I’ve seen this story (courtesy of Michael S. Schmidt of the New York Times) reported across a handful of media outlets which says, basically, that the Yankees will increase their initial offer to Derek Jeter from 3Y/$45M to something in the neighborhood of 3Y/$51M with an option for a fourth year or a $6M buyout (thus turning it into a 3Y/$57M deal).
I stand by my original feeling that 3Y/$45M was more than fair, especially given that the lower end of the market has been defined as roughly $7M/season for comparable players in age and 2010 performance. The Yankees have no competition for Jeter at 3Y/$45M and thus they maintain the majority of the leverage in these negotiations. Why, they, do they feel the need to bid against themselves for an additional $12M in total compensation? While I applaud them for holding firm on three years (with a fourth year option which they can decline), I don’t see the value in giving Jeter more money.
In any case, $12M more over three years is really nothing to get terribly upset about. I hope the Yankees’ generosity ends at 3Y/$57M (inclusive of the fourth year buyout) and that Jeter comes to his senses about what his true market worth is. The next move must be made by the player.
Separately, the final paragraph from the above-referenced NY Times article struck me as peculiar:
For now, the Jeter stalemate has proven to be a significant distraction for the Yankees just as they prepare to intensify their efforts to lure the free-agent pitcher Cliff Lee to the Bronx with a lavish multiyear deal.
I’d like to know where Michael S. Schmidt is getting his information from. What gives him the impression that the Jeter negotiations are proving to be a distraction to any potential deal with Cliff Lee? Unless this is something he has observed personally or has been apprised of directly from a member of the Yankees front office, I’d say this is ridiculous. Cliff Lee’s agent has made it publicly known that he doesn’t want to entertain contract offers until the start of the Winter Meetings next week. Thus, I find Schmidt’s contention that the Jeter negotiations are distracting the Yankees from the Cliff Lee situation to be disingenuous.