Shortstop Derek Jeter just finished his 15th year with the New York Yankees, the final year of a 10-year deal. Prior to this off-season, many believed that the Yankees organization and Jeter would work out a new deal in no time. Well, things have gotten ugly and Yankees fans are beginning to think about life without No. 2
The problem with contract negotiations is that a player's agent can be the one making all the demands, as we witnessed with Alex Rodriguez a few years back. Rodriguez went on to fire his agent Scott Boras and handle the negotiations himself.
The Yankees captain is coming off his worst year offensively, batting just .270. Yankee fans are used to seeing Jeter bat well above .300. With Jeter's sub-par 2010 season, the question is now should the Yankees pay him like the great icon that he is? Or should they pay him like the .270 hitter he was this past season?
The Yankees have offered Jeter $45 million for three years, and that deal remains on the table. With Jeter and agent Casey Close wanting more money, they must wonder if Jeter will get at least $15 million a year elsewhere.
The answer is no.
Jeter and Close need to realize that this is an extremely generous offer from the Yankees and that he is not going to find another offer like this around the league. Granted, Jeter may be offended by general manager Brian Cashman's comments about testing the open market but at the end of the day, Jeter signing this deal will make both parties happy.
The fact remains that the Yankees cannot let Jeter walk, and Jeter needs the Yankees as well. Fans are outraged at the situation already and things will only get worse if a deal does not get done. Fans have called in to radio shows, going as far to say that they will never step foot in Yankee Stadium if a deal does not get done.
As if things were not ugly already, the New York Post's sports cover page was a picture of Derek Jeter in a Boston Red Sox uniform with a title saying "Picture This!" This is the absolute last thing the Yankees and their fans want to see.
It is extremely unlikely that Jeter will ever play in Boston, but seeing that image of the captain in a Red Sox uniform should give the Yankees and their fans nightmares.