Cashman forced to pay
Brian Cashman, but it doesn't matter. Because Derek Jeter is more valuable to the Yankees than to anyone else, and they'll eventually have to pay him close to what he wants.
The Orioles faced a similar dilemma with
, when he approached his final contract. There is no way they could have let him finish his career elsewhere.
Jeter will be 37 in June and his skills are declining. In 2010, he set career lows for a full season in batting average (.270), on-base percentage (.340) and slugging percentage (.370). That's a world away from a $15-million-plus player seeking at least a four-year deal.
But he'll get it and stay in pinstripes. Part of the salary will be earned on the field. The rest should be filed under "public relations" in the Yankees' accounting ledger.
Jeter deserves better
I saw the Derek Jeter/Yankees mess coming a season away. I wrote about the possibility for awkward negotiations when Jeter went to Tampa signed only through 2010 last February. The Yankees do this because they have a policy — they say — about allowing contracts to end before doing new ones. That's the issue here. The policy is wrong — at least if it doesn't allow for an exception in the case of an icon like Jeter.
The Yankees created this situation by letting Jeter reach free agency, and now have exacerbated it by saying they'll let the market set his price. That's not how you treat a class act like Jeter, especially not when you've rolled in the contractual mud with Alex Rodriguez. Jeter deserves better. Here's hoping the Red Sox wake up and make these negotiations really interesting.
Give Jeter his due
The Morning Call
I believe I speak for most of America when I ask: Who is Brian Cashman? Well, to answer (and to be fair): He's another suit running a baseball operation at the command of his owners.
Meanwhile, Derek Jeter is the New York Yankees, the best player on America's greatest sports franchise. Five World Series titles. Superb fielder. Even better hitter. Clutch performer. Never misses a game. Scandal-free. Leader. Ambassador for the sport. Hall of Famer in waiting. Future New York governor. Winner.
Cashman should persuade the Steinbrenner boys to offer more years and more money to Jeter. He is a once-in-a-generation shortstop who deserves to end his career in New York.
Don't leave him hanging out there in the public eye like Kim Kardashian waiting for a marriage overture. Make up and propose.
Yankees won't mess up
Juan C. Rodriguez
Derek Jeter's importance to the Yankees has never been understated — not by teammates, opponents, the media, or Brian Cashman and the rest of the front office. Give the Yankees credit for identifying just how important Jeter would continue being to them and paying him accordingly.
The Yankees gave him a 10-year, $189 million contract after the 2000 season. How many contracts of that term has any team given since then? One (the Yankees to Alex Rodriguez). The Yankees handsomely compensated Jeter for those five World Series titles.
Three years for $45 million isn't a lowball offer. The Yankees ultimately will tack on a fourth year and increase the average annual value to $18 million or so. If Jeter needs more respect than that, he should try getting it elsewhere.