Forget $45M, Jeter wants $150M
Here’s an interesting bit of information from Bill Madden of the Daily News - props to Joe P. over at RAB – that just might explain why the Yankees have engaged in a media battle with Derek Jeter and his agent Casey Close:
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.
According to Jim Baumbach of Newsday, a “person familiar” with the Yankees-Jeter negotiations has said that the above starting point is inaccurate and that Jeter is actually asking for less than that. Given the absurdity of a 6-year, $150M contract, I’m inclined to think this is true. After all, most teams won’t be willing to match the Yankees’ initial offer of 3-years and $45M. Therefore, anything well-beyond that is more unrealistic than aspirational.
With this in mind, going forward Jeter should be careful. This sort of back-and-forth is antithetical to the brand he has spent years building. John Harper of the Daily News sums it up well. “Jeter has been so emphatic all these years in saying that nothing matters to him but winning, that if he were to actually leave the Yankees over money he would look hypocritical.” This is likely the only detriment to developing a team-first image as Jeter has done. While it gets you a tremendous amount of goodwill, once you step into free agency, the same image can haunt you.
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