Yankees Want Jeter for 3-Years, He Wants At Least 4

Via Wallace Matthews of ESPN NY:

That is the word from a source with inside knowledge of the negotiations between the Yankees and [Derek Jeter]. The source says the Yankees are willing to give Jeter more money than his play currently warrants, but fewer years than Jeter currently wants.

Jeter, the source said, wants more. Four years, minimum, and preferably five or even six. Right now, it is a standoff, a dirty dance, a game of chicken in which one side or the other must eventually blink.

And according to the source, who has ties to both the team and the player, there is at least one voice inside the Yankees’ hierarchy urging the front office to play its game as hard as Jeter plays his on the field.

“Tell him the deal is three years at $15 million a year, take it or leave it,” goes the hard-line approach. “Wait him out and he’ll wind up taking it. Where’s he gonna go, Cincinnati?”

But according to the source, the Yankees are fearful of taking that sort of a stance with their most beloved player since Mickey Mantle, fearful of a fan backlash and a public relations nightmare even though history says this team, better than any other, can survive parting ways with even the most beloved player in the bitterest fashion.

Personally I think the Yankees should take a hard stance here. Why not? Supposedly there will be a fan backlash, but what does that even mean? If Jeter comes back it doesn’t matter at what salary he comes back at. Fans are not going to stop coming to games because he re-signed at three years instead of four or five.

Plus if the Yankees are offering three-years and $63 million, or anything even close to that, there will be no other teams that will be willing to match this. It’s a game of chicken that they can’t lose. The only team we’ve heard about this offseason that might even be remotely interested in signing Jeter, the Giants, probably wouldn’t be able to offer much more than two-years and $20 million.

So why budge? Just because the Yankees made a mistake and gave Alex Rodriguez too many years and too much money a few years ago doesn’t mean that they need to be held to that standard forever. Besides, if we’re being honest here A-Rod and Jeter are apples and oranges here. There is no comparison. However, a bad deal is a bad deal.

So play chicken with Jeter. The fans will get over it.

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15 Responses to Yankees Want Jeter for 3-Years, He Wants At Least 4

  1. I think the money should be high and the years should be higher and this way he's phased out. the end is near, but not yet. i wrote this.

    http://bleedingyankeeblue.blogspot.com/2010/11/wh

  2. Bronx Knight says:

    Rob, I basically agree with your position that the Yanks should take a firm stance with Jeet. Jeter and the Yankees will both survive just fine if he winds up his career somewhere else. He will still go into the Hall as a Yankee, and, if the parting is handled respectfully, he can come back within a couple of years in some sort of staff capacity (a la Reggie Jackson or Don Mattingly).

    Here's what I would offer: three years at $15 million per, plus three successive one-year options at the same annual salary, to be invoked by Derek, based on performance in the prior year. In order to qualify for each option, Derek would have to have at least, let's say, 550 plate appearances, plus a .260 batting average.

    Then just make the offer and give him until, say, Dec. 31, 2010 to accept. If he can find a better offer elsewhere, let him take it.

  3. Brian Burkhart says:

    I agree with you here Rob. While I think he'll get more than this, even an offer of say 2 years and $30 million is pretty much unmatchable. What team can afford to pay $15 million per to an aging SS who is poor defensively and a league average hitter, maybe a bit above average if he bounces back? Buster Olney predicted 3 years and $45 million and that is looking like a pretty good bet.

  4. Tanned Tom says:

    I understand the business end of this, but I don't really care if the NYY overpay for Derek or not, I mean it's not my money and it wouldn't be the first time they've overpaid for a player (A.J. Burnett or A Rodriguez, anyone?). As for the length, if he accepts that he'll have to move out of short in a year or two, then keep him around. He can play 3B in 2 years.

    • Mike S. says:

      He won't play 3B. For one, Alex is there. For another, 3b requires quicker reaction time than SS. If Derek has trouble going to his left at SS, how's it going to be at 3B?

      You have Cano at 2B. There really is nowhere for Jeter to go.

      It is not that easy to switch positions, and probably harder, not easier, when you are in your late 30's. Derek has not played one inning, not ONE, at any position other than SS in his entire professional career; that's majors AND minors.

      I don't see him playing anywhere but SS or DH. I would have thought OF could be a possibility, but that was several years ago. Not at age 37 or older.

      I think SS, DH or nothing.

  5. It's not your money, but the Yankees do have a budget. I would rather see the Yankees have financial flexibility in the future than give Jeter too much money now. The difference between Jeter at $45 million and Jeter at $60 million is a big name free agent.

  6. danny says:

    sure, jeter mite not be as good as he once was, but he has an uncanny ability to bounce back with hard work in the off season on what he feels he lacked the season prior. even though he has lost a step or two i would still want him in my clubhouse. the knowledge he has of the game compared to a younger and more talented player still makes him the better choice. he works so hard in the off season on whatever flaws he feels diminished his game of play. i predict next season he will bat .328, commit less errors, less strikeouts and lets not forget he will become the first career yankee to join the 3000 hit mark. which to me is an awesome feat givin all the great yankees players through out the teams history

  7. Joey P. says:

    I'd like to keep Jeter around. Noone available to replace him right now anyway. I'd have no problem with 4 years at 15-17.5 million/yr., laden with incentives (a la A-Rod). Incentives could include games, at-bats, OBP, BA, hits per year, career hits, awards, etc. Should be some for defense too, i.e. assists, put-outs, fielding pct. With Jeter you could also add incentives for playoff stats based on career numbers, as well as moving up on the all-time Yankees lists for just about any category. I'd also be OK with player options for 2-3 years. If Jeter averages 150 hits over 6 years he's knocking on the door for 4000, and if he looks like he could get it with one more year he might get one last contract. I'd love to see him get 4000 hits even if it does seem unlikely at this time. A couple more 2009-like seasons and you never know, as long as 2010 remains more of an anomaly over the next 3-4 years than a precursor to an inevitable decline.

  8. You actually can't really give a player contract incentives based on a lot of stats. There are a few that are allowed, like games played, at bats, and for pitchers games started and finished. There may be a few more, but I think that's it.

    I've even heard stuff about A-Rod's contract incentives technically being illegal, but the Yankees got the league to approve them by calling them 'historic clauses' or something along those lines.

    My point is you could not include incentives for Jeter based on hits, batting average, assists, put-outs and stuff like that.

    • Joey P. says:

      That's interesting, Rob. I admit I was not aware it wasn't legal to use some of those incentives. Thanks for the info. Wouldn't Jeter be eligible for some "historic clauses too, though? 3000 hits; 3500 hits; some of his "historic" playoff numbers"?

      I know many believe Jete is on the downswing, but he's been so great for so long, I really want to see him come back to his norm in 2011 and beyond. There are exceptions to every rule and I hope Jete is the exception to the inevitable decline over the next few years. I was really hoping he could keep up enough of an offensive pace to stay on and get 4000 hits before he had to retire. I know it's unlikely, but it sure would be great to see! It's very sad that the guy currently with the most career hits in history and the only guy ever to get 4000 hits can't be in the Hall of Fame. It sure would be nice if Jeter could take that spot! I don't see anyone else in baseball right now who even looks like he might sniff such rarified air, though Ichiro would probably have gotten there if he could have left Japan sooner and had more years in MLB. There's a guy who doesn't look to be slowing down much too soon.

  9. Sam says:

    Lets face it these players are complaining about money that they dont deserve during this countries hard times. Jeter is on the downside of his career and is not worth more than 5 million a year and thats even sick in itself!!!!

    • Realistically these players are worth a certain percentage of revenue that the teams bring in. If it really was hard times revenues would be taking a big hit and eventually the players salaries would drop too. I'm not arguing that these aren't hard times, but I'm saying that people are still spending money on the games. Jeter shouldn't take a pay cut if fans are still going to the games as much as ever.

  10. Michael B. says:

    I believe that Jeter is an important ingredient in the NY Yankees staff. He is not only the team leader but as earlier mentioned is a Yankee from start to finish. It is rediculous for anyone to condider him going to another team. I believe that you should give him his $15 million for four years with an option on years five and six. This seems like a lot but falls in the normal range for the New York Yankees. Face it, they do have the highest payroll in baseball, but are in a city that affords it to continue on. I firmly believe they are the best team in baseball, but need to focus more on their pitching than the defesive part of their game. They are a pure joy to watch defensively. Don't feel you need to play hardball with a player that has contributed so much to making them the team they are.