Jeter, Yankees still $80 million apart?

New York Yankees' Derek Jeter hits double against the Tampa Bay Rays during the fifth inning of their MLB American League Baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, September 20, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

Whatever Derek Jeter and his agent are smoking, I want it. Because that stuff must be fantastic if they think they’re getting $150 million from the Yankees.

Per Bill Madden of the New York Daily News, Jeter and the Yankees are at least “$80 million apart in negotiations.” Jeter’s initial contract request called for six years and $150 million, while the Yankees are “only” offering three years at $45 million.

I’ve been a Jeter fan since he dazzled everyone in his rookie year but what is he thinking? Six years and $150 million? For hitting .270 last year and playing a very average shortstop? Unless he recently found the fountain of youth and drank it bone dry, then there’s no way the Yankees will/should come close to $150 million for this guy. I know he’s a legend and the Bombers have already put him on the Babe Ruth pedestal, but get real.

Brian Cashman said it best when he told Jeter that he should test the open market if he feels as though the Yankees are shortchanging him. Because there’s no way in Hades that Jeter would receive a three-year deal worth $45 million from another team – not to mention a six-year contract worth $150 million. He’s a 36-year-old shortstop coming off a down year offensively and just doesn’t have it any more defensively. Don’t get it twisted – he’s still a nice player at the right price. But that’s the key: at the right price.

As I wrote on Wednesday, he’s going to wind up back in pinstripes next season. But this storyline gets juicer by the day.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Derek Jeter contract situation getting interesting in New York

New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter removes his batting helmet after being defeated by the Boston Red Sox in their MLB American League baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts October 3, 2010.   REUTERS/Greg M. Cooper (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

Normally, whether or not a 36-year-old shortstop with declining skills gets a new contract isn’t big offseason news in baseball. But when that shortstop is Derek Jeter, it’s somewhat compelling stuff. (Ok, so “compelling” might be too strong of a word. “Interesting” would probably be more like it.)

Less than a week ago, the Yankees reportedly offered Jeter a three-year, $45 million contract. Based on his age, his numbers last year and his declining defensive play, most would agree that that’s a pretty fair offer. But Jeter’s agent Casey Close said that the Yankees’ negotiating strategy during contract talks for his client have been “baffling.”

“There’s a reason the Yankees themselves have stated Derek Jeter is their modern-day Babe Ruth,” Close said. “Derek’s significance to the team is much more than just stats. And yet, the Yankees’ negotiating strategy remains baffling. They continue to argue their points in the press and refuse to acknowledge Derek’s total contribution to their franchise.”

Chances are if Jeter were to test the open market, he wouldn’t find a better deal than the one the Yankees are offering. And it just so happens that that’s what GM Brian Cashman instructed the Yankee captain to do recently.

When asked about the negotiation process, Cashman said: “He should be nothing but a New York Yankee. He chooses not to be.” He went on to say that Jeter “should test the market” if he doesn’t approve of the club’s offer and that the Yankees have offered multiple deals and received just one counter offer.

But more recently,’s Jon Heyman wrote that the Yankees will likely sweeten their current offer to the free agent. If they do, it should be viewed as a generous move by the club, especially in light of how they would already be overpaying him at three years and $45 million. While Jeter certainly has meant a lot to the Yankees organization, he seems to be overestimating his worth right now. There’s no way he’d come close to earning that much money for that many years on the open market and if the Bombers were to sweeten the deal, it would be staggering if he and his agent declined their offer.

In the end, Jeter will most likely remain in pinstripes. The Yankees aren’t going to let one of their legends play for another club and while these talks have gotten somewhat ugly over the last couple of days, it’s just business in the end. He’ll be back, but grab your popcorn because if these last couple of days are any indication, things are about to get interesting in the Bronx over the next month.

Related Posts