I recently had a conversation with Mike Silva about this issue on Twitter, and he wrote it up over at NYBD. I was hoping for some more opinions on the issue:
Essentially Moshe and I were discussing how, in his words, “Jeter’s contract negotiations are going to be a total disaster. Epic.” The Captain is going to want between $18-$20 million per year, perhaps for as much as four years, and he clearly is not worth that investment. Even if you are in the camp of paying for past performance Jeter has raked in $205 million dollars to date. Does that not compensate for five titles and 2,800 hits?
Moshe went on to say that perhaps the Yankees could “hardline” Jeter during negotiations. Force him to take something in between absurd and market value. He is probably more of a $12 million dollar per year ballplayer so perhaps $15 million is a good target to shoot towards. Of course, the four years are atrocious since I basically believe the Yankees should move on from Jeter as soon as possible after his 3,000th hit. You can hide Steve Carlton when he loses his fastball, but not Derek Jeter at shortstop.
The major point made by Mandel is hardlining the Captain. Who in their right mind would give Jeter what he wants? Would Derek be so vindictive that he takes a shorter deal somewhere else to punish the Yankees? Does he want to be like Wade Boggs who collected his 3,000th hit wearing a Devil Rays uniform? Better yet, what team will pay top dollar just to hurt the Yankees in this economy? I can’t think of any right now.
Mike summed up my thoughts pretty well. While I do not want the Yankees to treat Jeter poorly or to lowball him, I would like for them to enter the negotiations without the feeling that they need to “take care of Jeter.” The Yankees have been just as important to Jeter as he has been to the Yankees, and it would behoove them to refrain from feeling as if they owe him a deal vastly out of proportion with his value. I cannot see him leaving or another club matching even a reduced Yankee offer. Taking a hardline stance in which they refuse to go more than two years, or alternatively, to exceed 15 million per year on a slightly longer deal, might make them the high bidder while keeping the cost below the stratospheric levels some expect it to reach.
What do you think? How would you approach the negotiations?
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