him. Doesn’t everyone remember the public spats between him and A-Rod about their contracts? Anyone ever read “Jordan Rules”? The thing that EVERY ATHLETE thinks about, other than playing time, is “How much money am I making, compared to the rest of my teammates?” That’s it. Jeter wants A-Rod money. He doesn’t want a 20% paycut. I believe if he doesn’t at least average what he made last year, he will NOT be playing for the Yankers next year.

    • uyf1950 - Nov 24, 2010 at 3:26 PM

      Assuming you are right and he wants his “ARod” money. It ain’t gonna happen and should (my opinion). If that’s the case and he moves on, so be it. As I’ve mentioned before that says more about him then the Yankees. He’s greatly overestimating his value. That’s the opinion of a Yankee fan since the 1950’s.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Nov 24, 2010 at 3:46 PM

        How is Jeter’s 3,000th hit any less valuable to the Yankers than A-Rod’s steroid-tainted 660th and 714th home runs? Why should Jeter be blamed for wanting what A-Rod already got? We’re not talking about a guy like Greinke wanting Sabathia money from the Royals. It is obvious why Zack just isn’t getting that from the Royals. We are talking about the New York Yankers here. They paid A-Rod $30 million dollars to hit 5 home runs. And they want to pay Derek Jeter $30 million dollars to play the next two seasons. People can cry all they want about Jeter’s WAR and his range. The fact is that he could be the first New York Yanker to get 3,000 hits with the pinstripes on his back. If I were a Yanker fan, that would be much more important that A-Rod hitting his steroid-tainted 660th home run…or his 715th…or his 755th…or his 762nd…or his 763rd. Barry Bonds already did 4 of those things. NOBODY has done what Jeter can do this year for the Yankers. NOBODY. Not Ruth. Not Mantle. Not DiMaggio. Not NOBODY.

        Sorry, but no matter what anyone says, the fact is that Jeter’s next contract won’t be for his performance on the field. It won’t be comparable to other free agent shortstops on the market. It won’t be a historically comparable contract. There is only one thing and one thing alone to compare Jeter’s next contract to and that is the albatross called the A-Rod deal. And if Jeter doesn’t at least average what he made last year, he won’t be wearing the pinstripes next year…no matter what Craig, JoePos or anybody else says.

      • uyf1950 - Nov 24, 2010 at 4:52 PM

        Chris, it is what it is. If Jeter feels the need to move on so be it. If he feels he’s entitled to something and not getting it He should move on. Like Hank Steinbrenner said they’ve made some players very rich and that includes Jeter. Both Hank & Hal and Brian Cashman have said it’s not personal, it’s business and it is. If Jeter does move on it’s unfortunate, but it’s not the end of the world, and I am a long time Yankee fan.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 24, 2010 at 5:05 PM

        Come on Chris,

        If I were a Yanker fan, that would be much more important that A-Rod hitting his steroid-tainted 660th home run

        But you aren’t, and it’s not as important. Wade Boggs got his 3,000th hit as a Yank and the fans cheered. If Jeter gets his 3,000th hit with another team, I’m sure many Yankee fans will cheer, this one included, but it’s not a “milestone” moment in the game of baseball. Yes he’ll be the first ever to do it entirely with the Yanks, but so what?

        There is only one thing and one thing alone to compare Jeter’s next contract to and that is the albatross called the A-Rod deal. And if Jeter doesn’t at least average what he made last year, he won’t be wearing the pinstripes next year…no matter what Craig, JoePos or anybody else says.

        These two statements aren’t equal. Jeter will never make the AAV in a contract that Arod makes. It’ll never happen. Besides the fact that Arod’s deal was one of the dumbest in history, the Yanks won’t repeat that mistake now that Hal and Cashmoney are in charge. As for whether he walks if he doesnt make the same AAV as his old contract, that’s Jeter’s fault and not the Yanks. He doesn’t deserve a $21M/AAV contract, he didn’t deserve one when he signed it 10 years ago.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 24, 2010 at 5:05 PM

        damnit, that should say:
        ’m sure many Yankee fans will cheer, this one included, will cheerbut it’s not a “milestone” moment in the game of baseball

      • bigharold - Nov 24, 2010 at 6:59 PM

        uyf1950, no it really says more about the Yankees. Jeter looks at the contracts that have been given out lately and has cause to wonder why he shouldn’t get a similar contract.

        What says even more about the Yankees is their insistence that they engage in this preemptive damage control with the nonstop public proclamations about the negotiations. It started nearly three weeks ago when Hal Steinbrenner felt it necessary to go on a local sports radio show to remind the public that he was “running a business”. Since then, almost like clockwork, about twice a week some other member of the Yankee adminisphere has felt the need to make some public announcement to define the focus of the negotiation. The Yankees are the ones waging the public relations battle. Jeter’s agent has made one remark that is in response to Randy Lavine’s asinine remarks.

        Jeter has a right to define his worth as he sees it. As do the Yankees. But, it’s the Yankees that are aggressively playing hardball and bring the debate to the tabloids. To what end? That is profoundly ironic when the Yankees take every opportunity blather on about tradition, legend, image and “Pin Stripe Pride”. And, yet they have no problem gleefully trying to drag arguably the biggest Yankee icon since Mickey Mantle into very public spitting contest. The Yankees will pay no more than they feel absolutely necessary to Jeter which is fine but all this public pronouncements by the Yankee brass is stupid, distasteful, short sighted and counterproductive.

      • uyf1950 - Nov 24, 2010 at 7:31 PM

        bigharold – we are all entitled to our own opinion. See I don’t blame the Yankees management. From what I can tell ever since the rumor of the Yankees proposed offer came out the “media” at least most of it has been chastising the Yankees for being “cheap” with Jeter. I don’t blame the Steinbrenner’s or Cashman one bit for presenting their point of view. While your right about the one comment from Jeter’s agent, I’m sure they felt the need to respond to media reports.
        One side comment, I’m getting to the point where I would like it to be over one way or the other and let everyone move on.

  16. Walk - Nov 25, 2010 at 2:47 AM

    If i was worried about a single contract year devaluing me i would instruct my agent to sign a one year deal with performance options and vesting options on extra years based on my performance. If i was worried that this was the end of my career i would sacrifice every bit of good will i had to get best contract i could. In jeters case he is a free agent and under the system he would be doing himself a disservice by not trying to get the best contract he could. I am not a ny or a jeter fan but i can tell you this i refuse to hate him for doing the same thing i would, namely acting as a free agent, which he is, and trying to get the best contract he can and secure his last years. I honestly believe the money is secondary to the years for him at this point, i think he just wants to play as long as he can but the money is a bit of an ego thing too. He is a classy guy, he will come through this just fine as will the yankees.

  17. mallethead329 - Nov 25, 2010 at 5:49 AM

    If this is the Yankees new attitude towards payroll, that’s fine. But Derek Jeter may not be the person to start with. Paying for Carl Pavano and all the other hundreds of milliions of dollars they’ve wasted is where to begin, not taking it out on Jeter. Even if the offer does not get better, Jeter will handle it with the class he always has shown. Cashman would have never told (to the press) Jeter to test the waters of free agency. Can you imagine Derek Jeter showing up in Yankee Stadium, either as a shortstop, third baseman, or DH, in a Red Sox uniform. Boston has lost their C/1B/DH, so their IF/DH situation is up in the air. If you think Red Sox nation wouldn’t accept Jeter, you are dead wrong. Jeter will stay a Yankee, and get his $20 million for 3 years, 4th year team option/buyout.

    • Kevin S. - Nov 25, 2010 at 8:44 AM

      Except they didn’t start with him. They started with Andy Pettitte and Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui. They did it earlier with Bernie Williams. It’s not like they suddenly decided the buck stops here.

      • uyf1950 - Nov 25, 2010 at 11:19 AM

        Very good point Kevin. But even if they did start with Jeter, what’s wrong with that. The sons have a different mindset then their father. I still don’t see the problem. The Yankees are willing to pay Jeter far more then he would get on the open market in both money and years. Whatever the offer comes out to $15M per for 3 years or more or less that is certainly taking into consideration his “other” value to the Yankees. Just because they may not or are not willing to pay him what he (Jeter) perceives his value to be doesn’t make the Steinbrenners the “devil reincarnated”. It makes them smart business people. For all those fans that think losing Jeter will hurt the franchise, they need to wake up. The franchise is over nearly 100 years old, since it’s larger then life status. It has survived Ruth leaving, Gehrig’s departure, Joe D, Yogi’s fued with the Boss, Mickey and then Munson’s unfortunate and untimely death. Should Jeter decide he can’t live with the Yankees offer, so be it. He will be missed for sure “for a while”, but it will not be the end all. That’s just the way it is and to be honest the way it should be. To quote the bosses son’s it’s business, it’s not personal.

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