“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. And yet, the Yankees’ negotiating strategy remains baffling.”
Then Close said: “They continue to argue their points in the press and refuse to acknowledge Derek’s total contribution to their franchise.”
Close is not saying that Derek Jeter has Babe Ruth’s numbers. Has never said that. Would never say that. He is simply telling you what the Yankees have told him about his client. It is not the first time that the Yankees say one thing in private and another in the newspapers.
We’ve been following the Jeter negotiations pretty closely here. If you’ve missed anything you can read them all here. Essentially, Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner warned that things could get messy, Jeter’s agent shot back, and then everyone pretended everything was OK.
The thing is, they are getting ugly fast. The Yankees don’t see why they are being forced to pay Jeter a ton just because three years ago Hank Steinbrenner made a mistake by giving Alex Rodriguez too much money (Hank has been in purgatory ever since).
Every player gets old. Every player. Jeter will be no exception (the only exceptions I can recall are steroid abusers like Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds). Players on the verge of 37 are simply not worth $20 million a year and do not warrant six-year deals. The Yankees are trying to avoid making the same mistake they made with A-Rod again. Two wrongs don’t make a right after all.
Jeter’s agent is just doing his job though by getting as much out of the Yankees as he possibly can. He can’t be faulted for that. He’s right that the Yankees should not be airing this all out in the press, but again, two wrongs don’t make a right. He’s upset that they’re airing it out in the press, so he turns around and airs it out in the press.
It’s impossible to tell how this is going to play itself out at this point. This is getting ugly though, but eventually the two sides will stop their posturing and will come to an agreement. Because they have to.