I’m as sick of talking about it as everyone else, but given how frequently we’ve discussed Derek Jeter‘s impending-contract-of-doom this offseason, it seems like it’s at least worthy of closure now the Captain is finally back in the fold.
After all was said and done, the Yankees ended up bumping their initial three-year, $45 million offer to three guaranteed years and $48 million, with a fourth-year player option for $8 million. There are also $9 million of incentives baked into the contract, along with a $3 million buyout of the option, so the minimum Jeter will take home is $51 million, while the maximum payout (with option exercised and all incentives met) would be $65 million.
It’s near-impossible to envision a scenario in which Derek turns down the $8 million option, so let’s call this deal what it is: a four-year, $56 million contract. That works out to $14 million a year without any of the incentives kicking in, which is actually less than the AAV of what Brian Cashman and Co. initially offered. The incentives portion of the deal seems pretty bizarre, although if Derek thinks he can win a Silver Slugger, Gold Glove or the MVP at Age 39, more power to him. I don’t know why the Yankees would leave the possibility of having to surrender even more money to Derek in the hands of both his peers throughout the league (Gold Glove) and the BBWAA (Silver Slugger and MVP), but if that got the contract done, then great.
At $14 million a season, I’m actually pretty happy with the deal. Even if you look at it as $16 million (if he reaches all of the incentives), it’s still not as bad as the thought of paying the declining Jeter $20 million per year. I’m not crazy about the fourth year, but it was clearly a necessary evil in getting the deal done.
So the Yankees get their Captain back in a deal that seems to be pretty fair on all sides. Now that Derek and Mariano Rivera are rightfully back in the fold, hopefully for Cash’s next trick he can pull a Cliff Lee and Andy Pettitte out of his hat.
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