George Brett’s final playing contract, from 1987-93, had a provision that called for seven years of post-career employment with his Royals. Cal Ripken signed a five-year, $32.5 million after the 1992 season that included a player option for four years of post-career employment at $500,000 annually with his Orioles. Ripken played through 2001 so the post-career rider was delayed.
The Yankees can essentially propose the same to [Derek Jeter]. Say they offer him a three-year, $45 million playing contract that has options if both sides want to continue the playing relationship beyond 2013. And then as part of the contract, the parties agree to a $75 million, 25-year post-career deal.
This way Jeter and Close get to champion a contract that is worth no less than $120 million in total. The Yankees pay Jeter fewer dollars now, which means more to spend on others and less luxury tax since the post-career dollars are not taxable. Heck, the Yankees could probably put away the difference saved in luxury tax alone and with interest earned pay the lifetime portion of the contract over time.
Jeter would receive an opt-out provision any time if he truly wants to pursue an ownership stake with another team. And both sides get to claim a lifetime bond at the news conference, which — cue the music — gets Yankee Nation to swoon in bonhomie for each party.
“It is a no-brainer to me that is how it should be done,” said an executive from another AL team. “You don’t have to give [Jeter] a fortune of money now. Both sides save face. And you keep him for life.”
This is something I’ve been in favor of for a long time. It seems as if a lot of this contract is an attempt by Jeter’s agent to preserve his legacy. Why else would he possibly want a deal through the age 42? He doesn’t need to prove himself to A-Rod, but he doesn’t want to leave the perception that A-Rod is more important to the Yankees.
By signing a contract like this not only does he get paid, $120 million in Sherman’s scenario, but his legacy will be set in stone. What more respect can you get from a team than a post-career contract like this?
Also, for the Yankees it works for them because they get to save face with their fans and keep Jeter on a shorter deal.
Right now it doesn’t seem like this is the course they are going to take, but negotiations could take a while. Maybe at some point if they get stuck one side will bring this idea to the other.
What do you think? Like this idea?