As the headline to this post states, apparently one source* claims that the Yankees and free agent shortstop Derek Jeter are at odds over the length of any future contract between the two sides.
ORLANDO, Fla. — The New York Yankees would be happy to get Derek Jeter to agree to a three-year contract for $21 million a year, according to a source who has ties to both the team and the player.
But Jeter, the source said, wants at least a four-year deal, preferably five or six. According to the source, there is at least one voice inside the Yankees’ hierarchy urging the front office to play hard ball with Jeter.
“Tell him the deal is three years at $15 million a year, take it or leave it,” the person taking the hard-line approach said. “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 fan backlash and a public relations nightmare if they let Jeter go.
If this report is to be believed — that the Yankees are offering Derek Jeter 3Y/$63M contract — no one could accuse the Yankees of not honoring Jeter’s legacy. $21M per season would represent the same salary that Jeter played for in 2010 and the length of the contract would mean that he would be 39 years old at the deal’s expiration date in 2013.
Although $63M is a lot of scratch to commit to a player that may be in steep decline, it is certainly a good faith offer. If I’m the Yankees, I have a clear conscience. Should Jeter want to try for more years in another market, that’ll be his prerogative. The Yankees shouldn’t have any reason to fear fan backlash, provided that sensible people think objectively about what this contract offer truly represents.
In any case, good luck to Jeter if he thinks he can get more than three years from a team outside of the 10451 zip code.
*For the record, I hate any story that relies on “a source” but doesn’t provide more insight on the credibility of that source. In an era where reporters seem to churn out fabricated stories in order to sell papers, the likelihood that this story is legit is somewhere in the “maybe” range in my book.