• Jeter’s Agent: Yanks “Refuse To Acknowledge Derek’s Total Contribution To Their Franchise”

    Posted by on November 21st, 2010 · Comments (33)

    Via Mike Lupica

    Casey Close is Derek Jeter’s agent and he has never said very much, and maybe it is one of the reasons why he and Jeter have been together a long time. Close has said very little about his client’s negotiation with the Yankees so far and thought the Yankees would do the same. He was wrong about that. So even Jeter and his representative now find out what it is like going up against the company in a company town.

    All of a sudden, the Yankees have a lot to say, especially through “sources” close to the front office. It is always a scream reading about them, knowing how few people are actually in the room. At least Randy Levine, the team president, is out in the open when he has something to say.

    More and more you get the idea that the people now running the Yankees – Hal Steinbrenner, Brian Cashman, all of them – are the great line from the movie “All About Eve”:

    They think they’re the piano that wrote the concerto.

    Close thought everybody wanted to handle this negotiation the right way, maybe because his client has done things the right way with the Yankees from the day he ran out to shortstop for good in 1996. Only now you can’t shut the Yankees up.

    This is what Casey Close said Saturday night, after a week of reading what the Yankees have to say about everything:

    “There’s a reason the Yankees themselves have stated Derek Jeter is their modern-day Babe Ruth. Derek’s significance to the team is much more than just stats. And yet, the Yankees’ negotiating strategy remains baffling.”

    Then Close said: “They continue to argue their points in the press and refuse to acknowledge Derek’s total contribution to their franchise.”

    Maybe Casey missed the Cashman memo where it said that “Iconic, off-the-field value, doesn’t translate in my world…”?

    When was the last time the Yankees were in a spot like this…where a certain future Hall of Fame player and franchise legend was an older gent, coming off a poor season, and looking for that last multi-year contract while on the doorstep of a notable milestone? In some ways, maybe this is like Reggie Jackson at the end of 1981? Granted, Mr. October wasn’t home-grown or had long Yankees tenure like Jeter. But, at the time, Jackson was 35-years old, coming off a bad year, and just 75 homers away from 500. And, he was a former Yankees World Series hero and a future Hall-of-Famer in the eyes of many…

    What happened then? The Angels, Orioles, Braves, White Sox, Pirates, Rangers and Blue Jays all had an interest in Reggie – and eventually Buzzie Bavasi and Gene Autry fitted Jackson with a Halo.

    At this point, perhaps the smartest thing that Close can do is work up some other suitors for Jeter – if that’s at all possible. Because, without those, the Yankees can, and probably will, hardball Derek and just wait. There’s no Big Stein for Close to call and work over. And, Hank Stein has been neutered since giving A-Rod the house when he could have stonewalled him. Basically, Casey can say anything he wants now, and wonder/ponder things till the cows come home…but the Yankees have all the cards at this moment. And, without some leverage, nothing is going to change that for Camp Jeter.

    Comments on Jeter’s Agent: Yanks “Refuse To Acknowledge Derek’s Total Contribution To Their Franchise”

    1. Raf
      November 21st, 2010 | 11:32 pm

      At this point, perhaps the smartest thing that Close can do is work up some other suitors for Jeter – if that’s at all possible.

      That’ll be pretty tough, given that the “usual suspects” or at the very least the teams that could afford a Jeter have better options at SS.

    2. November 21st, 2010 | 11:38 pm

      1. Funny how the same columnist who constantly complains about Yankee payroll seems to think it’s okay to overpay for Jeter (he wrote in a previous column that they should just pay him whatever he wants.)

      2. Wally Matthews, of all people, did a terrific evisceration of Close daring to compare Jeter to Babe Ruth, noting how many times Ruth got pay cuts after terrific seasons.

      3. As for this, “There’s a reason the Yankees themselves have stated Derek Jeter is their modern-day Babe Ruth. Derek’s significance to the team is much more than just stats,” that’s a ridiculous analogy. Ruth wasn’t just the greatest player on the Yankees, he was the greatest player of all time. Ruth was valuable BECAUSE of his stats; they weren’t an afterthought. Nobody talked about Ruth’s “intangibles,” that’s for sure. And I want to know who on the Yankees said that Jeter was their modern-day Babe Ruth? Modern-day DiMaggio, yes. Ruth? No.

    3. MJ Recanati
      November 21st, 2010 | 11:52 pm

      @ Raf:
      @ lisaswan:
      Both of you nailed it.

    4. redbug
      November 22nd, 2010 | 6:24 am

      @ lisaswan:

      ” Nobody talked about Ruth’s “intangibles,” that’s for sure.”

      I didn’t take you to be old enough to recall what the Yanks said about Ruth during his time.

      I don’t like the Yankees playing hardball with Jeter in the press. Not one bit. Jeter’s done nothing but brought great play and class to this organization.

      The Yankees are trying to save a few million on Jeter by tearing him down, while they haven’t worried about doling cash out w/ countless far less deserving players. I don’t know how Jeter is feeling about this, but I know how I do – typical George classlessness has been handed down to his heirs.

    5. November 22nd, 2010 | 8:08 am

      lisaswan wrote:

      Wally Matthews, of all people, did a terrific evisceration of Close daring to compare Jeter to Babe Ruth, noting how many times Ruth got pay cuts after terrific seasons.

      With all due respect, in Ruth’s days, it was take the contract or go home. Owners had ALL THE LEVERAGE. And, you cannot compare those days to those after Marvin Miller.

    6. November 22nd, 2010 | 8:14 am

      redbug wrote:

      The Yankees are trying to save a few million on Jeter by tearing him down, while they haven’t worried about doling cash out w/ countless far less deserving players. I don’t know how Jeter is feeling about this, but I know how I do – typical George classlessness has been handed down to his heirs.

      I agree with this, with the exception of the part about Big Stein. In the end, George usually caved and paid the money. But, I agree 100% that “The Yankees are trying to save a few million on Jeter by tearing him down, while they haven’t worried about doling cash out w/ countless far less deserving players.”

      And, I suspect this is 99% Cashman trying to make a mark. And, if it goes down that way, Jeter will expose him in the end…

    7. MJ Recanati
      November 22nd, 2010 | 8:44 am

      @ Steve Lombardi:
      Ooooooh, that giant boogeyman Cashman strikes again!

      This time he’s trying to be a responsible GM by not overpaying an aging stars coming off a poor season. For shame!

      Look, I understand that most everyone loves Jeter and that his performance has been good for a long time. I also understand how much Jeter means to the franchise. But just because the Yanks paid A-Rod, Posada, Rivera and others in their walk years doesn’t mean the Yankees have to follow the script with Jeter. In those other cases, the players were coming off good seasons. It’s just bad timing for Jeter that he picked a lousy year in which to enter free agency.

      Had Jeter put up his 2009 numbers in 2010, Jeter would’ve had every right to want a monster contract. But them’s the breaks. He gave the team an opening to negotiate a more rational contract and that’s just how it goes. Does everyone forget how the Yankees did this with Andy Pettitte just two short years ago? In the end, the team is better for saving a few pennies when it can, even if it means ruffling an icon’s feathers.

    8. November 22nd, 2010 | 9:27 am

      Maybe it’s just personal hope that this will be Cashman’s Waterloo? But, I’m telling ya, Jeter’s teflon is stronger than Cashman’s teflon. And, if this turns out to be a teflon war, my money is on Jeter.

    9. G.I. Joey
      November 22nd, 2010 | 9:34 am

      The real point of contention is the years being asked for by Jeter and not so much the salary level. Of course more years equals more money overall, but it seems that the main goal here is to not end up having 40 plus SS whose bat has slowed to the point where he can’t even be an effective DH.

      redbug wrote:

      @ Jeter’s done nothing but brought great play and class to this organization. The Yankees are trying to save a few million on Jeter by tearing him down, while they haven’t worried about doling cash out w/ countless far less deserving players.

      Well he didn’t bring great play last year and as MJ pointed out, that’s some bad timing on his part.

      As for class, this is a baseball contract and that will only get you so far. His “intangibles” are the only reason he is getting offered more than 2 years/20m.

      And in respect to doling out cash for “far less deserving players”, as I stated above, this has less to do with cash and more about avoiding a long time roster commitment to an aging player. Just b/c the team has made mistakes like this in the past, does not mean they should repeat them.

      I was 14 years old in 1996 when Derek Jeter became the full time SS and I thought he was a god, however that changed for me over the years as I actually became a rational thinking adult. Jeter received his big pay day already and is rolling in it from multiple endorsements. I’ve had a sneaking suspicion that when this offseason came, “team first” and winning would take a backseat to building more crap like this:

      http://lh4.ggpht.com/_ubzME2ubFG0/S2b486t2dGI/AAAAAAAACZE/bl-mHp7Jcr0/IMG_1021.JPG

      At what point is it enough? And if it’s his pride, then he needs to take a cue from Andy and swallow it.

    10. MJ Recanati
      November 22nd, 2010 | 10:10 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Maybe it’s just personal hope that this will be Cashman’s Waterloo? But, I’m telling ya, Jeter’s teflon is stronger than Cashman’s teflon. And, if this turns out to be a teflon war, my money is on Jeter.

      Your money is on Jeter what? If Jeter chooses to sign elsewhere, Cashman gets fired?

      I’ll take that bet.

    11. K-V-C
      November 22nd, 2010 | 10:20 am

      Funny I haven’t seen anyone “tearing” Jeter down. The true is NOT tearing a guy down. Is there anyone who believes Jeter hasn’t lost a step defensively? Or that his bat hasn’t slowed?

      As for the agent, Jeter got paid for all his intangibles and worth to the organization in his 10 year contract. (and in 10 years he delivered 1 world series) And even the numbers I’ve seen 3 yrs $43 million (yanks MLB page) is still overpaying him. Take away his name/intangibles and his numbers rate him at 7 to 10 million a year.

      If Casey CLose is really baffled by the Yankees, perhaps he should try shopping Jeter around and see what the market will really pay his client.

      I’m now hoping more and more Jeter walks.

    12. Raf
      November 22nd, 2010 | 10:57 am

      redbug wrote:

      The Yankees are trying to save a few million on Jeter by tearing him down, while they haven’t worried about doling cash out w/ countless far less deserving players.

      As stated before, those were different circumstances.

    13. Raf
      November 22nd, 2010 | 11:03 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      lisaswan wrote:
      Wally Matthews, of all people, did a terrific evisceration of Close daring to compare Jeter to Babe Ruth, noting how many times Ruth got pay cuts after terrific seasons.
      With all due respect, in Ruth’s days, it was take the contract or go home. Owners had ALL THE LEVERAGE. And, you cannot compare those days to those after Marvin Miller.

      This is true, and it wasn’t only limited to Ruth.

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      And, I suspect this is 99% Cashman trying to make a mark. And, if it goes down that way, Jeter will expose him in the end…

      I doubt that, unless Jeter plans on releasing a book with all the juicy details of his contract negotiations :D

      No one will get exposed, Cashman will still be the GM, Jeter will be playing somewhere.

    14. November 22nd, 2010 | 12:01 pm

      @ K-V-C: I agree with everything you said.

      @ redbug:
      Neither have you, though. Babe Ruth was the greatest player of all time. Nobody had to talk about intangibles to make him sound great. He just was great. And it’s ludicrous for anybody to say Jeter is a modern-day Ruth. Albert Pujols is the closest we have to a modern-day Ruth, and he makes a heck of a lot less money than Jeter does.

      As for the idea that the Yankees are disrespecting Jeter, I strongly suspect that any contract that is less than A-Rod’s current money/years will be perceived as an insult by Camp Jeter.

      @ Steve Lombardi: And Steve, you’re right about the bargaining power, or lack thereof, of Babe Ruth. That being said, if Jeter is worth so much, then Casey Close shouldn’t have any problem finding another suitor to pay more, right?

      As for the idea that Cashman will be exposed, I don’t think so. Jeter’s been put up on a pedestal too high over the years not to fall down a little. The longer this goes on, the more he will be perceived as money-hungry.

    15. November 22nd, 2010 | 12:07 pm

      @ Raf: Funny you should mention the book thing. Ian O’Connor’s book on Jeter, which has his full cooperation, is coming out in April. Could it be “The Yankee Years II”? Given that a blurb I read from the publisher griped about Jeter’s declining influence in the clubhouse, I wouldn’t be surprised.

    16. Evan3457
      November 22nd, 2010 | 5:27 pm

      redbug wrote:

      @ lisaswan:
      The Yankees are trying to save a few million on Jeter by tearing him down, while they haven’t worried about doling cash out w/ countless far less deserving players. I don’t know how Jeter is feeling about this, but I know how I do – typical George classlessness has been handed down to his heirs.

      Tear him down? Tear him down? I would like to know how, EXACTLY, the Yanks are tearing him down.

      By offering him a contraction for an additional year and/or $30 million more than he could likely get on the open market?

      Far less deserving players? You mean, like free agents with competitive offers from other teams? That’s the way the market works.

    17. Evan3457
      November 22nd, 2010 | 5:29 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:
      And, I suspect this is 99% Cashman trying to make a mark. And, if it goes down that way, Jeter will expose him in the end…

      Make a mark?

      What the heck are you talking about?

      He negotiated in exactly the same way with Damon last year.
      He negotiated in exactly the same way with A-Rod after 2007, before Hank stepped in and blew things sky high.

      Jeter will expose him? As what? As a GM trying to negotiate a deal at fair market value?

    18. November 22nd, 2010 | 5:50 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Jeter will expose him? As what?

      As a book-keeper who has no feel for the game.

    19. November 22nd, 2010 | 6:08 pm

      @ Evan3457: Just to set the record straight, I didn’t say the Yanks were tearing Jeter down; that was redbug. I mostly agree with your points, except for this one: “He negotiated in exactly the same way with Damon last year.” Actually, Jeter is getting treated much better than Damon got. Cashman showed little interest in talking with Damon, then offered him a real insulting deal — $2 million. Jeter’s situation is completely different.

      As for the Jeter exposing Cashman thing that @ Steve Lombardi is talking about, “The Yankee Years” had that same “book-keeper who has no feel for the game” meme, and it didn’t hurt Cashman at all. If anything, he looked like an aggrieved party.

    20. redbug
      November 22nd, 2010 | 6:30 pm

      @ lisaswan:

      Casey Close said the Yankees compared Jeter to Ruth. Neither Close or Jeter made that comparison.

      @ Raf:

      What circumstances have changed? The Yanks don’t have the money??

      @ MJ Recanati:

      I haven’t forgotten how the Yankees treated Pettitte. I thought it was crappy. I never understood why George never valued him – preferred paying Brown more than he offered Andy. Or nickeled and dimed him to death the time you refer to but paid Pavano, Igwawa, Brurnett, Vasquez, etc what they did.

      It was the the same w/ Mo last time. Mo wanted to negotiate a contract w/ them before he became a free agent. The Yanks insisted it wait till the season was over. It ticked Mo off. Why tick-off Mo Rivera? Mo Rivera of all people?

      If you folks think you’re going to see the likes of Mo Rivera and Derek Jeter in your lifetimes ever again, think again. These are one of a kind. They can be compared to Mantle, DiMaggio, Ruth and Berra.

    21. November 22nd, 2010 | 6:40 pm

      @ redbug:
      Oh yes, he did, too, citing some supposed comparison that he couldn’t even name that a specific person in Yankeeland said. You make a comparison with your client in the same sentence as the greatest player of all time, you deserve to be mocked for it. Again, Babe Ruth wasn’t known for nonsense intangibles, he was known for his statistics making him the greatest player of all time.

    22. ken
      November 22nd, 2010 | 8:05 pm

      All the public talk is just that. This deal will get done by New Year’s and everyone will shake hands and sing Kumbaya. My bigger concern is what do the Yankees do with a 36 yo Cliff Lee who can’t pitch any more and still has a year or three left on a $25M/yr contract?

    23. Raf
      November 22nd, 2010 | 8:58 pm

      @ redbug:

      I’ll just CnP my comments;
      Raf wrote:

      The circumstances between the deals are a bit different. Sabathia (27) was an ace, Burnett (31) got a minor bump from his previous deal due to other teams bidding on him. Vazquez (34), mentioned in the opening, was working on a deal given to him by the White Sox. Damon (31) came along at a time when Bernie (36) was for all intents and purposes done (like Jeter may be?).

      Jeter’s 36 years old, coming off a poor season. The Yankees aren’t playing hardball with him, at least not yet.

      redbug wrote:

      If you folks think you’re going to see the likes of Mo Rivera and Derek Jeter in your lifetimes ever again, think again. These are one of a kind. They can be compared to Mantle, DiMaggio, Ruth and Berra.

      The organization somehow managed to survive the loss of these players. It would be great if Jeter came back, but if he goes somewhere else, so be it. Life goes on.

    24. Raf
      November 22nd, 2010 | 8:59 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      As a book-keeper who has no feel for the game.

      So? It has been a heck of a run by a “book-keeper who has no feel for the game.”

    25. Raf
      November 22nd, 2010 | 9:03 pm

      ken wrote:

      My bigger concern is what do the Yankees do with a 36 yo Cliff Lee who can’t pitch any more and still has a year or three left on a $25M/yr contract?

      Let him pitch through it, trade him, or release him. If Lee goes bust, it wouldn’t be the first time a pitcher has done that in MLB or on the Yankees.

    26. Evan3457
      November 22nd, 2010 | 9:59 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Evan3457 wrote:
      Jeter will expose him? As what?
      As a book-keeper who has no feel for the game.

      Not really possible. Not from this negotiation.

      Let’s say things break down. Let’s say Jeter leaves. Let’s say he comes back somewhat, and has a good year or two. I’ll be sad they let him go, and annoyed somewhat that he came back and played well, but it’s still the smart play, long-term. The dumb play, the really, really dumb play, would be to give Jeter $20 million a year, for 5 or 6 years, as he seems to be asking for (though he’d deny it). Does Cashman have to give Jeter a deal like that to avoid being “exposed as a book-keeper with no feel for the game”? If so, let’s hope he really IS a book-keeper with no feel for the game.

      All letting Jeter go at this point means is that the Yanks cleared shortstop for someone younger and better before Jeter’s career could collapse completely.

      Phil Rizzuto got squeezed out at this age. So did Joe DiMaggio (threatened with being moved permanently out of center field, he quit).

      Did Casey Stengel and George Weiss “show no feel for the game”, too?

      ========================================
      The number of shortstops who were age 37 or older who played 100 games at short for the team who won a title: 0.

      Number that played for a team that won a pennant: 1, Pee Wee Reese, 1956 Dodgers.

    27. Evan3457
      November 22nd, 2010 | 10:02 pm

      lisaswan wrote:

      @ Evan3457: Just to set the record straight, I didn’t say the Yanks were tearing Jeter down; that was redbug. I mostly agree with your points, except for this one: “He negotiated in exactly the same way with Damon last year.” Actually, Jeter is getting treated much better than Damon got. Cashman showed little interest in talking with Damon, then offered him a real insulting deal — $2 million. Jeter’s situation is completely different.
      As for the Jeter exposing Cashman thing that @ Steve Lombardi is talking about, “The Yankee Years” had that same “book-keeper who has no feel for the game” meme, and it didn’t hurt Cashman at all. If anything, he looked like an aggrieved party.

      Just to set the record straight, Lisa, the quoting mechanism is, in that reply, quoting redbug replying to what you said, and not what you said. Sorry about the confusion.

    28. JeremyM
      November 23rd, 2010 | 12:08 am

      lisaswan wrote:

      @ Raf: Funny you should mention the book thing. Ian O’Connor’s book on Jeter, which has his full cooperation, is coming out in April. Could it be “The Yankee Years II”? Given that a blurb I read from the publisher griped about Jeter’s declining influence in the clubhouse, I wouldn’t be surprised.

      Odd. Number one, if players aren’t listening to him in the clubhouse, then who’s fault is that? Number two, and I don’t really care, but I get the feeling that the intangible thing is way overrated. I kind of get the impression that Jeter isn’t much of a leader at all and kind of keeps to himself other than hanging with Jorge. He conducts himself with the utmost of class, but I really don’t see him as any kind of leader other then maybe setting a good example. But I’m not in there so I don’t know.

      Anyway, I hope that we don’t see a bunch of whining in this book and that Jeter stays above the fray- but will that sell books?

    29. November 23rd, 2010 | 7:06 am

      @ JeremyM: That’s my impression, too, Jeremy. Why else would Brian Cashman tell CC Sabathia that the clubhouse was “broken” and ask him to help fix it?

      And I’m afraid this new book will be The Yankee Years II, only with no byline.

    30. MJ Recanati
      November 23rd, 2010 | 7:21 am

      redbug wrote:

      @ MJ Recanati:

      I haven’t forgotten how the Yankees treated Pettitte. I thought it was crappy. I never understood why George never valued him – preferred paying Brown more than he offered Andy. Or nickeled and dimed him to death the time you refer to but paid Pavano, Igwawa, Brurnett, Vasquez, etc what they did.

      Brown was acquired via trade. The Dodgers paid Brown, not Steinbrenner. Ditto the White Sox and Vazquez. As for the rest of them, I won’t debate the merits of signing these folks — that’s been done over and over and I didn’t agree with some of them — but one thing all those guys had in common that Jeter doesn’t is that they were coming off good seasons. Again, a lot of negotiation is timing. If you don’t want to get offered a tougher contract, don’t have a shitty year the season before. It’s just how it goes. Plus, I don’t quite see how offering Jeter $15M per season is being so tough on him. It’s a $7M paycut from being insanely overpaid to merely slightly overpaid.

    31. MJ Recanati
      November 23rd, 2010 | 7:25 am

      @ JeremyM:
      @ lisaswan:
      I’ve been saying for years that Jeter’s leadership capabilities were overstated and all I ever got for it was an earful (or eyeful, I suppose) of grief from folks on this site.

      I always go back to a couple of things with Jeter and his so-called leadership abilities:

      1) He made comments in 2003, 2004 and 2005 to the effect of “some of us have won, not all of us have won” in response to the disappointments of those seasons. I never understood how he could separate himself and some of his teammates from their collective losses in those seasons. It always struck me as incredibly unfair of him to point out that the team’s losses weren’t his/Posada’s/Rivera’s, etc. fault or that the legacy Yankees were somehow being dragged down by those interlopers (implied).

      2) The whole way he handled the defense of Knoblauch/Giambi but not Rodriguez.

      I’m sure Jeter has leadership qualities, I’m just not sure they’re as well defined or as strong as some folks make them out to be. I always did get the sense from Jeter that he thought his sh*t smelled like roses…

    32. MJ Recanati
      November 23rd, 2010 | 7:27 am

      lisaswan wrote:

      Why else would Brian Cashman tell CC Sabathia that the clubhouse was “broken” and ask him to help fix it?

      Great question.

      But before this thread gets out of hand, I think it should be said that a fair contract negotation isn’t intended to start a “tear Jeter a new one” thread.

    33. JeremyM
      November 23rd, 2010 | 8:29 am

      @ MJ Recanati:
      For what it’s worth, I’ve always had your back on those comments! I never cared for those comments about winning in part 1, and I’ve always been suspect of his actions in section 2. Look, A-Rod’s comments that fractured their friendship were tacky and hurtful, and never should have been said about a friend. But a leader moves on when it helps the team, especially after the first guy apologized, and I’m not so sure that Jeter’s actions helped the sensitive A-Rod at all. Granted, I’m not a fly on the wall and I’m sure there’s more to it, but to me, it was suspect.

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