Bill Madden is reporting that sources in the Jeter camp are looking for a deal that would pay Derek 25 million per year until age 42. He writes:
There have been hints of these figures in recent days around the Yanks, but Bill Madden now has it coming directly from Derek’s camp. This could go a long way towards explaining why the Yanks have been so aggressive in publicly taking Derek down a peg in recent days. In light of this report, the Yanks were actually soft on Jeter in their recent public statements and did him a favor by not releasing this info themselves. He’s an asset to them, so I’m sure they have no desire to damage that asset in the hearts and minds of the public. That’s a big reason why they didn’t want to go to arbitration with either Derek or Mariano, the process is ugly and requires the team to denigrate the player in order to justify their case. Now we know why Jeter’s agent Casey Close was so “baffled” the other day, the two sides are miles apart in their contract negotiation. 80 mil to be exact.
I fear this proposal will ultimately be damaging to Derek on a few levels. First, it makes him look greedy and irrational in light of his current abilities as a player. Also it forces fans and objective observers to look at the class of player he’s trying to put himself in salary-wise, and making himself look puny by comparison. That was the point behind my light-hearted Modest Proposal piece the other day. He’s never hit 54 HRs and knocked in 156 RBIs the way Alex did in 2007. He’s never won an MVP, Alex has 3 of them. The contract proposal would pay him more than double what Chase Utley made last year. Chase has been a 29 Win player over the past 4 years, Derek’s at 16.8. The contract he’s asking for would pay him more than Albert Pujols, and comparing Derek and Albert is like comparing Woody Allen to Arnold Schwarzenegger. If Derek wants to protect and preserve his ‘brand’ he should tread this road very, very carefully.
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