Derek Jeter move to the outfield? It would be unprecedented.

angers Ballpark in Arlington in Arlington, Texas USA, 16 October 2010. This is the second game of the best of seven of the 2010 American League Championship Series. The New York Yankees lead the series 1-0. EPA/PAUL BUCK fotoglif764240

On Monday, Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman told the media that he could envision Derek Jeter moving from shortstop to the outfield before his new contract runs out in 2014. But as Craig Calcaterra of Hardball Talk writes, that kind of move would be unprecedented for a 37-year-old shortstop.

* Exactly 16 players who have played as many as 100 games at shortstop and 100 games in left field. None of them did both after the age of 35;

* Exactly 17 players who have played as many as 100 games at shortstop and 100 games in center field. None of them did both after the age of 35;

* Exactly 17 players who have played as many as 100 games at shortstop and 100 games in right field. None of them did both after the age of 35.

Maybe Jeter could be a utility guy who can cover the outfield from time to time, but there is no precedent whatsoever for a guy his age moving from the everyday shortstop position to an everyday position in the outfield. And no, Robin Yount — everyone’s favorite go-to guy on this subject — didn’t do it either. His last game at shortstop came when he was 28. Past the age of 30 he was an outfielder/DH with some occasional starts at first.

And that’s before you factor in Jeter’s bat, which unless he bounces back to 2009 form and stays there for the next four years, will not be stout enough to justify a position in the outfield.

I can’t see Jeter moving to the outfield either, although my reasoning is way more subjective than Calcaterra’s take.

Jeter won’t move to the outfield because he’s Derek Jeter. He’s the New York Yankees shortstop and will be the New York Yankees shortstop until he finally gives way to a protégée. For as classy as Jeter is, he still has an ego and I highly doubt he would OK a move to the outfield – even as his defensive numbers continue to decline.

I’m not suggesting that Jeter is too pompous to help his team, but for the life of me I can’t see him sauntering out to left field when his time is up at short. I could see him moving to third if the Yankees figure out what to do with Alex Rodriguez. But the outfield? Nah.

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Derek Jeter re-ups with the Yankees for three years, $51 million

New York Yankees' shortstop Derek Jeter jesters to a teammate before the Yankees take on the Texas Rangers in game four of the ALCS at Yankee Stadium on October 19, 2010 in New York.   UPI/Monika Graff Photo via Newscom

While the deal isn’t official yet, WFAN’s Sweeny Murti is reporting that the Yankees and Derek Jeter have agreed to a three-year deal worth roughly $51 million. There’s also an option for a fourth year that Murti says is for less than the $17 million Jeter will get annually for the first three years.

While the back-and-forth bickering between Jeter’s camp and GM Brian Cashman was entertaining for about a week, in the end there was no way the Yankee captain was going to wear anything but pinstripes next season. The Giants got the closest to making a deal with Jeter, and all they did was pick up the phone and call his agent. That’s it. That’s as close as Jeter got to not being a Yankee.

The Bombers were generous with this deal because Jeter wasn’t going to find that kind of money on the open market. His range at shortstop is rapidly declining, he’s coming off a career-low year at the dish and he’s already 36 years old. He should be fortunate that the Yankees were willing to go as high as $51 mil.

That said, the Yankees had to overpay. Jeter has meant just as much to the organization off the field as he has on it. He’s a leader in every sense of the word and the Yankees have been able to cash in on his marketability for over a decade. They had to pony up to pay their most recognizable player since Don Mattingly.

In other Yankee news, Mariano Rivera’s new deal is for two years and $30 million. The Red Sox reportedly attempted to steal Rivera from the Yankees with a three-year offer, as did the Angels. But Mo ultimately decided to stay in New York, which is where he’ll start and finish his career.

How does Jonathan Papelbon feel right about now that Boston made a last-ditch effort to acquire Rivera? Ouch.

Could Derek Jeter wind up with the Giants next year?

August 13, 2010: Shortstop Derek Jeter  of the New York Yankees during a game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.

I don’t think Derek Jeter will wind up in anything but pinstripes next season. Part of me thinks that the squabbling between him, his agent and the Yankees is all for publicity purposes.

When it comes down to it, the Yankees are a billon dollar cooperation. And seeing as how they took a backseat to the Rangers and Giants in 2010, what better way to get themselves back into the spotlight than to have their GM battle their captain in the news? To suggest the Brian Cashman v. Jeter feud is all about attention might be a little shrewd on my part, but would you put it past the Bombers for concocting such a scenario?

But for a moment, let’s assume that the contract talks between Jeter and the Yankees really are heading downhill. Let’s assume that the Yankees won’t budge from their original offer of three years and $40 million and that Jeter’s camp really is crazy enough to think that any team is going to fork over $22 million a year for an aging shortstop with declining skills.

Could Jeter really wind up in the National League playing for the current World Champions?

The shoe certainly fits. The Giants need a shortstop and after their most hated rivals scooped up Juan Uribe on Monday, their options at the position are getting fewer by the day (unless they’re absolutely in love with the idea of bringing back Edgar Renteria, committing full-time to youngster Manny Burriss or signing 97-year-old Miguel Tejada). Jeter, who is represented by the same agent (Casey Close) as catcher Buster Posey, would have an opportunity to play for a contender in a decent sized market if he were to sign with San Francisco. He was also scouted by current Giants GM Brian Sabean, who was with the Yankees when the club drafted him in 1992. Sabean also doesn’t mind overpaying for players, much like he’s done with Barry Zito, Aaron Rowand and Renteria in recent years.

If all of this seems rather convenient, it’s probably because it is. I can’t imagine Jeter playing for any other team besides the Yankees and there’s good probability that the two sides will agree to a new deal by the end of the year.

But if you’re looking for a dark horse in this race, it has to be the Giants.

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.

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, SI.com’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.

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