Via Bill Madden –
Throughout this process, Close and Jeter have never revealed what they’re actually looking for – which is why so many Yankee fans, opposing club officials and nationwide media types are asking: Why are the Yankees treating Jeter this way? But sources close to the Jeter/Close camp have said their starting point was six years, $150 million and that they aren’t budging on $25 million per year – which would effectively get the captain about even in annual average salary to Alex Rodriguez, the real benchmark from their standpoint in this negotiation.
I suspect this is why Yankee GM Brian Cashman lashed out the way he did the other day after Close told the Daily News’ Mike Lupica he was “baffled” by the Yankees’ hard-line stance with Jeter.
Cashman is clearly frustrated. The Yankees made no secret of where they were coming from in this negotiation – that it was a baseball negotiation, a business negotiation, and not a public relations and marketing negotiation. Just the same, they structured their offer to be significantly higher in both years and dollars than any 36-year-old shortstop, coming off a season in which he hit a career-low .270 and his OPS dropped 161 points to .710, also a career low, could expect in the open market. They did that because, as everyone knows, Jeter is not just any shortstop. He is an iconic Yankee shortstop, and, as such, the Yankees are prepared to pay him upwards of $2 million more than any middle infielder in baseball today for the next three years. Add the $45 million to the $200 million they’ve already paid him and, at nearly $250 million, Jeter will have been paid more than any other player in the history of baseball except A-Rod and (when he gets his next deal) Albert Pujols.
Geez, while he’s at it, could Jeter at least ask for world peace too?