• Cashman To Jeter: Go Test Free Agent Market

    Posted by on November 24th, 2010 · Comments (32)

    Via the AP -

    Hank Steinbrenner has a message as the New York Yankees negotiate to re-sign Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera.

    “As much as we want to keep everybody, we’ve already made these guys very, very rich, and I don’t feel we owe anybody anything monetarily,” the Yankees co-chairman said Tuesday. “Some of these players are wealthier than their bosses.”

    New York has made a $45 million, three-year offer to Jeter, a baseball executive with knowledge of the proposal said, speaking on condition of anonymity because it wasn’t made public.

    “We’ve encouraged him to test the market and see if there’s something he would prefer other than this,” general manager Brian Cashman told ESPNNewYork.com, without confirming the figure. “If he can, fine. That’s the way it works.”

    Jeter is coming off a $189 million, 10-year contract that was second only to Alex Rodriguez’s deals of $252 million and $275 million, both over a decade.

    “Negotiating is always a process,” Steinbrenner said. “I know he wants to stay. It’s going to come down to what’s fair for everybody considering all circumstances.”

    This is starting to remind me of how the Red Sox treated Wade Boggs at the end of the 1992 season. Granted, Boggs was two years younger, then, than Jeter is now. But, he was coming off a bad season, etc. And, at this point, I would love to see Jeter sign with another team and win a World Championship with them and stick it to the Yankees.

    Really, I have no issue with New York only offering three years. I understand the logic behind that. And, I understand them wanting to get this done at $15 million a season. But, I hate the hard line that Cashman and his boys are taking with this Yankees legend. Enough with the claims that you don’t want to do this through the press – and then issuing all these statements through the media anyway. And, enough with the take it or leave it threats. Make an offer, as they have, and allow the player to come back with a counter. And, work with them on getting this done in a manner that fosters good feelings on both sides.

    You know, Pettitte may not come back. And, we know this is Posada’s last year. Now, Rivera’s contract is not a lock anymore. Add Jeter to that. There’s a great chance that the “Core Four” are done in New York. Again, I get that. Players get older, etc.

    I just not sure how likeable this Yankees team is going to be when its face is going to be an aging A-Rod, Tex, Swisher, Granderson, Burnett, etc. Sure, there’s CC, Cano and Gardner. And, some people really like Phil Hughes. And, maybe Montero clicks. But, these guys are not Jeter/Rivera/Pettitte/Posada.

    There’s really not much that can be done with Pettitte and Posada. But, you can bring back Rivera and Jeter for a few years. Yes, they’re older and not as productive as they were in the past. But, they’re future Yankees Hall of Famers and deserve more respect than the Yankees are showing them now.

    Again, I’m not for giving them more years than makes sense. And, I’m not for grossly over-paying them as Hank did A-Rod in the past. I just want the Yankees to handle this process in a manner that shows the players some more respect and works out to everyone’s benefit. Is that too much to ask for here?

    Comments on Cashman To Jeter: Go Test Free Agent Market

    1. Scout
      November 24th, 2010 | 8:43 am

      I have a very different view of the situation.

      First, baseball players come and go. Our heroes age (sadly) before our eyes, reminding us of our own faded youth. Then new ones arrive in a wonderful prcoess of renewal. With that in mind, sentiment has no place when it comes to building a winning team. At a certain point, it is not a matter of being “less productive”; the loss of skills becomes an obstacle to winning and the player clogs up the roster.

      Second, both sides have taken this to the mdeia. Close did it with his “baffled” nonsense. He tried to portray the Yankee position as imcomprehensible because the organization actually tried to tie Jeter’s compensation to his on-field performance. Jeter and Close can only win by spinning this story in other terms — as a matter of Jeter’s historic value, his connection to the great Yankee legacy. If the media types buy into that, the bad publicity for the Yankees strengthens Jeter’s hand in the negotiations. So it is a negotiating ploy. And in response the Yankees have decided to get in front of the story with their own version, trying to frame popular perceptions. I have no problem with what either side is doing. It is all part of the negotiations, and there is no heavy here.

      Finally, “respect” is a very loose concept when it comes to negotiations conducted in public. The Yankees have been scrupulous in their depiction of Jeter as a valuable member of their organization over a long period and one who can continue to add value going forward. He’ll still be paid more than any other shortstop in the game. I have not read one statement by Hal, Cashman, or anyone else in the organization that can be construed as disrespectful toward Jeter.

    2. MJ Recanati
      November 24th, 2010 | 9:01 am

      @ Scout:
      I agree with every single word you’ve said and I think you’ve fairly and objectively demonstrated how both sides are simply using all their available tactics in a negotiation.

      @ Steve Lombardi:
      Jeter isn’t winning a World Series elsewhere unless he’s a bench player. No other team will spend what it’ll take to sign him and I don’t expect any other team to offer him the everyday SS position. I’m afraid your very curious wish won’t come true.

    3. antone
      November 24th, 2010 | 9:39 am

      The Yankees created this mess by overpaying for A-Rod. How do you think Jeter feels that the Yankees will be paying A-Rod until he is 42 years old and they won’t pay him (one of the greatest Yankees of all-time) past the age of 40. I’m pretty sure that has something to do with it.

      I already know several Yankees fans who say they won’t go to another game if the Yankees screw this up. Whether or not that is fair is questionable, but I’m sure there are lots of Yankees fans who feel this way.

      I’m not worried that Jeter is not going to come back, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Jeter feels disrespected by the Yankees. I just don’t think it makes sense to throw money at players and then draw a hard line with Jeter of all people. I do think that 3 years $45 million is a fair deal, but it’s all the other backhanded comments in the press that could come back to bite the Yankees in the rear.

    4. MJ Recanati
      November 24th, 2010 | 9:51 am

      antone wrote:

      The Yankees created this mess by overpaying for A-Rod. How do you think Jeter feels that the Yankees will be paying A-Rod until he is 42 years old and they won’t pay him (one of the greatest Yankees of all-time) past the age of 40. I’m pretty sure that has something to do with it.

      Then it reflects poorly on Jeter that he’s letting something like that get in the way. The fact remains that when A-Rod was able to negotiate a new contract, he was coming off the best season by a right-handed batter in Yankee history (or certainly the best season since the 1930′s, in any case). He had all the leverage AND the benefit of Hank Steinbrenner’s foolishness.

      Jeter neither has the good season to highlight, nor the more foolish Steinbrenner to work with. The Yankees are using good judgment here by not negotiating against themselves for an aging player coming off a bad season. As I’ve said many times before, timing is everything in life. If Jeter had become a free agent after the 2009 season, I’m quite sure the Yankees would’ve been willing to throw more money at their captain. Unfortuantely for Jeter, he picked the wrong time to have the worst season of his career.

      antone wrote:

      I already know several Yankees fans who say they won’t go to another game if the Yankees screw this up. Whether or not that is fair is questionable, but I’m sure there are lots of Yankees fans who feel this way.

      The Yankees can’t run their business based on what some irrational fans might say (or even do). Hal Steinbrenner and Brian Cashman have a responsibility to run a profitable and successful baseball team. Fans are gained by winning, not by being overly sentimental. The Red Sox figured this out in 2003-2004 and have parted ways with many beloved stars (Pedro, Manny, Schilling, Lowe, Foulke, Damon) and haven’t felt the sting of lost fans at all. Further, a lot of what fans say is purely emotional. I swore I’d never go to a Yankee game again if the team repeated the Carl Pavano mistake with AJ Burnett. I’ve been to 20-22 ballgames since AJ Burnett signed with the team. Point is, fans talk. Then they come to their senses and realize that Yankee Stadium is where it’s at from April-October.

      antone wrote:

      I wouldn’t be surprised if Jeter feels disrespected by the Yankees. I just don’t think it makes sense to throw money at players and then draw a hard line with Jeter of all people

      If Jeter feels disrespected he’ll just have to get over it. Babe Ruth was shown the door. Joe DiMaggio was shown the door. It happens to all players, regardless of their stature.

      Finally, for the record, if you agree that it doesn’t make sense to throw money at players then why would you be arguing against drawing a line at Jeter? Why compound an error that even you acknowledge? If the Yanks picked last season (with Damon/Matsui) to start getting tougher with how they dole out their cash, the franchise will benefit in the long run.

      Jeter’s been paid very well during his time in New York. He will continue to be paid very well if he accepts this deal. It seems like everyone, including Jeter himself, has forgotten this. He’s not worth more to anyone besides the Yanks. If he wants to be reminded (harshly) of this fact, the team is right to show him the cold, hard world out there.

    5. Scout
      November 24th, 2010 | 10:07 am

      @ MJ Recanati:
      Amen.

    6. antone
      November 24th, 2010 | 10:09 am

      MJ – I’m just trying to state Jeter’s point of view. I’m not saying he’s right, but I can see why he would feel this way. Any of us would feel the same way if people were getting, for instance, big bonuses and then they get to you the old aging employee and they say well we don’t want to give you as much as the others got because that was a mistake and we don’t want to cripple our future and oh yeah by the way we still need to make a profit even though the work you do probably adds X amount of profit every year. Also we are pursuing a new hot shot employee and want to give him over $100m for 6 years.

      I’d be pretty pissed off myself and would feel disrespected. It’s just natural. Jeter should go test the market and I’m sure he will come to his senses.

      I’m just saying from Jeter’s point of view the Yankees throwing money around in the first place and drawing a hard line with Jeter probably doesn’t sit too well with him.

      Also, I’m not sure I agree that they stopped throwing money around because Sabathia, Tex, and possibly Cliff Lee, hell even Burnett have pretty huge contracts. Yes, they stopped throwing big money at older players, but to compare Jeter to Damon or Matsui would not sit well with me if I was Jeter.

      I am by no way taking Jeter’s side (or his agents.) I just can see why Jeter would expect more years & money considering the Yankees past dealings.

    7. November 24th, 2010 | 10:23 am

      “And, at this point, I would love to see Jeter sign with another team and win a World Championship with them and stick it to the Yankees.”

      Really? My loyalty is to the Yankees, not to Jeter, A-Rod, or any other player. And the last thing in the world I would want to see is the Yankees lose the World Series in such a way.

      Jeter is not bigger than the Yankees. If he played for the Astros, he’d be Craig Biggio, not Babe Ruth.

    8. antone
      November 24th, 2010 | 10:24 am

      I think we can all agree this is pretty messy now. I was just trying to point out why the two sides are not agreeing. I think everyone feels the Yankees deal in a vacuum is certainly beyond fair. However, there are other things involved from the Yankees side, Jeter, and lets not forget his agent that play into this and have created the situation we have today.

      Basically I don’t think it’s fair to say Jeter is wrong for not taking the 3 years $45 million and at the same time I don’t think it’s wrong to say the Yankees are making a fair offer.

    9. November 24th, 2010 | 10:27 am

      And you know how many teams have won a World Series with a shortsop older than age 36? One. The 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers, with Pee-Wee Reese. The idea that Jeter would be the missing piece to get another team over the top is not borne out by the facts.

    10. antone
      November 24th, 2010 | 10:32 am

      @ lisaswan:
      lisaswan wrote:

      And you know how many teams have won a World Series with a shortsop older than age 36? One. The 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers, with Pee-Wee Reese. The idea that Jeter would be the missing piece to get another team over the top is not borne out by the facts.

      How many teams had a starting SS older than 36 period? and how did those SS compare to Jeter’s 90 OPS+ in their age 35 year?

      Can someone look this up?

    11. Rob Mains
      November 24th, 2010 | 10:34 am

      Pretty good commentary on this situation by Craig Calcaterra today, echoing many of the smart comments here, like below. I kind of don’t get the obsession with how much players make anyway. I mean, I get it from the players’ and the teams’ perspective, but it doesn’t make any difference to my enjoyment of the game.

      http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/11/24/its-time-people-got-real-about-what-derek-jeter-means-to-the-yankee-brand/

    12. November 24th, 2010 | 10:38 am

      Remember who many people wanted Big Stein’s head on a pike for pissing off Yogi, by not respecting him, and having him boycott the Yankees? Cashman and the Stein Brothers should learn from that. This will go down the same way, if they force Jeter out.

      Granted, Yogi was not a player. And, he was not going to be paid millions, etc. But, this – with Jeter – goes beyond that. Like Berra, it’s about taking a beloved Yankee, not recognizing what he has meant to the franchise and their fan base, and forcing him to turn his back to the organization.

      And, when Jeter’s replacement at SS has an OPS+ of 95, will it really matter much in the hearts and minds of the Jeter fans, that he did it at a salary much, much, lower? Probably not. Fans are fickle that way.

    13. antone
      November 24th, 2010 | 10:39 am

      Baseball reference has 29 seasons of players playing SS, age 36 or older with an OPS+ over 90. This includes two seasons from Barry Larkin and Ozzie Smith, who are far worse offensively than Jeter, but of course had more range.

      I would argue that any replacement for Jeter would be far worse than Jeter though unless he had an unbelievable glove because I don’t see too many SS available who could probably do better than an 80-85 OPS+.

    14. antone
      November 24th, 2010 | 10:44 am

      I agree with Steve. To some Yankees fan Jeter is bigger than the Yankees. It may cause some backlash and cause them to lose some money. I’m not saying it makes sense to think that way about Jeter, but I think it’s wrong to not acknowledge it. I think some people will feel like the Yankees disrespected them as fans if they don’t bring Jeter back.

    15. MJ Recanati
      November 24th, 2010 | 10:44 am

      @ antone:
      OK, fair enough, and I see what you’re saying.

      One thing I disagree with, however:

      antone wrote:

      to compare Jeter to Damon or Matsui would not sit well with me if I was Jeter.

      Why not? Damon and Matsui both had better seasons in 2009 than Jeter had in 2010 and the Yanks still wouldn’t overpay them. Despite being the captain and a first-ballot Hall of Famer, Derek Jeter is still a ballplayer with a mandate to perform. Damon and Matsui performed in their walk years, Derek Jeter didn’t.

    16. antone
      November 24th, 2010 | 10:47 am

      We have to remember that not every Yankee fan is thinking about sabernomics when they go to watch the Yankees & Jeter. In fact, I would think the number is very small. I know that is hard for some of you here to believe, which is why it seems you can’t comprehend the impact of losing Jeter to the fan base. Jeter’s value to most Yankees fans is far beyond his value to the Yankees fans who are into sabernomics.

    17. MJ Recanati
      November 24th, 2010 | 10:51 am

      @ Steve Lombardi:
      The Yankees didn’t win with any regularity between 1985-1992 so, as a result, fans stopped showing up. It had nothing to do with Yogi Berra. By the time Berra came back around, the Yanks had already won the World Series and set attendance records for Yankee Stadium.

      In other words, as much as we all love Berra and Jeter, their presence is irrelevant. It’s nice to trot out the old guys a couple of times a year (All-Star game, Old Timers Day, honorary first pitch, etc.) but, at the end of the day, it’s not life or death if people want to hold grudges and stay away.

      I’d rather know that I can bring my theoretical son or daughter to a ballgame 10 years from now and know that Jeter will be there to wave to the audience. But if he’s not…well, life goes on.

      Also, in point of fact, the Jeter and Berra situations are nothing alike. Jeter is being offered $45M, Berra had a promise of job security broken. While I think Berra’s grudge was somewhat extreme, it’s not the same as being told you’re still good enough to command the highest contract in baseball at your position.

    18. MJ Recanati
      November 24th, 2010 | 10:52 am

      @ antone:
      The Yankees moved on without Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Thurman Munson, etc. The franchise endures beyond any one player.

      Fans will not boycott Yankee Stadium when they receive their playoff tickets in the mail. Sorry, I’m just not buying it.

    19. antone
      November 24th, 2010 | 10:54 am

      @ MJ Recanati:
      MJ Recanati wrote:

      @ antone:
      OK, fair enough, and I see what you’re saying.
      One thing I disagree with, however:
      antone wrote:
      to compare Jeter to Damon or Matsui would not sit well with me if I was Jeter.
      Why not? Damon and Matsui both had better seasons in 2009 than Jeter had in 2010 and the Yanks still wouldn’t overpay them. Despite being the captain and a first-ballot Hall of Famer, Derek Jeter is still a ballplayer with a mandate to perform. Damon and Matsui performed in their walk years, Derek Jeter didn’t.

      See you are thinking about this from a fan point of view instead of Jeter’s. Your point of view is correct, but I would guess that Jeter values himself at a higher level than Matsui & Damon since he has been with the Yankees for so long and performed so well over his career. I’m pretty sure those Gold Gloves at SS a premium position would lead Jeter to believe his value is higher than it really is as well. Matsui and Damon were LF/DH, which doesn’t provide much defensive value.

      We have to remember we can’t assume everyone is basing performance off of saber stats, including Jeter himself when he’s valuing his contribution to the team.

    20. antone
      November 24th, 2010 | 10:55 am

      @ MJ Recanati:
      I’m not saying complete boycott, but I think some fans will think twice about shelling out a ton of money for tickets if Jeter is not there. I’m not saying it would be a disastrous impact, but I think there would be some impact to the Yankees pockets.

    21. MJ Recanati
      November 24th, 2010 | 11:00 am

      @ antone:
      Again, I understand what you’re saying re: Jeter vs. Damon/Matsui. If that’s his perspective, that’s his right. But he’s got to figure out eventually that he’s just a player, nothing more and nothing less. He’s not bigger than the team, the franchise or the sport.

    22. antone
      November 24th, 2010 | 11:04 am

      @ MJ Recanati:
      MJ Recanati wrote:

      @ antone:
      Again, I understand what you’re saying re: Jeter vs. Damon/Matsui. If that’s his perspective, that’s his right. But he’s got to figure out eventually that he’s just a player, nothing more and nothing less. He’s not bigger than the team, the franchise or the sport.

      I think he will realize that if he attempts to test the market. Also, we don’t know how much his agent is influencing all of this. The agent could definitely make a case that Jeter deserves more money based on the Yankees history with dishing out big contracts, Jeter’s career history, and Jeter’s value to the team/fans. I don’t blame him for trying to go that angle and get the most money for his client that he can. That’s pretty much the only angle he can work right now to get more money.

    23. MJ Recanati
      November 24th, 2010 | 11:08 am

      antone wrote:

      I’m not saying complete boycott, but I think some fans will think twice about shelling out a ton of money for tickets if Jeter is not there. I’m not saying it would be a disastrous impact, but I think there would be some impact to the Yankees pockets.

      Maybe, especially at first. But fans in general have a short memory.

      Some percentage of fans — 2%? 5%? — may never forgive the Yanks for potentially pushing Jeter out. That’s a small number.

    24. antone
      November 24th, 2010 | 11:22 am

      Are there any other instances where a player of Derek Jeter’s caliber was not re-signed or was traded from the one team he played for his whole career?

      I’m thinking of players like Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Cal Ripkin, etc.

      The closest I can think of is Joe Montana. Does anyone remember how 49ers fans reacted to that?

      I’m sure they were fine once they saw how good Steve Young was, but the Yankees don’t have a “Steve Young” to replace Jeter.

    25. November 24th, 2010 | 11:36 am

      @ Steve Lombardi:
      “Like Berra, it’s about taking a beloved Yankee, not recognizing what he has meant to the franchise and their fan base, and forcing him to turn his back to the organization.”

      Who, exactly, is forcing Jeter to turn his back to the organization? He’s being recognized by the fact he’s been offered a contract with at least twice his market value for the team.

      You want to talk about disrespect? How about Joe Torre trashing Alex Rodriguez in Sports Illustrated just before the 2006 playoffs? Or Torre batting him eighth in the playoff elimination game, and depicting him as the team scapegoat. That’s disrespect.

      And how did A-Rod handle it? He came back and had argubaly the greatest season a Yankee had had since the days of Mantle and Maris.

      What’s Jeter going to do next season? Have a great year, or whine about the Yankees in Ian O’Connor’s book?

    26. MJ Recanati
      November 24th, 2010 | 11:38 am

      @ antone:
      Absolutely. I don’t begrudge Casey Close or Derek Jeter for making as big a money grab as they can. I’d do the same thing if I were in their position. It’s a free country. If there’s cash being dangled somewhere, go take it.

      But it’s a two way street, after all. Let’s dispense with all this nonsense about disrespect. Jeter wants more money. It’s his right as a free agent. The Yankees are offering him plenty of money, more than anyone else in baseball at his position and more than anyone else would offer him. That’s respect.

    27. Jim TreshFan
      November 24th, 2010 | 12:17 pm

      This whole thing reminds me of those “Golden Corral” commercials with Jeter as the prospective customer and all the MLB GMs as the restauranteurs:

      “I’m looking for a team I can play shortstop for.”

      “One that’s a bonafide pennant contender.”

      “And they have to pay me $20 million a year.”

      “Hey! Where’d everybody go?”

    28. Raf
      November 24th, 2010 | 12:26 pm

      antone wrote:

      The Yankees created this mess by overpaying for A-Rod. How do you think Jeter feels that the Yankees will be paying A-Rod until he is 42 years old and they won’t pay him (one of the greatest Yankees of all-time) past the age of 40. I’m pretty sure that has something to do with it.

      Then that’s on Jeter, like it was on Sheffield and Rickey when they made similar claims while they were with their organizations (Dodgers and A’s, respectively)

      I already know several Yankees fans who say they won’t go to another game if the Yankees screw this up.

      I’ll believe it when I see it; I’m sure the same grievances were aired when Martin was fired, Reggie left, Yogi left, Showalter was fired, Torre left, George owned the team, etc, etc, etc.

      I’m just trying to state Jeter’s point of view.

      We don’t know his point of view.

      Also, I’m not sure I agree that they stopped throwing money around because Sabathia, Tex, and possibly Cliff Lee, hell even Burnett have pretty huge contracts.

      The circumstances around the signing of those players are much different. The deals didn’t happen in a vacuum.

      lisaswan wrote:

      And you know how many teams have won a World Series with a shortsop older than age 36? One. The 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers, with Pee-Wee Reese. The idea that Jeter would be the missing piece to get another team over the top is not borne out by the facts.

      I don’t think that’s a particularly relevant data point; correlation doesn’t necessarily equal causation.

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      And, when Jeter’s replacement at SS has an OPS+ of 95, will it really matter much in the hearts and minds of the Jeter fans, that he did it at a salary much, much, lower? Probably not. Fans are fickle that way.

      And if they win the world series with this 95 OPS+ SS?

      antone wrote:

      Jeter’s value to most Yankees fans is far beyond his value to the Yankees fans who are into sabernomics.

      Be that as it may, it’s what happens on the field that counts.

      antone wrote:

      I don’t blame him for trying to go that angle and get the most money for his client that he can. That’s pretty much the only angle he can work right now to get more money.

      I don’t blame him either. Hope things work out, but if not, meh…

      antone wrote:

      Are there any other instances where a player of Derek Jeter’s caliber was not re-signed or was traded from the one team he played for his whole career?

      Off the top of my head, Dwight Evans, Jim Rice, Dale Murphy, Babe Ruth, Bernie Williams, Wade Boggs, Phil Niekro, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays… I’m sure there are others.

    29. MJ Recanati
      November 24th, 2010 | 12:49 pm

      @ Jim TreshFan:
      LOL!

    30. Corey Italiano
      November 24th, 2010 | 1:05 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Remember who many people wanted Big Stein’s head on a pike for pissing off Yogi, by not respecting him, and having him boycott the Yankees?

      Remember them doing the same exact thing to Joe Torre a few years ago? And then last year he came back?

      No different, in my book. Time heals all wounds.

    31. MJ Recanati
      November 24th, 2010 | 1:27 pm

      @ Corey Italiano:
      Yep.

    32. November 24th, 2010 | 3:39 pm

      @ MJ Recanati:
      @ Corey Italiano:
      I don’t remember the Yogi Berra thing being a super-huge issue with fans, where they were boycotting the stadium over it. I had partial season tickets at the time. As poorly as The Boss handled it, it was just one of many dopey things he did back then. It was only the length of the feud that made it more remarkable over the years.

      As for people boycotting, are they Jeter fans or Yankee fans? It’s like the Yankee fans who wildly cheered when Hideki Matsui hit a homer against their team this year. I just don’t get it. I can’t think of any player leaving or being disrespected that would stop me from being a Yankee fan. Not A-Rod, or Pettitte, or anybody else.

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