Monday, August 30, 2010

How Many Years?

During last night’s blogcast radio show, I asked Phil Speranza (from the great Yankees blogsite what he saw Derek Jeter getting from the Yankees after the season since his $189 million, ten-year contract will be up. I asked if five years seemed out of the question, as I was speculating that he might want as much as that. Phil thought that five years wasn’t out of the question. Frankie The Sports Guy agreed that five yars was a possible number. I thought about it a lot over night though, and I have to wonder.

I cannot imagine the Yankees allowing Jeter to walk or Jeter really willing to walk away from the Bronx. However, I would suspect that Jeter may expect to get at least a four year deal, if not five years. I would also expect him to be looking for anywhere from $19 – $21 million per year. That would mean that the Yankees would be dishing out anywhere from $76 million to $105 milllion for the Captain’s final contract.

Jeter is 36. He had a fantastic 2009 and the Yankees won the World Series. However his 2010 has not been as productive and he’s heading towards one of the worst (if not THE worst) season of his career. 2008 wasn’t the best of years for him either. While you cannot argue his worth to the franchise, the Yankees have to figure out if they are rewarding Jeter for his past successes (in which he’s already been paid in excess of $205 million, a pretty damn good compensation) or his future performances, which will very likely not be worth $76 million, much less a whopping $105 million if he got a five year deal with a $21 million a year average.

So, do the Yankees low ball Jeter? Say they offer a three year, $48 million offfer? If they did, would he get offended and be vindictive enough to walk? Would there be another team willing to pony up serious money to sign him? (Could you imagine a scenario where Joe Torre stays in LA and the Dodgers tempt Jeter with a five year, $90 million offer? What about the Braves looking to make some serious noise?)

Ok, I highly doubt such a bizarre situation could play out, however it’s something to consider. Phil mentioned last night he thought that Jeter has been the best centerfielder on the Yankees the last few years. Would s larger contract come with a decree from the Yankees for Jeter to move? Would his pride get in the way for such as move?

Listen, no one is going to cry for the Yankees if they wind up having to overpay Jeter in the tune of… say… $85 million for four years where the last few years are grossly overspent. The Yankees can afford it, right?

Maybe. Maybe not. The Yankees are in a tight position here. They have the face of the franchise… the figure that everyone thinks of first when you mention pinstripes. To the younger generation, Jeter is bigger than Ruth, Mantle and Jackson. To the older generation, he’s right in line with those names. No one would win from a divorce between Jeter and the Yanks, and like I said above, I cannot really imagine a scenario where it would happen… however that doesn’t mean the negotiations will be smooth or the end result will be one that is mutually benefitical for both parties.

I get the feeling that in the end, the Yankees will not have the stomach to offer Jeter what he’s worth going forward… which I feel is a two year deal at $14/14.5 million a year with a club option for a third year. The Yankees have paid Jeter well for his past services and don’t need to reward him in that way. Jeter will have a lifetime contact with the Yanks after he retires that will be a nice “reward” for all of his past services (as well as the gobs and gobs of dough he’s already made). My predicti0n? A four year deal worth roughly $14.75 a year or about $60 million. Is it the right move? I can’t answer that. Like I said above though… if anyone could absorb that sort of contact, it’s the Yankees.

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