Derek Jeter held a press conference yesterday so that he could address questions about his contract situation and wouldn’t have to be pestered by each reporter individually. There were no great revelations during the conference, but there were some interesting quotes that I thought I’d point out.
On the possibility of becoming a free agent: “This is the only organization I want to play for. I think I can say it enough times. I’m not worried about what my legacy is at this point.”
On when he might retire: “I’ve never put limitations on how long I will play… I want to play as long as I can, as long as I’m having fun, as long as I’m productive.”
On a future position change: “I want to play shortstop as long as I can.”
Championships are like kids: “I think it would be sort of like trying to rank which kid you like the most.”
Of course I stole all of these from Chad Jennings of the Journal News. To hear audio from the entire press conference click here.
Thoughts: Like I said, no great revelations. Jeter is Jeter and if you’d been following his career the fact that he’s focused on this season, wants to play as long as he can, and wants to remain at shortstop is certainly no surprise to you. His contract ends after this season, but that is no reason for concern. The media is focused on this right now because there is almost nothing else happening in Yankee camp right now. No hip surgery, no steroid conferences, no surly players traded for and adjusting to New York.
It’s not a question of whether or not Jeter will return, it is a question of for how long and how much money. My guess is that we could be seeing a four-year $100 million contract. I’ve always wanted to go a little unorthodox with Jeter’s contract and give him something like 15-years and $150 million. Obviously he won’t be playing that long, but it could be a way where he could get his big payday and the Yankees wouldn’t have to pay him such a high annual salary. Once he retires he could just keep collecting his paycheck and be a hitting or third base coach.
What do you think? 4-year $100 million or 15-year $150 million or am I way off?