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The state of the Jeter negotiations

Nov 30, 2010, 9:52 AM EDT

Derek Jeter triple

We haven’t had any new twists or turns in the Derek Jeter negotiations for, like, 18 hours, and frankly I’m starting to get the shakes. So, in the absence of anything happening at the moment, let us review how we got to where we are, figure out where things stand, and figure out where we’re going from here:

  • Casey Close double-dog-dared Cashman to put his tongue on a flag pole (note: may not have actually happened, but would not be at all surprising).

There have been no talks for a week, partially because of Thanksgiving I assume, but also because everyone likely feels the need to cool it.  That may change soon, however, as Eric Boland and Ken Davidoff are reporting that the Yankees want to restart talks with Jeter this week in the hopes of making some progress and squelching some of the breathless speculation in the runup to the Winter Meetings. Of course, there are even conflicts on that, as the Post is reporting that the Yankees are going to move on to other business first.  Personally I believe Davidoff because he’s a better reporter than George King, but really, your guess is as good as mine.

For all of the drama, I still believe one thing: Jeter will stay with the Yankees. He will do so at a contract that is far closer to what the Yankees are offering than what he’s currently asking, because there is simply no logical basis for what he’s currently asking and no hope that he can do better elsewhere.

I believe that the Yankees do have some work to do, however, and it’s this:  finding a way to gussy-up the $45 million offer to make it look a bit better than it is so that Jeter can save face. Which is something that the Yankees likely do have an interest in doing. Not a giant one — they probably won’t give him $20 million more for P.R. purposes — but if Jeter can come out of this by saying “hey, it was a negotiation, we gave some, they gave some,” it’s the best thing for everyone. To the extent negotiations get humming soon, that will be their focus, I believe.

But let’s hope it drags on some more. Because this has been a laugh riot so far.

  1. Kevin S. - Nov 30, 2010 at 10:03 AM

    Agreed on the Yankees adding some bells and whistles to make it look good, but the primary offer shouldn’t go anywhere.

    Also, just one point of contention – I know you linked to a George King article, but nobody gets better scoops than Joel Sherman. I agree on taking Davidoff for the analysis, but I’ll trust Sherman’s word on what’s actually happening above anybody else out there.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Nov 30, 2010 at 10:06 AM

      Good point. I just changed it to Davidoff “being a better reporter than George King.” I agree with you: Sherman almost always gets it right on the reporting side.

  2. joshfrancis50 - Nov 30, 2010 at 10:10 AM

    The suspense is terrible…I hope it lasts.

    • tomemos - Nov 30, 2010 at 12:36 PM

      Nice Wilde reference!

  3. mcsnide - Nov 30, 2010 at 10:28 AM

    Somebody’s in the Christmas spirit already. Second “Christmas Story” reference in a week.

    • Utley's Hair - Nov 30, 2010 at 11:15 AM

      You’ll shoot your eye out!!!!

  4. BC - Nov 30, 2010 at 10:31 AM

    I’m guessing the Yankees cave on the length of contract but not the money. 4 years, $60mil. That’s my guess, I’ll stand by it.

  5. scrunchify - Nov 30, 2010 at 10:53 AM

    i still find it hard to believe that the steinbrenner/levine/cashman team pick a fight with derek jeter. it can’t be about the money. take BC’S comment above … 4 years for 60m. how about not cutting the captains average salary over the past 10years
    which averaged to 18.9m and giving him 4 years at 19m which comes to 76m. the difference is $i6m over 4 years. for a
    franchise that burns money that doesn’t even amount to chump change and would probably be made up in jeter apparel
    sales. the fact that they don’t cut his salary would truly save face.
    so if it isn’t about the money, what is it about? who knows … not davidoff, not sherman and certainly not me. it is a pretty
    fascinating struggle, however, and the ultimate resolution will be highly anticipated.
    i still consider it surprising that so many yankee fans agree with management ignoring the context of who derek jeter is
    and what he has meant to the franchise . maybe , it is just the fans who have the time and inclination to blog their thoughts
    and there remains a large group for whom the yankees will never be quite the same.

    • jfk69 - Nov 30, 2010 at 11:05 AM

      The Yankee fans got over..Ruth,Gehrig,Mantle,Dickey,Berra…the list is endless. It isn’t like we are dissing and low balling him in his prime. It has been a great ride for all sides and at some point it must end.
      If i had my way all these over inflated TV/cable money contracts would be performance based or similar to how football pays their players.

    • Jonny 5 - Nov 30, 2010 at 11:18 AM

      Picking a fight huh? They offered him more years, and more money than he’s worth. And he laughed it off. He laughed off their generosity. Who’s picking a fight again? Who is Derek Jeter you ask. He’s a baseball player. And He’s worth what someone will pay him. Realistically he just turned down the best offer anyone wants to give him based on his ability. I guess Albert Pujols should be worth around ONE BILLION DOLLARS over 20 years to the cards then right?

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 30, 2010 at 12:02 PM

      it can’t be about the money. take BC’S comment above … 4 years for 60m. how about not cutting the captains average salary over the past 10years

      In what universe is Jeter worth the same as his AAV over the next four years? Please someone explain this to me because random commenters here keep bringing it up, but offer no justification for it. And justification isn’t “because Arod got it”.

      for a franchise that burns money that doesn’t even amount to chump change and would probably be made up in jeter apparel sales

      Jersey sales are shared throughout MLB. And even if they weren’t, you know how many thousands of Yankee fans would have to buy additional Jeter jerseys to offset the production of a declining Jeter to make a 4/$60M contract somewhat equivalent…

      i still consider it surprising that so many yankee fans agree with management ignoring the context of who derek jeter is and what he has meant to the franchise . maybe , it is just the fans who have the time and inclination to blog their thoughts and there remains a large group for whom the yankees will never be quite the same.

      It’s terrible that Jeter has never been paid like a superstar, only getting a continual $4M/yr contract like Tim Wakefield. Oh wait, he’s received the third most valuable contract in baseball history! He has been respected, paid, extolled, [insert random verb] ad infinitum by the Yanks. That doesn’t mean they need to keep doing it.

    • tomemos - Nov 30, 2010 at 12:39 PM

      “how about not cutting the captains average salary over the past 10years”

      Well, what happens at the end of this next contract–do you also not cut the captain’s salary then? When does it end? Sports isn’t like other careers, where your pay just keeps going up. You get less as you’re worth less, and that’s always been true. People resent Jeter for apparently thinking that doesn’t apply to him.

  6. jfk69 - Nov 30, 2010 at 11:10 AM

    I’ll give Jeter what he wants. Providing he makes this contract in its entirety performance based. If he thinks he is worth it….Prove it. Let him put his money where his mouth is

    • Utley's Hair - Nov 30, 2010 at 11:14 AM

      Minka? Is that you?

  7. Utley's Hair - Nov 30, 2010 at 11:16 AM

    Come on Craig!!!! It’s been almost a day already. You’re a lawyer—make something up.

  8. uyf1950 - Nov 30, 2010 at 12:04 PM

    Sorry guy’s I just don’t see the Yankees going north of $17M per for 3 years. Again as I’ve stated numerous times that would be a more then generous offer. If the Yankees offer a 4th year it will be a club option (that they won’t exercise) with maybe a $3M buy out. Those of you that believe Jeter should be paid for what he has done in the past the Yankees current offer of $15M per for 3 years is taking that into consideration. Whatever the Yankees offer him even $15M per for 3 years his past and future and “icon” status is factored into that number. What isn’t factored into that number is “I want a ARod type contract” nor should it be. There is nothing wrong with Jeter wanting as much money as he thinks he is worth. Just like there is nothing wrong with the Yankees wanting to strike the best deal they can. It’s just a matter of who has the most leverage. There comes a time in every athletes life when they are not worth what they think they are. It’s time for Jeter to cut his losses and sign on the dotted line.

  9. Loren - Nov 30, 2010 at 12:06 PM

    In the end I’m betting the Yankees tack on an option year which everyone will know they’ll decline and increase the total package to around $50-55M but defer a bunch of the money so it doesn’t cost them much more than the original offer. Maybe some sort of personal services contract will be tacked on to keep Jeter in the Yankee fold after he retires.

  10. Jack Marshall - Nov 30, 2010 at 1:13 PM

    I’m intrigued by that negotiating tactic, Craig—act like an asshole, and make your employers have to give you more money so you can “save face” for acting like an asshole, because otherwise THEY look like assholes. I do think, however, that in order for the tactic to be effective, a majority of observers have to believe that the player doesn’t richly deserve to look like an asshole. I think Jeter’s hold on that majority is tenuous at best.

  11. hep3 - Nov 30, 2010 at 1:34 PM

    Why doesn’t the evil empire trade for Bartlett and force Jeter to drink the “reality potion?”

    Saves at least $10 million to use for Cliff Lee.

  12. uyf1950 - Nov 30, 2010 at 4:09 PM

    If anyone’s interested there is an interesting piece on Yahoo Sports MLB Rumors about the Lee negotiations. Below is the link if anyone wants to read it. I can’t wait to see the comments from those fans in Jeters corner on his negotiations after woods.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/rumors/post/Yankees-planning-to-sign-Cliff-Lee-next-week-;_ylt=Av_HWCYWbRZNXrzU6S_TmuURvLYF?urn=mlb-290286

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