Jeter is hoping for an annual salary of about $23 million over four or five years, but he should really be flattered if the Yanks indeed add a whole $5 million to the package. No team would match that. Heck, no team is going to match the Bombers’ original offer.
Agent Casey Close can celebrate a small victory if Heyman’s source is correct. And an agreement, hopefully, will be reached by the end of next week.11-26-2010: So, first it was reported by everyone that Jeter wanted 6 years $150 million dollars. Everyone jumped on it. Yes, it's true, and then it wasn't true. Close came out and said that was totally wrong. Hmm. Okay, fine, it wouldn't be the first time that huge numbers are out there and every blogger is salivating.
Then the New York Times came out with a report saying Jeter actually wanted a 4 to 5 year deal worth $23 to 24 million a year. And I say this... What's the difference bro?
Look, from a negotiation standpoint, you aim high and see what you the Yankees come back with right? Right. BUT, from a reputation standpoint, you do that and you come off arrogant, greedy and NOT a team player. In fact, any way you slice it, those numbers are offensive. If I'm Cashman, I'm ending parties right there.
I get both sides of this negotiation. From the outside looking in, it's looking damn dirty. We know Jeter's credentials. He has won five World Series titles in 16 years with the Yankees. He's been a Rookie of the Year. In 2000, he was an MVP of an All-Star game, and a World Series MVP. He's an 11 time All-Star. He's won Silver Slugger Awards, Gold Gloves... He's even dated Jessica Biel. He's clutch and He's the Captain. But guess what? He's also 36 and despite what everyone says about paying the man, including me... you just can't pay the man that much money. If Jeter were to test the market right now, every team will laugh at him if he was asking that price. Then, he'd come crawling back and take what the Yankees would give him. Now, the Yanks won't be jerks about it, I mean, they did they're research when they came up with their number. But it would just be about eating humble pie for Jeet, and that's OK, because it would be chalked up as a lesson learned.
The Yankees originally offered Jeet a three-year, $45 million deal that would make Jeter, 36, the highest-paid shortstop in Major League Baseball. Close, on behalf of Jeet, was "baffled" by the way the Yankees we're treating his client. That, in itself was baffling. Who does Close think he is? And so the stalemate continues and I guess now we just wait through the weekend while the 2 sides talk, or don't. Who knows. There will be more ridiculous numbers being thrown around, bad press and hopefully Hank doesn't talk to the media anymore.
Now back on November 3rd, I wrote WHY JETER IS AN ICON. In it, I talked about Jeter's contract and what I speculated would be the numbers, in my opinion. I figured a 5 year, $56 million range with a 6th year option of $9 million was fair. In my opinion, if you do that, you phase the guy out. Also, there would have to be a discussion and understanding that Jeter may not be the full-time shortstop after 4 years or so and if they pick up the 6th option, Jeter for sure is a bench player for the New York Yankees, but still is the Captain and still helps lead the team. I also believe that they would have certain incentives they will pay him for. I mean, you have to know that the Yankees, if they want Jeet there for 4 years, want to see him break records in a Yankee uniform.
At the end of the day, I'm not happy about any of this. Look, you never really know what these players are thinking, and as a fan, you think no player that's as squeaky clean as Jeter, can also be a greedy S.O.B. I hope that part isn't true, we will never know for sure. But the way the media is dragging both the Yankees and Derek through the mud is lousy, but hey, it's free agent season, I wouldn't expect anything less.
Let's just hope it all works out in the end, or Eduardo Nunez may have a full time job come April.