This winter Derek Jeter will be paid a lot of money by the New York Yankees.
The New York Yankees are a team that promotes their history better than any franchise in sports today. Jeter is the living embodiment of the team's return to glory. That makes his value unique to the Yankees, but not to the rest of baseball.
He will make more money than any other shortstop in baseball in 2011 (and a few years thereafter) and by a significant margin. This is undeniable. There is no chance that Jeter or the New York Yankees end in divorce.
Jeter's resume speaks for itself.
- Five World Series titles, plus a World Series MVP
- Rookie of the Year
- 12 All-Star Selections
- Four Gold Gloves (no laughing please)
- One ESPY for Play of the Year
- Career Playoff numbers (nearly a full season's worth of games) mirrors his Career Regular Season numbers - .313 Average / .385 On-Base / .454 Slugging.
- The No 1. Jersey over the last 15 years.
We also know that Jeter is on the wrong side of 35 years old and is having his worst season as a professional. Those two significant statistics would normally give the Yankees strong leverage in negotiations.
This is not the case. There is one final number that is the determining factor in how much the Yankees will pay to retain their shortstop. That is $33 million.
We all knew it would come down to Alex Rodriguez.
That obscene figure is how much A-Rod made in 2010. This ridiculous contract runs an additional seven years at an average salary of $27 million. The Yankees already regret signing this contract.
Now they have more reason to do so.
Jeter wants to remain at or near the top of the Yankee payroll. The Yankees cannot see themselves paying nearly $60 million for the left side of the infield indefinitely. A contentious negotiation is inevitable.
Or is it?
If I were in the Yankee brain trust, I would make the following offer to Jeter.
- 3 years - $60 million dollars.
Year 1 - $35 million dollars. Derek Jeter gets to add another notch on his belt - leagues most expensive player for one year.
Year 2 and 3 - $12.5 million dollars. Still more money than the nearest shortstop, but somewhat fiscally responsible.
If Jeter is looking to retire from baseball at the end of this three year deal, this would be a fair offer. If Jeter is intent on playing until he breaks the hits record (a goal that I strongly believe he is after) that will take him to about 44 and would require a seven year contract. I would offer.
Year 1 - $35 million dollars. The most for one year...
Year 2 and 3 - $10 million dollars. Approaching normalcy...
Years 4 through 7 - $7.5 million dollars. Normalcy...
Bonus for the hit record - $25 million. Worth every penny. That's at least two Yankeeography's and a year of hype at the stadium. Imagine the merchandising.
That would put the overall compensation for seven years at $75 million without the bonus, which is financially prudent for the Yankees. It gives Jeter two giant carrots in the form of that huge checks at the front and the back of the contract.
More contracts like this would allow the Yankees the opportunity to get their payroll under $200 million sometime in the next few years.