"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

F*** You, Pay Me

George King reports in the New York Post:

Yesterday, general manager Brian Cashman strongly denied the organization has acted that way with its shortstop, captain and all-time hits leader.

“There is nothing baffling about our position,” Cashman said. “We have been very honest and direct with them, not through the press. We feel our offer is appropriate and fair. We appreciate the contributions Derek has made to our organization and we have made it clear to them. Our primary focus is his on-the-field performance the last couple of years in conjunction with his age, and we have some concerns in that area that need to be addressed in a multi-year deal going forward.

“I re-state Derek Jeter is the best shortstop for this franchise as we move forward. The difficulty is finding out what is fair between both sides.”

Also in the Post, Joel Sherman lowers the hammer on DJ:

Derek Jeter’s position when it comes to his contract negotiations appears to be this: I am Derek Jeter, pay me.

It doesn’t matter he has almost no leverage or he is coming off his worst season or the production of shortstops 37 and older in major league history is dismal.

Logic and facts are not supposed to matter. All that is supposed to matter is this: I am Derek Jeter, pay me.

The Yankees have offered Jeter $45 million over three years, which is being portrayed by the shortstop’s increasingly desperate camp as an insult. Except, of course, it is hard to find another organization ready to insult Jeter in similar fashion.

Mo Rivera wants his too.


1 The Hawk   ~  Nov 23, 2010 8:54 am

I don't think too much should be made of this last season's performance, since it's only one year. But the age + position make it clear this should not be a long deal.

I don't fault Jeter for trying to get as much as he can but I certainly don't fault the Yankees for being reasonable. It's not as if he was underpaid over the last decade, so I see no reason not to pay him market value or a bit above.

2 Ben   ~  Nov 23, 2010 8:59 am

Yeah, i had a fantasy that everyone would just get along for this deal. Oh well.

When it comes to Mo, pay the man.

3 Alex Belth   ~  Nov 23, 2010 9:41 am

It's never pretty.

4 omarcoming   ~  Nov 23, 2010 9:53 am

In the words of Maury Kessler, "I want my money."

5 BobbyB   ~  Nov 23, 2010 10:35 am

I must be the only heretic around here. We've all seen teams which hold on to their older players when they decline and it usually follows that the team declines. I don't advocate getting rid of Derek, or Mo or Andy, but you are going to run the risk of having a number of bad years when those players don't produce. I lived in San Francisco from 1979 to 1990 and the Niners regularly let go of great players who were just beginning to decline. The result- the best winning percentage of any NFL team during that period. Heck, they even let Joe Montana go- and he was the same kind of iconic figure for the Niners that Jeter is for the Yankees. The result- Steve Young helped the Niners to continue to win and win a Super Bowl and the Chiefs never benefited from having an old Joe Montana on their team. I just want to see Cliff Lee signed because you all know it's pitching, pitching and more pitching that wins. Having a second (or 3rd) dominant Left Hand pitcher to take advantage of Yankee stadium is the key to winning year after year. I think a staff of Sabathia, Lee, Pettite, Hughes and Burnett is key to winning, not resigning DJ. I say this with all apologies to DJ's rabid fan base.

6 Dimelo   ~  Nov 23, 2010 10:55 am

[5] Weren't those Niner teams doing some funny accounting with the salary cap as well? Paying some players under the table.

I'm a huge Jeter fan, what I don't get is this, let's say he decides to say "eff you Yankees", I'm retiring or going elsewhere, what's Cashman's backup plan? It's like he knew this day was coming for the last 10 years but he never bothered to put the Yanks in a position to succeed here.

I want Jeter signed and the $$ don't worry me at all. Some people want to act all indignant, like the Yankees will take that money and do the right thing all of a sudden. They won't. Yes, sometimes you have to pay people for past performance, actually all the time you have to pay people for past performance, it's an investment and you hope to get more in return and sometimes it doesn't work out that well.

The Yankees will make that money back in jersey sales, other Jeter specific merchandise, and the press around Jeter's 3,000th hit, the first Yankee ever to do this too. Again, I don't get why Cashman and co. are going to the press so often. It really bugs the eff out of me.

[0] Alex, perfect title too.

7 Yankster   ~  Nov 23, 2010 10:55 am

[5] You're not a heretic. I'm a rabid Jeter fan but I don't disagree with you. I don't think Jeter "deserves" years. I think he deserves a chance to play another year to see if his slightly above league average year last year is a trend or an anomaly. I think that's what's best for the Yankees too.

Statistically I don't think any of the samples of age comparable players are really relevant to the next couple years. But I do think market value for his production must be the primary starting point for the negotiation (which Jeter's agent strongly disagrees with).

For Jeter, the money is about his brand, it's a signifier, it doesn't actually have its own value or rather, that value will later be multiplied in other domains -it's just a base for relative social value. His pay just positions him in team, celebrity, and social hierarchies. Can you imagine how much it will burn to have Arod getting paid more than double as much money for twice as long? Unbearable!

In the past the Yankees also engaged in the same concept of pay. It's primary role was to establish the team in league spending tables. There is no reason for Steinbrenner to have personally conceded to some of the salaries he paid if it wasn't for the social signifier: Giambi, Johnson, Sheffield, Clemens - the list goes on. I don't think the Yankees want to play that game anymore. Paying the most is no longer an asset, like it was in the 90's, now its a liability...

8 joejoejoe   ~  Nov 23, 2010 11:42 am

The idea that Derek Jeter should be rewarded for what he's done for the franchise AGAIN in the next contract is cuckoo bananas. He hasn't been donating his time to a food pantry, he's been getting a check for his contributions. The Captain made $22 million dollars last year to slug .370 and have an OPS+ of 90. Babe Ruth batted .181 at age 40 for the Boston Braves and still slugged .431 with an OPS+ of 119. Ruth quit the game of baseball in the middle of that season because he was a shell of himself as a player. A less productive Derek Jeter wants a new contract and a raise.

9 The Hawk   ~  Nov 23, 2010 11:42 am

[5] I don't know why you'd think you're a heretic based on the comments here and the quoted newspaper pieces.

[6] You don't have to pay people for past performance when you paid them handsomely for and during that performance. The Yankees owe Jeter nothing for the last 10 years.

10 Jon DeRosa   ~  Nov 23, 2010 11:51 am

The reason this is getting a little uglier than we would like is that the players don't have the usual leverage typical free agents enjoy.

If some other team was pursuing these guys, bidding up the price, they wouldn't have to go to the press to establish these "underappreciated" narratives. But since that's not happening, their agents have to try to create a perception of "fair value" (ie the contract they want) without the evidence of an actual marketplace.

I think the Yankees should make their honest guess (however they do that) on what these guyswould get on the open market, and then bump it up a few million for old times sake.

Hypothetically like this:

Rivera - 2 yr 20 million on the open market? Yankee price = 2 years 24mill.

Jeter - 3 yr 36 million on the open market? Yanke price = 3 yr 42 million.

Also, the fact that they gave Arod that crazy contract is probably lurking in the back of these guys' minds.

Why is it OK to be on the hook to Arod, who hasn't done as much for the Yanks as these guys, long after he will be useful but it's not OK to pay up for Jeter and Rivera in their twilight? I bet that has a lot to do with what they want.

11 The Hawk   ~  Nov 23, 2010 12:17 pm

I don't think Rivera's case is comparable. He wants a shorter contract first of all, second of all somehow he is as effective as ever. I don't see the problem there. Jeter on the other hand seems to be asking too much. As they do.

12 Mattpat11   ~  Nov 23, 2010 12:21 pm

I'm just worried that the Yankees are going to piss off Jeter and Rivera, miss out on Cliff Lee and use the "savings" on one of the wretched FA pitchers out there.

13 standuptriple   ~  Nov 23, 2010 12:29 pm

Just once I'd love to see a "clock" on these types of deals. DJ, you have two weeks to take our offer. After that, it declines $1M per season per week. See how his agent likes them apples.

14 OldYanksFan   ~  Nov 23, 2010 12:43 pm

While I, like just about everyone, wonders about ARod's contract, when you consider it's length, and the bonuses, I think it's obvious that the Yankees once again, want the all-time HR leader to be a New York Yankee. ARod needs to average 22 HR/yr to do this.

Like him or not, ARod has a chance to do what very, very, very few players ever have a chance to do. People still talk about Babe Ruth 80 years after he played, and if ARod passes Bonds, people might be talking about ARod in 80 years from now.

So comparisons to ARod (and his contract) just don't hold water unless you have 600 HRs, and 6 good years left.

15 OldYanksFan   ~  Nov 23, 2010 12:43 pm

[13] Make that man our GM!

16 Yankster   ~  Nov 23, 2010 1:47 pm

What happens if the Red Sox sign Jeter to a one year deal at $10 million per? Neither Matsui nor Damon seemed to think that $1 in New York was equal to a $1 somewhere else. More like $3 Yankee to one dollar Tiger money. I still don't understand that. And two yankee years equal one year elsewhere.

I can't believe the starting offer was 3 years at $15 mil. That means the final could be as much as 4 years at 16 or 17, which seems like waaay too much. And I repeat, I'm a fanatic fan of Derek "can do no wrong" Jeter.

17 williamnyy23   ~  Nov 23, 2010 1:52 pm

One amusing part about Sherman's column is that in doing some research on past contract negotiations between Jeter and the Yanks, I came across a column of his in which he basically says the Yankees should give Jeter "Nomar" money because he was "Derek Jeter" (he cites all the intangible things being scoffed at today).

Interestingly, it seems as if Jeter and the Yanks have never had an easy negotiation since being signed out of high school. Guess we shouldn't expect one now.

18 Alex Belth   ~  Nov 23, 2010 2:15 pm

17) They were never easy with Bernie either.

19 Raf   ~  Nov 23, 2010 2:23 pm

[10] Why is it OK to be on the hook to Arod, who hasn’t done as much for the Yanks as these guys, long after he will be useful but it’s not OK to pay up for Jeter and Rivera in their twilight?

The Rodriguez contract is the difference in negotiation tactics between Steinbrenner and Cashman.

20 williamnyy23   ~  Nov 23, 2010 3:23 pm

[19] Also, Arod was coming off a massive year when he inked his new deal. That's why the comparison to Jeter's situation fails.

21 RIYank   ~  Nov 23, 2010 4:18 pm

I don't think anyone is going to be paid for "past performance", and I don't think anyone should be. What's going to happen is something that will look like payment for past performance, but is actually payment for future box office draw. That is: Jeter is worth quite a bit more to the Yankees than you can calculate from his projected win shares. He makes the team a lot of money. He obviously should be paid for that.
So, in my opinion, Jeter should be 'overpaid' (compared to the market value of his on-field skills) for a very similar reason to the reason that A-Rod is being overpaid, namely, that it's not overpayment when the player makes the team a lot of money by being an attraction above and beyond his contributed runs and glove work.

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