Derek Jeter: Will Troy Tulowitzki Deal Guarantee Jeter’s Bronx Exit?
It would be interesting to know what Derek Jeter thinks of today's news with Troy Tulowitzki.
The Colorado Rockies' All-Star shortstop is reportedly set to sign a seven-year, $134 million extension through the 2020 season, according to the Denver Post.
Tulowitzki, 26, has already distinguished himself as one of the game's bright young talents. He was second in the 2007 National League Rookie of the Year balloting, with a .291 average, 24 home runs and 99 RBI. Last season, he hit .315 in 122 games, and also won his first Gold Glove award.
He's not even in the prime of his career, while Jeter is in the twilight, which begs the question: Will this extension help or hurt contract talks between Jeter and the New York Yankees?
Here are five reasons arguing both sides of whether this will be it for the Yankees captain:
Reason No. 5 It Won't: No Bidding War
The Yankees don't have to worry about trying to outspend other teams with an outrageous offer. No other team is going to give a 36-year-old shortstop a huge contract, and it's wishful thinking on Jeter's part to believe otherwise.
Reason No. 5 It Will: Look at History
The Yankees aren't stupid when it comes to aging players, especially shortstops. Name the players who have been reliable at the position who are older than Jeter? The only one who comes to mind is Omar Vizquel, who earned a total of $18 million from 2004 to 2007. Cleveland traded him away to San Francisco, and he's since played at Texas and Chicago.
Reason No. 4 It Won't: Different Teams
It's hard to equate how Colorado operates its payroll with the Yankees.
Colorado has now locked in one of its key players in their lineup. Tulowitzki bats behind Carlos Gonzalez, who isn't up for arbritration yet, but was third in the MVP voting last year. He also was the National League's top hitter, with a .336 average and 197 hits.
Reason No. 4 It Will: Not Like His Father
The Tulowitzki extension happens to come when the Yankees are no longer under the watchful eye of late owner George Steinbrenner. You can imagine he would've thrown huge money at Jeter, but now son Hal Steinbrenner operates with a much different perspective.
"As much as we want to keep everybody, we've already made these guys very, very rich, and I don't feel we owe anybody anything monetarily," Hank Steinbrenner said recently. "Some of these players are wealthier than their bosses."
Reason No. 3 It Won't: Colorado's Gamble
The Tulowitzki deal has already been criticized from the simple standpoint that Colorado is left with little money to spend on adding other players or extending contracts. Now extensions for Carlos Gonzalez and ace Ubaldo Jimenez (pictured) will be extra difficult.
Reason No. 3 It Will: New York's Backup Plan
ESPN reports that New York has already been looking at 23-year-old infielder Eduardo Nunez as a replacement for Jeter. He has only 50 at-bats in the majors, but is a talented defensive player and would be the option instead of signing another shortstop.
Reason No. 2 It Won't: The Helton Deal
NBC's Craig Calcaterra points out that Colorado has already made a mistake like this before when it signed Todd Helton to a long-term contract.
He writes that "Todd Helton is proof positive — right in front of the Rockies’ noses — that a deal of that length can go sideways. Helton’s was originally a nine-year deal. It was pretty good for four years. It was serviceable for a fifth. Since then he has been a role player or worse, making so much money that it has limited the Rockies’ financial flexibility to go out and get other pieces."
Reason No. 2 It Will: Economics
Forbes' Tom Van Riper writes that baseball economics has now shifted to the youth.
"The most glaring change in the mentality of baseball front offices since the recession struck two winters ago: a virtual end to long-term deals for older players," he writes. "Paying to reward past performance is out, return on investment is in. Any ten-year deal is a risk. But Tulowitzki, a rising star who finished fifth in the National League MVP voting in 2010, makes for a relatively safe bet, given that his deal expires by the time he hits his mid-30s."
Since that's the case, would Jeter possibly just walk away and call it quits?
Reason No.1 It Won't: The PR Nightmare
The longer these contract talks drag out, the worse it is for both Jeter and the Yankees.
Bob Raismann noted this in the New York Daily News, writing that Jeter is "being more and more perceived as spoiled and greedy."
"In the long run this ain't good for Jeter or the Yankees," Raismann writes. "If the Captain's storybook tale is even slightly soiled, the Bombers' brand is harmed. In what has turned into a petty and mean spirited negotiation, the Yankees are eating away at Jeter's iconic image."
Reason No.1 It Will: The Big Fish
His name is Cliff Lee, and the Yankees will do what it takes to pry him away from the Texas Rangers. If that means freeing up money they would pay Jeter, bank on it happening.