"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Remain Calm, All Is Well: The Jeter Negotiations

Ah, the New York Post: where Hal Steinbrenner’s statement that the Yankees will actually, you know, negotiate with Derek Jeter over his new contract gets the headline “Yankees Warn of ‘Messy’ Talks With Jeter.” (And by the way, why hasn’t the nickname Prince Hal ever stuck? Doesn’t anyone read Henry IV Part I, Henry IV Part II, or Henry V anymore? Hank’s nickname could be Falstaff. Let’s make it happen, people.) The actual quotes from Hal:

Derek and Mo, obviously we want them back. They’re hopefully lifelong Yankees. They’re great leaders. They’ve been great Yankees, but we’re running a business here,” Steinbrenner said. “Having said that, if there’s a deal to be done, it’s going to have to be a deal both sides are happy with. How long that takes could be frustrating to the fans. Maybe it won’t be, but we definitely want them back.”

In a shock to nobody, Steinbrenner said there is enough money to sign Jeter and Rivera, and a free agent…

…“There’s always the possibility that things could get messy.”

Ben at RAB has a good reasonable view of why this is pretty much all smoke and no fire, written after SI’s Jon Heyman floated the rumor (“industry sources suggest that he could“) that Jeter might want as many as six years in a deal, but before Jeter’s agent responded to Hal’s interview (or “fired back,” as the ESPN NY article would have it) over at AOL FanHouse with the shocking suggestion that his client was worth lots and lots of money:

“While it is not our intent to negotiate the terms of Derek’s free-agent contract in a public forum,” Casey Close told FanHouse, “we do agree with Hal’s and Brian (Cashman, the GM)’s recent comments that this contract is about business and winning championships.”

“Clearly, baseball is a business, and Derek’s impact on the sport’s most valuable franchise cannot be overstated. Moreover, no athlete embodies the spirit of a champion more than Derek Jeter.”

So it goes. This has been described as “battling it out publicly,” but agents are always spewing stuff like that; it’s part of Close’s job to be a dick, with the Yankees and with the media, so that Jeter doesn’t have to be. The Yankees can’t say they’ll give Jeter whatever he wants, and Jeter’s agent can’t say that Jeter doesn’t want a massive contract. The team isn’t going to sign Jeter to some crazy six-year deal, but they’re obviously going to overpay for him, and I would imagine they’ve made their peace with that; exactly how much they’ll overpay, and for exactly how long, are the details that will be worked out over the next few weeks.

I’ll never understand how, say, $15 million a year could seem like not enough to someone, but then, the Yankees are worth billions to Jeter’s millions, so I have no horse in that race. Anyway, Jeter is generally pretty smart about these things: his last contract was absolutely massive in its own right, but since it was a bit less than Alex Rodriguez’s and was signed shortly after that firestorm, he got very, very little criticism or resentment for it. It’s quite a trick to sign a deal that nets you an average of $18.9 million a year and makes you seem moderate and reasonable, but The Captain pulled it off, and I doubt he’s gotten any less savvy in the years since.

Of course it’s possible that negotiations will indeed get messy… but they certainly haven’t yet. Sit back, relax, pass the popcorn, and may the best negotiator win.

Discussion Question: If Derek Jeter “embodies the spirit of a champion,” what do the rest of the Yankees embody? And what about you, what do you embody? Right now, I’m pretty sure I “embody the spirit of a nap”.

Categories:  Bronx Banter  Emma Span  Hot Stove  Yankees

Tags:  Derek Jeter  hal steinbrenner

Share: Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via email %PRINT_TEXT


1 Alex Belth   ~  Nov 4, 2010 8:51 am

I embody the spirit of Dan Pasqua, a true Champ.

2 The Hawk   ~  Nov 4, 2010 8:59 am

I'm not a very good athlete but I am pretty sure I also embody the spirit of a champion. Gomme the money!

3 Alex Belth   ~  Nov 4, 2010 9:25 am

Now, I embody the spirit of Bernie Williams and I am smelling flowers under a tree like Ferdinand the Bull.

4 ms october   ~  Nov 4, 2010 9:45 am

i am embody the spirit of a nys unified court system officer - i am sure many of you are familiar with this spirit.
had jury duty on monday and wednesday, thankfully that experience is over.

as far as the money, i hope jeter gets as much as he can. i am not a big fan of excessive capitalism, but i truly don't understand why athletes' contracts are so much more scrutinized than other big money people - hollywood actors, entrepreneurs, hedge fund managers, etc.

5 rbj   ~  Nov 4, 2010 10:48 am

I embody the spirit of, "I'll have a beer please, and watch the Yankees cruise to a victory."

[4] I am fully in favor of excessive capitalism. The thing is, Derek Jeter the Yankee is more valuable to Derek (in terms of endorsements and a post career living) than Derek Jeter the once Yankee and then a Red Sox. Derek & the Yankees need each other for full value. 4 years, $15 million, + $10 million signing bonus.

6 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Nov 4, 2010 12:15 pm

"And what about you, what do you embody? Right now, I’m pretty sure I “embody the spirit of a nap”."


Are you doing Groucho, Emma?

"Mrs.Teasdale: Your Exellency, I really don't know what to say.
Firefly: I wouldn't know what to say either if I was in your place.
(to Ambassador Trentino) Maybe you could suggest something. As a matter of fact, you DO suggest something! To me you suggest a baboon!
(Ambassador gasps, and looks insulted)
Firefly:(afterthought) I'm sorry I said that. It isn't fair to the rest of the baboons."

For the record, Emma, I suggest a nap too. Cold and grey and rainy day.

7 YankeeAbby   ~  Nov 4, 2010 12:28 pm

So, I don't know if this has been brought up yet, but in light of the conversation, I thought I'd share. My mom e-mails me this piece from New York Magazine about Mr. Jeter's marketability and in the lower corner there's a little ditty that says:
"What's your best guess as to what the terms of Jeter's contract will be", and low and behold, there's a quote by someone we all know. Just thought it was cool to see it in print!:
"Four years, 100 million, with a team option for a fifth"
- Alex Belth, BronxBanterBlog.com

8 RIYank   ~  Nov 4, 2010 12:44 pm

Hey, just saw on Baseball Musings a link to this Daily News piece. Short version: Yanks profess to be uninterested in the big free agent OFs, and will stick with Brett et al.

9 seamus   ~  Nov 4, 2010 1:35 pm

The best article thus far on Jeter's negotiations.

10 Alex Belth   ~  Nov 4, 2010 2:38 pm

7) Thanks! That was fun.

Also, it was a guess as to what I think he'll get not what I'd give him.

11 omarcoming   ~  Nov 4, 2010 3:57 pm

Let's see, the man has been a great player but is on the downside. He has no real value to any other team except as a showpiece. No club pays $20 mil. for that.
The Yankees will field a team with or without him next year. He needs the NYY more than they need him.
He has been a wonderful Yankee and I am sure he will get his money. But really, this story is fake one. If football was every day except once a week and if anyone cared about the NBA there would be no room in the media for this. Do you think we can get Favre to start texting again?

12 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Nov 4, 2010 8:36 pm

I embody the spirit of some aged camembert this morning...few too many Guinnesses last night while watching mindless Japanese tv...

feed Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via email
"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver