On the way home from work, I heard a ton of talk radio discussing the Derek Jeter Contract Negotiating Snooze Fest.
Mike Francesa was shocked that the Yankees hadn’t gotten a deal done yet with Jeter, and his callers were irate about it. They want the Yankees to give in to Jeter’s contract demands. The Yankees offer, if you haven’t heard already, is $15 million/ year for 3 years.
Now to you and me, that sounds like a lot of money, but we might be in the minority. Last year, I believe Jeter made around $21.5 million, so this would be a pay cut, and nobody likes that. If that’s the basis for rejecting this offer the Yankees made, I can understand that. If Jeter’s camp countered with 3 years for $60 million and the Yankees didn’t snap it up, they’re fools.
As we all know, the Yankees need Jeter and Jeter needs the Yankees. Neither are worth as much separate as they are together. Now for the Yankees, being without Derek Jeter is like getting a small order of french fries when you wanted a medium order; for Jeter, it’s like not getting fries at all. (Yeah, I had french fries and a side salad from Wendy’s for dinner. The new fries at Wendy’s are pretty much the same.) If Jeter goes somewhere else, he’s not going to get paid as much as the Yankees will pay him (even with the pay cut), and those Mr. 3000 shirts that are going to start showing up on the stands in June aren’t going to move the way they would if Jeter was still a Yankee. Everybody knows this, and I’m sure Jeter and Yankees want that sweet t-shirt money.
It’s hard for me to weigh in on this; we know the Yankees have offered 3 years/ $45 million, and Jeter’s agent said that was a baffling offer. I don’t understand why; Jeter will be 39 at the end of the deal and $15 million a year is more than fair from where I’m sitting – the guy hit .270 last year, goes to his left worse than Sara Palin (that’s not my joke, but it’s a good one) and there is no guarantee he’s going to rebound. I shudder to think how many errors he’d have if Mark Teixeira wasn’t the first baseman. Does Jeter want 4 years at $60? I think not; if so, I believe the deal would be done already. Does he want something obscene, like 5 years/$100 million? At what salary (if any) does the Yankees total payroll institute increased luxury tax penalties?
In my view, $15 million dollars is an elite price to get paid to play short stop for the Yankees and be captain of the team. Hell, $10 million is probably fair. I like Derek Jeter, and I want him on the team next year, but I need to hear from him or his people before I can get on his side. Right now, the Yankees have $45 million on the table for him; I don’t see why he doesn’t take it. If he countered and they refused, he should out them, the way they outed him when Brian Cashman said he should go test the market to see if a better deal is out there for him. He probably shouldn’t do that, though – he’ll probably get offered two years, $15 million, if that much.
Bottom line, this is a yawn fest. I know people are angry about this, but I just don’t care. Derek Jeter and the Yankees go together like peas and carrots, this is true, but he’s not a key piece to winning a World Series anymore.
I still want him on the team, but not forever.