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.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.
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. "
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.