• Jeter “Angry” Contract Talks Went Public, Looking Past It Now

    Posted by on December 7th, 2010 · Comments (14)

    Derek Jeter at his press conference today:

    “The thing that probably bothered me the most was how public this became…It was not an enjoyable experience…I’d be lying to you if I said I wasn’t angry about how some of this went. [But], I’m not going to point the finger at anyone. As you can see now, we’re one big happy family.”

    How “P.C.” of Derek…but, did you expect anything else? Maybe, someday, we’ll hear who ticked him off, the most, during this whole thing?

    Jeter Presser Today In Tampa @ 2:30 PM ET

    Posted by on December 7th, 2010 · Comments (7)

    I wonder if anyone will ask him about moving off shortstop before the end of this new contract?

    Jeter, Yankees, Agree On Deal

    Posted by on December 4th, 2010 · Comments (3)

    Via Jack Curry

    Derek Jeter has officially agreed to a three-year contract with the Yankees for between $15 and $17 million a year, according to a person directly involved in the negotiations. The deal includes a fourth-year option that isn’t guaranteed. The deal was consummated on Saturday afternoon and is pending a physical.

    The fourth year of the deal was important to Jeter, who said in spring training that he wanted to play four or five more seasons. But the Yankees didn’t want to guarantee a fourth year to Jeter, who had the worst season of his career when he batted .270 in 2010 and who will turn 37 years old in June. The sides vowed to be creative in trying to secure a deal, which is why they were finalizing a hybrid option that will include various elements and won’t be fully guaranteed. The sides met deep into the night on Friday and were talking again on Saturday.

    As part of Jeter’s deal, the Yankees have convinced the shortstop to defer an undisclosed amount of money. Mariano Rivera, who has agreed to a 2-year, $30 million deal, has also agreed to defer an undisclosed amount.

    And, via George King -

    The Yankees and Derek Jeter will finalize a three-year deal today after hammering out the final details on a contract that will pay the captain between $15 million and $17 million a year, according to a person briefed on the situation.

    The contract includes a tricky option for a fourth season, neither a vesting situation nor a club option. It is linked to what happens across the three guaranteed years.

    The deal with the 36-year-old shortstop ends a month of negotiations that at times became strained, smothered the Yankees’ universe, and divided the fan base.

    The Yankees increased their original offer to Jeter, three years and $45 million, on Thursday. That resulted in Casey Close, Jeter’s agent, talking to Yankees brass yesterday.

    Following Tuesday night’s face-to-face meeting in Tampa, Jeter’s camp had the most distance to travel. The Yankees knew Jeter was looking for a four- or five-year deal for $23 million per, something the Yankees were not interested in doing.

    Thursday night, after the Yankees’ new offer, Hank Steinbrenner said the onus for a deal was on Jeter.

    “The ball’s in Derek’s court now, and his agent,” Steinbrenner said. “It’s up to them. We don’t know how happy they are. We’ll see. There’s no possible way anybody could criticize us for what we’ve offered.”

    The Yankees also were finishing a two-year deal with Mariano Rivera in the area of $30 million.

    Nice that they got it done so that Big Stein can have the Yankees spotlight all to himself on Monday, hopefully.

    Update – the contract details from Mr. Curry:

    Jeter and the Yankees agreed to a three-year, $51 million contract that could also include a fourth year. Jeter has a player option for $8 million in the fourth year, which could boost his guaranteed money to $56 million. In addition, Jeter has the chance to earn up to $9 million in incentives in the fourth year.

    The deal averages to $17 million for the first three years, which includes a $3 million buyout in the fourth year. If Jeter doesn’t exercise the $8 million option in 2014, he will make $51 million. If Jeter exercises the $8 million option, he loses the $3 million buyout and is guaranteed $56 million over the life of the contract. But Jeter can increase his fourth-year salary by reaching some incentives. That is where the Yankees and Jeter got creative.

    Jeter’s contract includes a point system in which he earns points for winning the Most Valuable Player Award or finishing in the top six in the voting, for winning the Silver Slugger Award, for being named MVP in the World Series or the League Championship Series, or for winning the Gold Glove. If and when Jeter notches any of those incentives, he will earn an undisclosed amount of points. After three years, those points will translate to a dollar amount, which will be added to Jeter’s salary in 2014. Jeter can earn as much as $9 million in incentives, so the maximum amount he could earn in the final year of the deal is $17 million. The most Jeter could earn in all four years is $65 million.

    If Jeter doesn’t maximize the $9 million in incentives across the first three seasons, he also has the chance to earn points in the fourth year of the contract and therefore add to his $8 million salary.

    What, no points taken away for every time over the first three years that Michael Kay says Past-A-Divin’ Jeter?

    3-Year, $51 Million, For Jeter With Vesting Option On A 4th?

    Posted by on December 4th, 2010 · Comments (15)

    Via Sweeny Murti:

    I hear Yanks/Jeter talking about 3yr/$51 mil deal with vesting option for 4th year at $10 mil. Sides getting “very close.”

    $17 million a season? That’s not too bad for him – considering his last contract averaged $18.9 million a season.

    So, who’s the winner here, Jeter, or the Yankees, or both – or neither?

    Does This Mean The Reality Potion Didn’t Exist Back In The Day?

    Posted by on December 3rd, 2010 · Comments (2)

    Via Mike Salfino in the WSJ

    New York’s reported initial offer to Mr. Jeter, a free agent, called for him to take a 28% cut from last year’s $21 million salary. Mr. Jeter is believed to have countered by asking for a slight raise. According to the website Baseball-Reference, if Mr. Jeter were to accept that Yankees’ offer, he’d be taking the second-biggest salary cut ever among the Yankees’ legends when compared with their peak season. Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio both were awarded final salaries that matched their top earnings (Mr. Mantle was clearly in decline). Players back then had to negotiate salaries each year with no free-agent rights. Despite that, Whitey Ford was given a nominal 1.3% cut relative to peak earnings after a 73-inning, seven-start 1966. Mr. Ford’s battery mate, Yogi Berra, signed his last-recorded Yankees contract for less than 1% off his peak salary despite entering that season as a 36-year-old catcher. Don Mattingly is the most recent example of an iconic Yankee at the end of the line, but Mr. Mattingly’s final salary was negotiated five years prior as part of a long-term deal.

    Only Babe Ruth’s pay cut from his peak earnings would be more draconian. In his final deal with the Yankees (he was later traded to the Boston Braves), Mr. Ruth received a 54% cut from his peak salary.

    I still think it’s apples and oranges to compare what happened before 1976 and today – since, before free agency, the players in the past had almost no leverage in contract talks. It was take what they offer, or hold out, or retire. And, the last two options didn’t pay anything.

    Bottom line, it’s looking more and more like Jeter’s going to take a pay-cut on his new deal. And, if he doesn’t want to do that, he can hold out or retire.

    Hey, maybe it is just like the old days, now, for Jeter?

    Yanks Want Jeter Cheap To Offset Cost Of Lee?

    Posted by on December 2nd, 2010 · Comments (23)

    Via Mike Lupica today –

    The fun with Derek Jeter and the Yankees really never stops and won’t stop until he and the Yankees reach an agreement, and we can only pray that it’s sooner rather than later.

    But sometimes it’s fun to make sort of a PowerPoint presentation out of it all.

    Except that as this story has made it through one round after another of silliness, you sometimes have the urge to call it a WeakPoint presentation, right?

    - The Yankees lose their minds because Jeter’s agent Casey Close gives me a four-sentence quote everybody is still talking about nearly two weeks later. Close manages to do that without hiding behind anonymous quotes, or declaring himself a source close – no pun intended – to both sides of the negotiation. I never heard that one before.

    Of course the word “baffling” is now the worst anti-Yankee slur ever uttered.

    So Close is the one accused of taking the negotiations public, ginning up the rhetoric, all that. Right. Sure he did.

    Except.

    Except now every time the Yankees sit down with Jeter’s rep or have a conversation with him, just about every detail ends up in the newspapers before the door closes behind Casey Close, or he hangs up the phone.

    Obviously, these stories leak themselves. Like the Yankees’ offer of $45 million – in those conversations they desperately wanted to remain private – must have leaked itself.

    - Just so you know: The Yankees don’t just want to cut Jeter’s salary because he’s getting older, or because he had his worst year. Or because his range has diminished – this at a time when you can actually see A-Rod calcifying in front of your eyes at third base – or because they don’t want to be saddled with another huge contract for an aging champion.

    They want to be able to sign Cliff Lee for an insane amount of money and then stand in front of their fans and say, Look, the payroll went down!

    They’ll want to tell you about how Javy Vazquez – another sparkling pitching acquisition – is off the books with his $11 million. And they’ll show you the money they save on Jeter. And, well, before you know it, it’ll be as if they went bought Cliff Lee at Target he’s such an incredible bargain.

    Not sure this is true, or not? When Cashman went out to correct his mistakes of 2008 by spending a gazillion dollars on Sabathia, Burnett and Teixeira, no one cared about the impact on the total team payroll.

    Hank Stein: We Want Jeter

    Posted by on December 1st, 2010 · Comments (4)

    Via the AP -

    Hank Steinbrenner thinks Derek Jeter and the New York Yankees will agree to a new contract.

    “I feel confident that Derek will remain with the Yankees, and my brother does, as well,” New York’s co-chairman said Tuesday night in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.

    The Yankees resumed negotiations Tuesday with Jeter and his agent, Casey Close, a baseball official familiar with the discussion said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the team and Close didn’t make any announcements.

    Neither the official nor Steinbrenner would discuss what took place directly between the sides in the talks, which were first reported by foxsports.com.

    “I’m not going to get into who’s met who,” Steinbrenner said.

    “We want to keep him. He’s very important,” Hank Steinbrenner said. “I certainly hope he remains with us and he certainly should.”

    I have to say, it is interesting that Jeter’s agent is dealing with Brian Cashman and not the Brothers Steinbrenner and Randy Levine. That’s not how it went down with A-Rod when he was a free agent. In that case, Cashman was not involved in the talks and it was mostly Hank doing the dealing. And, I have to wonder if this also bothers Jeter – that he’s not considered to be special enough to deal directly with the owners. If Big Stein was in his prime, you know he would have been on the front line for this one – and not just leave it up to the G.M.

    Jeter’s Agent & Cashman Meet In Tampa

    Posted by on November 30th, 2010 · Comments (5)

    Via the fellas at the Daily News -

    According to a source, [Jeter's agent Casey] Close and general manager Brian Cashman met Tuesday in Tampa, the first face-to-face sit-down between the Yankees and Jeter since November 8. The meeting was first reported Tuesday night by FoxSports.com.

    Recognizing that they were winning the public relations war, the Yankees haven’t seemed inclined to increase their initial three-year, $45 million offer, leaving it in Close’s hands to close the gap between that offer and Jeter’s demands.

    It was unclear as to whether any significant progress was made during the session with Cashman and Close, however another source said there was “nothing imminent” and indicated the two sides still appeared to have a long ways to go toward a settlement on a new deal for Jeter.

    Neither Close nor Cashman responded to requests for comment.

    I wonder how long is a “long ways”? Spring Training starts in about 12 weeks.

    Report: Yankees Done Talking To Jeter Until He “Drinks The Reality Potion”

    Posted by on November 29th, 2010 · Comments (10)

    Is that the new Gatorade product?

    Via Wally Matthews

    Negotiations between the Yankees and Derek Jeter are at a standstill until Jeter and his agent, Casey Close, “drink the reality potion,” according to a source close to the negotiations.

    According to the source, a baseball industry executive who has knowledge of both sides’ position, the Yankees are not budging from the three-year, $45 million offer they made to Jeter earlier this month, nor has Jeter moved off his demand for a longer contract believed to be in the area of $23-$25 million per season.

    No talks took place over the holiday weekend and none are currently scheduled. Neither Yankees general manager Brian Cashman nor Close immediately returned messages seeking comment early Monday.

    How To Get The Jeter Deal Done

    Posted by on November 28th, 2010 · Comments (55)

    We know the Yankees want to sign Derek Jeter for three years at $45 million. And, reportedly, Jeter’s camp wants either four years at $92 million or five years at $115 million. Seems like a wide gap, no? But, actually, there’s a simple way to get this one.

    First, forget five years. That’s not happening.

    And, while the Yankees don’t want to go to four years, they can offer him four – with a team option/buy-out on the fourth year – by front loading the contract with “milestone marketing agreement bonuses” (like they have with A-Rod!) on the front end. Here’s how I would do it:

    Pay Derek Jeter $19 million in base salary for 2011 (splitting the difference between $15 and $23 million) and give him a $6 million “marketing agreement” bonus this season when he gets his 3,000th career hit. This is the same amount of bonus that A-Rod will get for hitting his 660th career homerun.) This gives Jeter $25 million in 2011 – a number that he cannot be unhappy about, right?

    Pay Jeter $20 million in base salary for 2012. Period.

    Pay Jeter $20 million in base salary for 2013 and give him a $6 million “marketing agreement” bonus this season when he gets his 3,320th career hit – setting the record for hits by a right-handed batter, lifetime, in the American League. (Note, if Jeter is productive for three seasons, he should get this mark. But, if not, the Yankees could save $6 million here.)

    Pay Jeter $17 milion for 2014. But, have a team option on this season. If they Yankees take the option, they pay Jeter the $17 million. But, if they don’t exercise the option, they have to “buy out” Jeter for $6 million.

    With this deal, the Jeter has the potential to earn $88 million over four years – which is an average of $22 million per season. There’s no way he cannot be happy with that. And, if Jeter blows up, at the worst, the Yankees would owe him $71 million and only have him for three seasons. Granted, that’s $26 million more than they are offering him now. But, the Yankees can figure out where to get that extra $8.67 million a year (for three years)…of this I have no doubt.

    And, if the Yankees offer this to Jeter and be balks, then you let him go and hold your head high – because you more than made him a fair offer and no one could beef about it.

    Tino & Damon Support Jeter

    Posted by on November 28th, 2010 · Comments (4)

    Via George King -

    A byproduct of this process is the perception that Jeter has gotten greedy. That bothers Tino Martinez, a close friend of Jeter and a special assistant to Cashman.

    “It’s making it seem like he is greedy, Martinez said of the public opinion. “He is not being greedy. He is going through a baseball negotiation like everybody else. It’s made him look like he doesn’t know what’s happening in the real world, and he is not like that.

    “This guy gives millions to charity. He is only going through a baseball negotiation and for people to think he is greedy, that bothers me. Derek is my friend, and I would say the same thing about Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera. They all are quality people.

    Johnny Damon knows about the business side of baseball. He left the Red Sox for the Yankees as a free agent and went through a testy free agent dance with the Yankees last offseason that landed him in Detroit. He is a free agent again.

    “There is no way around it, older players are being looked at differently,” he said. “But what a lot of people forget is that guys like me and Jeter, we came out at the same time and we are special players. If things need to get done on a baseball field, we get it done.”

    Damon doesn’t put much stock in Jeter, who will be 37 in August, hitting a career-low .270 last year.

    “He is still a guy who puts fear into other pitchers,” Damon said. “You may get him out, but it’s a grind because he keeps competing, and you can’t say that about everybody.”

    I suspect that we’ll see a lot of players, soon, come up in support of Jeter. But, that’s expected…

    The Jeter Market

    Posted by on November 28th, 2010 · Comments (3)

    Phil Rogers looks at teams other than the Yankees who could use Derek Jeter.  Betcha Casey Close is hoping one of those teams picks up the phone soon.

    New Report: Jeter Wants 4-5 Years & $23-24 Million A Year

    Posted by on November 27th, 2010 · Comments (9)

    Via Michael S. Schmidt

    Derek Jeter’s agent, Casey Close, is currently asking the Yankees to agree to a new contract of either four or five years at $23 to $24 million a year, according to a person in baseball who had been briefed on the matter.

    The disclosure of what Close is seeking on behalf of Jeter, the 36-year-old Yankee captain and icon, comes just days after it was revealed that the Yankees are offering Jeter a three-year contract for $15 million a year.

    That leaves a substantial gap between the sides in a contract standoff that has taken on a surprisingly tough edge and has left many Yankee fans confused and dismayed.

    The person familiar with the bargaining, said the Yankees and Close have been frozen at their offers for the last week and that in recent days there had been little, if any, negotiating.

    The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because he did not want to jeopardize his access to sensitive information.

    Still, the current offers — three years at $15 million a year by the Yankees and a maximum five years at $23 to $24 million by Close — suggest an obvious compromise in which the two sides would settle at four years and, say, $19 million a year.

    If they did agree on those numbers, it would actually represent a small, but symbolic, annual increase over Jeter’s last contract, which, at the behest of George Steinbrenner, was designed to average a sliver below $19 million a year.

    A deal that paid $19 million a year would also allow Jeter to rationalize that he was not taking a pay cut, a point that was emphasized on Friday by one National League executive who has been watching the Jeter situation with interest. That executive said that established stars like Jeter typically found it difficult to take any kind of reduction of pay, even when they have already made enormous amounts of money.

    Well, that’s not as bad as the other report that suggested Jeter wanted $150 million over six years. And, if the Yankees offered Jeter four years at $19 million per, I would say that they’ve done everything that was reasonable – and, if Derek walks from that, then Jeter is the “bad guy” here. But, of course, the Yankees have yet to offer anything, reportedly, beyond three years and $45 million.

    I wonder if A-Rod, at some point, will offer any opinion on this? Remember, back in the day, when Jeter reportedly would not tell the fans not to “boo” A-Rod…how many in Yankeeland were down on Jeter for not having his teammate’s back? Well, if the fans, during this process, turn on Derek, will Alex throw his two cents into it? You know that Posada, Pettitte and Rivera will have something to say. And, if some others don’t, I doubt it anyone will blame them. Will that extend to A-Rod too? And, was that only a one-way street back when Jeter didn’t ask the fans to support Rodriguez?

    Report: Jeter Wants 6 Years & $150 Million

    Posted by on November 26th, 2010 · Comments (18)

    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?

    Jeter’s Captain

    Posted by on November 24th, 2010 · Comments (0)

    Richard Sandomir tells us all about Casey Close. It’s a good read.

    Jeter’s Contribution To The Yankees Franchise

    Posted by on November 24th, 2010 · Comments (13)

    Well, here’s one way to place a number on it.

    And, of course, this doesn’t factor in all those jerseys and T-shirts sold with a “2″ on the back of them since 1996…

    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?

    Cashman: Yanks Offer To Jeter Is “Appropriate & Fair”

    Posted by on November 23rd, 2010 · Comments (14)

    Via George King

    According to the Yankees, there hasn’t been anything confusing about contract negotiations with Derek Jeter.

    Agent Casey Close described the Yankees’ negotiating strategy on Sunday as “baffling” and accused the Yankees of using the press and not acknowledging Jeter’s contributions to the club.

    Yesterday, general manager Brian Cashman strongly denied the organization has acted that way with its shortstop, captain and all-time hits leader.

    “There is nothing baffling about our position,” Cashman said. “We have been very honest and direct with them, not through the press. We feel our offer is appropriate and fair. We appreciate the contributions Derek has made to our organization and we have made it clear to them. Our primary focus is his on-the-field performance the last couple of years in conjunction with his age, and we have some concerns in that area that need to be addressed in a multiyear deal going forward.

    “I restate Derek Jeter is the best shortstop for this franchise as we move forward. The difficulty is finding out what is fair between both sides.”

    Cashman said the Yankees won’t offer Jeter arbitration by tonight’s deadline.

    When Jeter became a free agent five days after the World Series, the two most delicious points were: Jeter’s value to the Yankees was greater than any other team, and the Yankees had no legitimate replacement and would be smothered under an avalanche of angry backlash if Jeter left.

    Nothing has changed. Early in the process, owner Hal Steinbrenner admitted there was a chance negotiations could get “messy,” and the words the past few days have proven that.

    Working in the Yankees’ favor is Jeter’s value on the open market is in the $7 million-to-$10 million range, that his career-low .270 batting average last year raises questions, and doubts over how much longer can he play shortstop.

    In Jeter’s favor is his .334 batting average in 2009, and his stature as a career .314 hitter.

    Also in the Yankees’ favor is the average annual value of other middle infielders. At $15 million per, Jeter would be on top.

    Man, this is getting acrimonious. Do the Yankees realize that, even if they get Jeter to take three years at $45 million, he’s not going to get over this bad blood any time soon? The dude is extremely full of pride. Maybe it’s time for Jeter and his agent to start working the Orioles and/or Rays on a one-year pillow contract and then the Yankees can watch Jeter get his 3,000th career hit in some other uniform?

    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.

    Derek Jeter, Then, Now & Tomorrow

    Posted by on November 20th, 2010 · Comments (13)

    First let’s see what Keith Olbermann has offered this week on the state of Derek Jeter -

    As the fine folks at Baseball Prospectus noted before the 2010 season began, Derek Jeter was in new territory. Even with eleven .300 seasons notched into his bat, there just wasn’t any indication that any shortstops aged 36 or over – unless their names were Honus Wagner – were going to produce anything but a long walk off a short pier. The nearly 400 ground balls Jeter generated in 2010 were not a statistical anomaly. They were the expected outcome of a lifetime of swings and stats and the ravages of time.

    That was the point one of the umpteen coaches and advisors who worked with Jeter during the season tried to get through to him. That was the hard undeniable fact that he was so deftly sidestepping with the answers about insufficient upper body strength. Age, not laziness on the weight machine, adds that half-second to your swing. Age, not sloth, turns those little flares over the heads of the second baseman and shortstop into smothered balls skittering into their gloves. Age, Mr. Jeter, comes for us all.

    And think about $45 million over three years, which is the Yankees’ offer my friend Joel Sherman is hinting at in the newspaper, and what the latest set of grisly projections from Baseball Prospectus is suggesting (you’ll only be able to get 301 plate appearances in the third year of that prospective deal), and think of the market out there for 37-year old shortstops and realize that it is not an insult and not lowball and is in fact predicated on mutual loyalty and respect and the nauseating possibility of having to say “Now batting for Pittsburgh, the first baseman, Derek Jeter…”

    Ouch.  Next, let’s look at some stats of recent players (meaning seasons since 1996) to find someone who was “like” Jeter last season. First, via the Complete Baseball Encyclopedia:

    Seasons from 1996-2010, where AGE BETWEEN 36 AND 37
    PLATE APPEARANCES >= 600 and RCAA <= -10

    PLAYER                        YEAR     ISO      PA      RCAA      OWP
    1    Joe Carter               1996     .222      682      -14     .428
    2    Marquis Grissom          2004     .171      606      -12     .432
    3    Joe Carter               1997     .165      668      -21     .375
    4    Craig Biggio             2002     .151      655      -11     .440
    5    Paul O'Neill             2000     .141      628      -16     .412
    6    Cal Ripken               1997     .132      686      -10     .442
    7    Miguel Tejada            2010     .112      681      -12     .428
    8    Derek Jeter              2010     .100      739      -15     .426

    And, here’s some more from B-R.com -

    Rk Player OPS+ PA Year Age Tm G R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB BA OBP SLG
    1 Joe Carter 77 668 1997 37 TOR 157 76 143 30 4 21 102 40 105 8 .234 .284 .399
    2 Craig Biggio 88 655 2002 36 HOU 145 96 146 36 3 15 58 50 111 16 .253 .330 .404
    3 Kevin Millar 89 610 2008 36 BAL 145 73 124 25 0 20 72 71 93 0 .234 .323 .394
    4 Cal Ripken 89 659 1998 37 BAL 161 65 163 27 1 14 61 51 68 0 .271 .331 .389
    5 Miguel Tejada 90 681 2010 36 TOT 156 71 171 26 0 15 71 30 67 2 .269 .312 .381
    6 Derek Jeter 90 739 2010 36 NYY 157 111 179 30 3 10 67 63 106 18 .270 .340 .370
    7 Paul O’Neill 92 628 2000 37 NYY 142 79 160 26 0 18 100 51 90 14 .283 .336 .424
    8 Cal Ripken 93 686 1997 36 BAL 162 79 166 30 0 17 84 56 73 1 .270 .331 .402
    9 Jeromy Burnitz 94 671 2005 36 CHC 160 84 156 31 2 24 87 57 109 5 .258 .322 .435
    10 Joe Carter 95 682 1996 36 TOR 157 84 158 35 7 30 107 44 106 7 .253 .306 .475
    11 Craig Biggio 96 717 2003 37 HOU 153 102 166 44 2 15 62 57 116 8 .264 .350 .412
    12 Ryne Sandberg 96 621 1996 36 CHC 150 85 135 28 4 25 92 54 116 12 .244 .316 .444
    13 Marquis Grissom 97 606 2004 37 SFG 145 78 157 26 2 22 90 37 83 3 .279 .323 .450
    14 Omar Vizquel 99 651 2004 37 CLE 148 82 165 28 3 7 59 57 62 19 .291 .353 .388
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
    Generated 11/20/2010.

    .

    The name that jumps out the most here to me is Craig Biggio. But, then again, that’s what I said in August as well – that Jeter’s season in 2010 was a lot like Biggio’s season in 2002.

    Now, in terms of “image” value, you can make the case that Biggio and Jeter have a lot in common too.  Both were/are the “clean boy/leader” poster-children of their organization and are/were well respected throughout the game.  And, both – Biggio in 2002 and Jeter in 2010 were/are “nearing 3,000 hits and certain Cooperstown induction” icons for their teams – and, yeah, they’re both “home grown” talents who never played for anyone else but the teams who drafted them.  Oh, and, for the most part, both manned the keystone in the infield.  Therefore, to me, these two really are perfect comps.

    So, how did Biggio do after 2002?    By most sabermetric measures, he was a “league-average” performer (thereabouts) for the next three seasons – and that’s it.  And, while he was still playing past that, at ages 40 and 41, mostly to get 3,000 hits, he should have hung them up after the 2005 season.  And, I’m sure this is what the Yankees are thinking about when it comes to Jeter – and that’s why they don’t want to offer him more than three years on his next contract.

    Now, will $15 million a year for three years be enough?  I doubt it.  Not when the team is paying A.J. Burnett $16.5 million a year and they paid Javier Vazquez $11.5 million last season.  We all know that Jeter has a ton of pride – maybe too much – and will not take a salary that close to what the Yankees paid too crap pitchers last season. 

    And, this is where it gets tricky.  Derek probably wants closer to $20 million a season – especially if the Yankees are only going three years on an offer.  But, no other team in baseball will pay him that much – or can afford to pay him that much.  So, Jeter has very little leverage here.  And, in my opinion, he’s probably going to be lucky to get the Yankees to come up to $18 million a season, in any offer.

    Man, this thing could take a long time to get done…and, wouldn’t it be something if it does turn out, in the end, to be something like Olbermann suggests?  Granted, I don’t think it will be the Pirates.  But, what if a team like Red Sox, Mets, Angels, Orioles, Tigers or Cubs offers Jeter a “pillow contract” like the one Boston gave Adrain Belte last season – say, one year for $19 million.  Would Jeter take it?  And, if he did, what would that mean to his relationship with the Yankees in the future?

    Heyman: Yanks To Offer Jeter 3 Years/$45 Million

    Posted by on November 19th, 2010 · Comments (6)

    Jon Heyman of SI.com reports that the Yankees are about to offer a three-year, $45 million contract to shortstop Derek Jeter.

    Oh, this is going to get good in a hurry…

    Should O’s Try & Sign Jeter?

    Posted by on November 19th, 2010 · Comments (6)

    Ron Fritz thinks so.

    And, I’m sure Jeter’s agent wouldn’t mind having an offer for leverage…

    Jeter & Cashman Comment On Recent Meeting

    Posted by on November 12th, 2010 · Comments (0)

    Good stuff on the Jeter talks via Mark Feinsand

    There has been speculation that one of the topics discussed was Jeter’s future as a shortstop, but the Yankee captain said that “hasn’t been brought up.”

    Cashman said his talks with Close were in the “infancy stages,” saying it could take a good portion of the winter before a deal is completed.

    Still, Cashman dismissed the idea that things could get “messy” between the two sides, something Steinbrenner suggested in broad terms during a radio interview nearly two weeks ago.

    “He said any negotiation has a chance to get messy,” Cashman said of Steinbrenner’s comment. “He didn’t say he expects this one to; he said that any one can. That’s true. I don’t think there’s any expectation from our perspective this is going to get messy.”

    “It’s not even close to that at this stage at all. No one expects that and we’ll work our hardest on both ends not to have that happen.”

    Cashman said that despite Jeter’s status with the franchise, these negotiations are being conducted the same way as any other free agent he deals with.

    “It’s business; two sides have a chance to sit down and discuss what’s important to them and where they’re trying to go and why,” Cashman said. “You talk through every aspect – good and bad – and find common ground. That’s what I do in every negotiation, but some play louder in the public eye than others. Because this is the Yankees and this is Derek, this is obviously gong to get a lot more attention.”

    Jeter has no idea when a deal may get done, having never gone through the free-agent process before. He declined to say whether any other teams had contacted Close to express interest, adding that he’s tried “to stay removed” from the whole situation.

    Asked if he was nervous about the idea of not returning to the Bombers, Jeter said, “Right now, I’m not.” Jeter was then asked whether he had any doubt that a deal with the Yankees would eventually get done.

    “I have no idea,” Jeter said. “I’d like to think it would, but I don’t know.”

    My recommendation: Just bookmark all this for now and revisit it in a month or so. Maybe everyone will still have the same tone then? But then again, maybe not?

    Jeter Deal Just Weeks Away?

    Posted by on November 11th, 2010 · Comments (0)

    Via Feinsand & Madden -

    Brian Cashman might have traveled alone to Arkansas for his meeting with Cliff Lee Wednesday, but the general manager had plenty of company last weekend when he sat down with Derek Jeter.

    A Yankees contingent consisting of Cashman, Hal Steinbrenner and Randy Levine met with Jeter and his agent, Casey Close, over the weekend in Tampa, as the two sides sat down face-to-face for the first time to discuss the captain’s next contract.

    Close confirmed the meeting in an email, but declined to discuss the specifics of the talks.

    No formal offers were presented, according to a source, as Jeter and the Yankees exchanged thoughts, ideas and concerns with regard to the shortstop’s future.

    “It was a very good meeting,” the source said. “Everybody heard what everybody had to say. There’s always information exchanged and questions that each side needs asked and answered. It gets the process moving along.”

    The source indicated that both sides expect to get a deal done in the coming weeks, although there are no more meetings scheduled and no firm timetable for either Jeter or the Yankees.

    Any guesses on who the source was? Was it Hank Stein or Skyzoo? (And, yes, I’m kiding.)

    Yanks To Pay Jeter Well & Beyond?

    Posted by on November 9th, 2010 · Comments (11)

    Via Wallace Matthews:

    Derek Jeter is going to be paid Ryan Howard money for putting up Marco Scutaro numbers.

    “The Yankees are going to overpay him,” said a source with intimate knowledge of the discussions between the team and Casey Close, Jeter’s agent. “The question is, how much are they going to overpay him?”

    Several sources told ESPNNewYork.com on Monday that while the Yankees have yet to make a formal offer to Jeter — or to Mariano Rivera, their other high-profile free agent, not to mention Cliff Lee, their primary target in the free-agent market — offers are currently being prepared for all three.

    And the one that is likely to get done first is Jeter’s, possibly before Thanksgiving, with Rivera’s soon afterward.

    But the first order of business will be Jeter, whose 10-year, $189-million contract expired last Monday and who officially became a free agent for the first time in his 16-year career at 12:01 a.m. ET on Sunday morning when the Yankees five-day exclusivity window expired.

    From conversations with two sources, both of whom requested anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the talks, Jeter’s offer is expected to be for three years at somewhere between $15 million and $20 million per season.

    That would be a slight paycut from his $21 million paycheck in 2010, but still well above the going rate for a shortstop who hit .270 last year and will hit his 37th birthday two weeks before the next All-Star Game.

    “Some people will think the number is unfair,” said one source, “And some are going to think it is way too much.”

    Discuss.

    Jeter The Giant?

    Posted by on November 6th, 2010 · Comments (4)

    Via Henry Schulman of the San-Fran Gate -

    This is pure speculation on my part, but I would bet a good chunk of change that general manager Brian Sabean is going to monitor the Yankees’ negotiations with shortstop Derek Jeter.

    Now, I think Jeter is going to re-sign with the Yankees, I’m sure the Giants think Jeter is going to re-sign and most everyone believes the public comments on how tough the negotiations will be are just posturing.

    However, in the odd chance that Jeter does sign elsewhere, remember. The head of Yankees scouting who drafted Jeter in 1992 was none other than Sabean. There is a tie there. And we have to believe that San Francisco will be a more attractive destination for all free agents now that they’ve won the World Series, if for no other reason their pitching gives them a good shot to repeat.

    “We take great pride in saying San ranciscio is a baseball town now,” Sabean said. “It can only help us keeping our own players that we want to re-sign, (and) it’s got to be a destination for a lot of people. We hope that’s a fact.”

    Never. Gonna. Happen.

    Other Teams Expect Jeter To Stay With Yankees

    Posted by on November 5th, 2010 · Comments (4)

    Via George King today -

    Derek Jeter eventually will sign with the Yankees, but it looks like a slow dance in an expensive ballroom.

    That’s the consensus of sources throughout the sport, so much so that there is little interest among teams to even talk about Jeter because they don’t think he will ever leave The Bronx.

    “It’s going to take time,” a source predicted. “But it will get done.”

    A Post survey of 15 teams revealed very little interest in even discussing Jeter and what he is worth to other organizations.

    “I couldn’t begin to guess because there is a lot to talk about,” an American League general manager said when asked what Jeter could expect to get outside of The Bronx. “There is his leadership and how great he has been. Comparing his skills, that’s different. But all of this is just talk because he should never leave that team. As long as there is mutual interest he has to realize who he is at this point and they have to realize he is a Hall of Famer.”

    The Yankees understand they will have to overpay Jeter. But how much and for how long is the most popular question in the Yankees’ vast universe.

    Because Jeter and the Yankees won’t use the press to negotiate the deal, it’s hard to figure what Jeter is looking for and how high the Yankees are willing to go.

    A scenario where Jeter asks for four years might be countered with the Yankees offering three years between $17 million and $20 million per with an option for a fourth.

    “Let’s say $10 million a year is what he is worth outside the Yankees. But to them he is worth a lot more than that because of who he is and what he has done,” an NL administrator said. “He is probably worth three years for $60 million to the Yankees, but they both should find a way to be creative beyond his playing days.”

    I understand all this…but, still, part of me thinks back to 1978-79 when the Phillies brought in a 38-year old Pete Rose because they thought his leadership skills, on-field role model benefit, and post-season experience would be the piece of the puzzle to put them over the top.

    I mean, if they had the money, couldn’t a team like the Twins benefit from adding Jeter with a two-year deal? Or, what about a team like the Angels? Or, how about Buck Showalter bringing him into to Baltimore to try and help flush out losing attitudes on that team? And, for sure, if Jeter was pushed, and willing to make some concessions, would he not be useful in Tampa next season playing first base for the Rays?

    Of course, this will all come down to the money. And, in that case, the Yankees usually win.

    Yanks/Jeter – Getting “Messy” Already

    Posted by on November 3rd, 2010 · Comments (17)

    Via Ed Price -

    Derek Jeter’s agent on Wednesday responded to comments from Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner, who went on New York sports-radio stations the day before and sounded cold-blooded about the negotiations on the star’s next contract.

    “While it is not our intent to negotiate the terms of Derek’s free-agent contract in a public forum,” Casey Close told FanHouse, “we do agree with Hal’s and Brian (Cashman, the GM)’s recent comments that this contract is about business and winning championships.

    “Clearly, baseball is a business, and Derek’s impact on the sport’s most valuable franchise cannot be overstated. Moreover, no athlete embodies the spirit of a champion more than Derek Jeter.”

    Close declined further comment, but his words make clear that he and Jeter will seek a deal that rewards Jeter not just for his performance on the field — which declined in 2010, at age 36, but was still top-five among AL shortstops — but also for the value he adds to the franchise.

    Let’s not forget that Jeter’s pride would not allow him to consider the thought of moving off shortstop when many felt it was time to switch positions. So, should we be shocked that “the Captain” expects to get paid as much as possible and for long as…say…the guy who plays to his right? You know that guy…the one who needs a day off per week to keep his strength…

    Wild Thought: Could Bosox Stir Yankees/Jeter Pot?

    Posted by on November 3rd, 2010 · Comments (22)

    Earlier this year, there was some chatter that no other team (other than the Yankees) would try to sign Derek Jeter as a free agent because other teams felt there was no chance that he would go anywhere else.

    But, here’s a wild thought: What if the Yankees do low-ball and/or insult Jeter with an offer and then the talks between the two parties start drag out and become unproductive. At some point, if you’re the Boston Red Sox, just to make things interesting, do you reach out to Jeter and say “We’d like to give you a one-year deal for $25 million. And, you can play shortstop for us in 2011. We’ll move Marco Scutaro into a utility role.”

    Would Jeter take it? Or, at the least, would the thought of Derek Jeter getting his 3,000th career hit as a member of the Boston Red Sox freak the Yankees out and force them to up their offer? And, if Derek went to Boston, what would Red Sox Nation then do with all those T-Shirts that mention how happy Jeter is?

    Hal Stein: Jeter Talks “Could Get Messy”

    Posted by on November 3rd, 2010 · Comments (12)

    Oh, boy…

    Via Mark Feinsand -

    Hal Steinbrenner wants Derek Jeter back in pinstripes next season. Just not at any cost.

    The Yankees’ managing general partner did a pair of radio interviews Tuesday, and while Steinbrenner seemed most eager to defend his fans in the wake of Rangers owner Chuck Greenberg’s unprompted attack on Monday, his words about the Yankees’ captain stood out.

    “He’s one of the greatest Yankees in history; no doubt about it,” Steinbrenner said on WFAN. “But at the same time, I’m running a business. I have responsibilities.

    “Hank and I are responsible to our partners, so we have to remain somewhat objective. I want to get a deal done that he’s happy with, but also that I’m happy with.”

    During his interview on 1050 ESPN Radio, Steinbrenner acknowledged that drawing a line in the sand with a player of iconic stature such as Jeter can be risky.

    “There’s always the possibility that things could get messy,” Steinbrenner said. “Our fans are very emotional, and that’s what we love about them, but I’ve got to try to do my job on behalf of the partnership and everybody involved in the organization. Hank and I need to keep a level head and realize that we’re running a business here.”

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