Friday, November 26, 2010

Bill Madden sez Derek Jeter wants $150 million (gulp!) from the Yankees

After a month of Derek Jeter contract stories, we finally have a reported figure of how much the Yankee captain is actually looking for. New York Daily News columnist Bill Madden says that Jeter and his agent Casey Close are seeking $25 million a year over the next six years. This number is an even higher average annual value than his previous contract, and an absolutely outrageous amount for an aging shortstop who hit .270 last year to expect.

Here's some of what Madden writes:
"Throughout this process, Close and Jeter have never revealed what they're actually looking for - which is why so many Yankee fans, opposing club officials and nationwide media types are asking: Why are the Yankees treating Jeter this way? But sources close to the Jeter/Close camp have said their starting point was six years, $150 million and that they aren't budging on $25 million per year - which would effectively get the captain about even in annual average salary to Alex Rodriguez, the real benchmark from their standpoint in this negotiation."
If these figures are true -- and I believe they are, simply because the Yankees would never have postured the way they had if the two parties weren't so far apart in what they wanted -- these are flat-out crazy numbers. Jeter never made $25 million in his prime. He thinks he deserves it now? Please.

I mean, really. Who's advising Jeter these days -- LeBron James?  Is Jeter, like King James was, surrounded by flunkies who tell him how wonderful he is all the time, without ever giving him a reality check? The longer this goes on, the more the captain looks completely out of touch as to how much he's actually worth. On what planet does Jeter think he's worth $25 million a year these days -- Planet Intangibles, where fist pumps and jump throws are worth more than hits and runs?

And don't tell me about the marketing. It doesn't matter if the Yankees sell a gazillion #2 t-shirts. You know how much the team makes on that? 1/30 on the licensing shares, even though they sell 27 % of the team merchandise sold.
Madden thinks the Yankees made a mistake in not revealing the numbers Jeter is looking for. He writes that the team:

"should have just told the world how greedy and unreasonable Jeter and his agent, Casey Close, are being in this negotiation. To do that, however, apparently would have been to betray an agreement the two sides made going in - which was not to negotiate in the media or reveal each other's positions. The reason the Yankees' offer is out there is because whenever a club makes an offer to a free agent it becomes common knowledge in the central offices of baseball and throughout the industry. On the other hand, the players' and agents' asking prices never get revealed unless they themselves let them be known."
And, as I've been saying for a while, it looks like the contract demands are driven by Jeter wanting to get paid like A-Rod:

"It's pretty apparent that what the Yankees chose to pay A-Rod - $275 million over 10 years until 2017 - is at the crux of Jeter's and Close's stance. But the circumstances of that deal - dumb as it was - were vastly different than these with Jeter. A-Rod was only 32, coming off a year in which he'd led the majors in homers (56) and RBI (156) and had not yet revealed he'd been a steroids cheat. He was also going to have plenty of suitors in his pursuit of the all-time home run record - not at those ridiculous numbers, but he was going to get his money - and, in the meantime, the Yankees were facing losing their cleanup hitter.

So what you have here is Jeter and Close telling the Yankees: "Who has meant more to this franchise?" Except that it doesn't work that way. "
Remember, Madden isn't exactly Alex Rodriguez's biggest fan -- he suggested that the Yankees release him and eat the money on his contract after the steroid scandal. He also said that A-Rod will never get his Hall of Fame vote. But even Madden acknowleges that A-Rod's situation was different from Jeter's, and that the captain is out of line with what he wants here.

One thing Madden didn't mention that I would add, is that economic times were much better in 2007. But for the past two years, we've had a terrible economy and double-digit unemployment. For Jeter and his team to act insulted over an offer that is still twice more than any other team would give him was ridiculous enough. But for him to want over three times more that generous $45 million amount is the most out-of-touch contract demand I've seen since Latrell Sprewell turned down a 3-year, $21 million contract extension from the Minnesota Timberwolves, saying "I got my family to feed."

What do you think? Tell us about it.


BrooklynGirl said...

Someone please call Dr.Phil. Derek and "his camp" clearly need an intervention. This past summer I saw a photo of "The Captain" , with a quote (presumably from him)saying that he can never seen himself playing in another uniform.

Well, if "baffled" (strange choice of words,after just making over $200M the I'm thinking it should be"blessed","grateful",speechless, "oh bleep I just hit the lottery" or "thank you Lord!") Derek doesn't get a grip or a clue,there will be ANOTHER shortstop wearing a Yankee uniform come Opening Day.

No one, repeat no one is irreplaceable.

Uncle Mike said...

True. No one is irreplaceable.

That's why the Yankees won all those Pennants in the 1980s with Rick Cerone as catcher. And then Butch Wynegar. And then Ron Hassey. And then Don Slaught.

It's all right. We can all cheer Derek as he singles up the middle in the bottom of the 9th inning of Game 7 of the ALCS to win the Pennant.

For the Angels.

Against Mariano Rivera.

Then we'll be writing about how Mo shouldn't have gotten the big contract, how he wasn't worth it, and how no one is irreplaceable.

A year after that, when A-Rod starts looking like the 1973, rather than the 1965, version of Willie Mays, all these idiots will start saying the same stuff about him. While Derek closes his career in the World Series, giving the Angels another title as he goes 3-for-4 off Cliff Lee, picked up by the Braves because the Rangers were tired of paying such a big contract for a .520 pitcher. (You know, like... Nolan Ryan.)

Lisa Swan said...

I agree, BrooklynGirl. We always hear about how Jeter can't stand negativity around him. Is that a code word for "only listens to what he wants to hear"? You would think somebody out there in Camp Jeter would tell him his demands are delusional (a word I saw used a lot today to describe him.)

Uncle Mike, are you a Yankee fan, or a Jeter fan? You're ranking him above everybody, including Mariano, based on what, exactly? You're living in the past. And what's more, a past that never was. The Yankees won exactly one ring during his last contract. And he can't even credit that to his leadership -- CC and Swisher and even A.J. did more for the clubhouse, by all accounts, in 2009 than Jeter did. As for your postseason fantasy, Jeter hit .250 in the playoffs this year, with 10 strikeouts. Whoopee.

It's 2010, not 2001. Derek's wins over replacement number in 2010 was 1.3, thirteenth (!) on the team. That means that he himself contributed to exactly 1.3 more wins to the team than Ramiro Pena would have. For this, he wants more money per year than any player not named A-Rod has made in baseball history? Please.

If Jeter wants to be an Angel, and thinks he get get that coin from them, I strongly encourage him to try. He'll soon see that he'll be lucky to get a two-year, $20 million deal from them, or anywhere else.

No matter how much I like A-Rod, when he opted out, I was ready to say goodbye to him. I root for the pinstripes above all else.

As for your Munson comparison, the Yankees made it into the playoffs twice, and the World Series once, after he died. Those losses had nothing to do with his absence.

If you want to get all historical, Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford both got to play as long as they wanted to, and each retired on their own terms. How did those post-1964 teams do again?

Roger 9 said...

When all is said and done Jeter will have a contract with the Yankees. All of the rest is posturing and media hype. In the end, his contract will be for three years and an option for a fourth year. There will be incentives which will enable him to earn two to three million $ over the basic $15 million per year.And all will be happy again, with nice things being said about each other. All one has to do is look back to the A-Rod debacle of 2007, to see that anything being said prior to the point of signing is pure posturing.

Lisa Swan said...

Eh, I wouldn't be so sure about that, Roger. Could I see a scenario where Jeter is so insulted, he cuts off his nose to spite his face, the way Joe Torre did? I would not completely rule it out.

Uncle Mike said...

"As for your Munson comparison, the Yankees made it into the playoffs twice, and the World Series once, after he died. Those losses had nothing to do with his absence."

Try again, Lisa. Cerone went 4-for-12 in the 1980 ALCS, including 2-for-4 in the 3-2 loss in Game 2, but in Game 3, a 4-2 loss, went 1-for-4, including a double play with 1st and 3rd in the 8th. Understandable when you're only making Rick Cerone money, but right out of the A-Rod October playbook. In the 1981 World Series, Cerone went 4-for-21. Not as bad as Dave Winfield did (and was tagged "Mr. May" for years thereafter for it), but even an aching, 34-year-old Munson could have done better.

"If you want to get all historical, Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford both got to play as long as they wanted to, and each retired on their own terms. How did those post-1964 teams do again?"

Wrong again, Lisa. Whitey did not retire on his own terms, he was forced out by injury in 1967. So were a lot of their teammates, including Bobby Richardson, Tony Kubek, and, in a way, Roger Maris and Jim Bouton (both of whom hung on a little while after being traded, but from a Yankee standpoint, it didn't matter, as they were still gone). Mickey was still the best player on the team -- an indictment of Yankee management, not of him. There was no one player whose retention would have made a difference then.

There's a reason the Rolling Stones and Clint Eastwood still get the big bucks for doing what they do, long after it seems like they should have given it up: It's because people would rather see them than, respectively, Nickelback or Adam Sandler, who may make a lot of money, but can't be taken seriously as performers.

As to the Stones, "Well, this could be the last time" if they don't re-sign Jeter. As to Clint, Brian Cashman's gotta ask himself one question: "Do I feel lucky?"

I'd feel a lot luckier with Jeter than without him.

Subway Squawkers said...

Mike, are you remotely aware of what Thurman Munson was like in 1979? He was getting towards the end of his career. He wasn't going to be catcher for much longer. Digging up Rick Cerone, and not, say Mike Ferraro, as your scapegoat for the 1980 ALCS is really reaching. At any rate, what does all this have to do with paying an aging shortstop $150 million?

And you're bringing the Rolling Stones into it? Good grief. I saw them in 1989, and the only one who wasn't going through the motions was Keith Richards. It was not fun. At any rate, to compare aging rock stars to a baseball team is a ridiculous analogy. If I want to see Yankee Old Timers, I'll watch their annual game. Yogi had 10 rings for the Yankees, but I don't want him catching for the team.

Incidentally, if you notice any of the online sites, the vast majority of Yankee fans now agree with me, not you. Jeter overreached big time.

Subway Squawkers said...

As for Whitey Ford, he announced 1967 would be his last year. It was, even if it was technically by injury.

At any rate, you have yet to give me a specific tangible reason to explain how paying a 36-year-old shortstop 150 million dollars will make the team better. Typical.

BrooklynGirl said...

Uncle Mike:
Derek Jeter= Rolling Stones? LOL! He's getting older not ancient! I agree with Lisa that comparing musicians to athletes is not a good one; many singers and musical performers get better as they age for a variety of reasons. This is RARELY the case for athletes especially in baseball and football. But since you brought up a classic Rolling Stones song I've got a better one that is even more appropriate to our beloved Captain's "baffled" situation (I just can't get over that word).
Here goes...

"You can't always get what you want(repeat 3x)

"But if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.

Too bad the Captain is a Hip/Hop R&B fan so he's probably never heard of the song.

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