I'm still digesting today's Joel Sherman column in the New York Post, because it's partly reasonable, partly outrageous. In the article, Sherman suggests that the Yankees offer Jeter a three-year, $45 million deal, even though Sherman writes that Jeter "probably is not one of their 10 most important players anymore" (harsh!)
But when it comes down to it, I don't have a problem with Sherman's contract suggestion, although I think he's a little too tough on how important a player Jeter still is on the team.
What I do take issue is his idea for a post-career contract with the Yankees for the captain. Sherman proposes "a $75 million, 25-year post-career deal" for Jeter from the team, and compares it to the way George Brett and Cal Ripken Jr. got deals from their own teams after retiring. There are several problems with this idea:
* Exactly what are the Yankees going to get for three million a year for somebody who won't be playing? To put Sherman's figure in perspective, Joe Girardi makes $3 million a year in his new contract. Hitting coach Kevin Long just got a new deal, which makes him the second-highest paid hitting coach in baseball at a little over $600K a year. Most of the team's coaches make in the low hundreds for a full-time job. And Sherman wants the Yankees to pay Jeter $3 million a year, for 25 years, for what exactly? To be a mascot? He never really explains what Jeter will be doing for the money.
*For tthe Royals and Orioles, they have very few icons, so keeping Brett and Ripken in the fold made sense, because they were really the the big names of their generation. (Notably, Sherman didn't mention the 10-yea rpersonal services contract the Astros signed Roger Clemens to, for $200K a year, and now how Houston has essentially told Clemens to stay away from the team!) But the Yankees have a whole slew of superstars. If Jeter gets this sort of deal, then what about Mariano Rivera? Or Paul O'Neill? Or Bernie Williams? Or Jorge Posada? Or David Cone? Or Andy Pettitte? Where does it end? Is there going to be a $200 million payroll for ex-players, too?
* And how would the older Yankee roster of living legends handle this? For example, Yogi Berra and Whitey Ford each made less than $500K in their entire careers with the Yankees. They still do events with the team, and have attended spring training, which they're apparently compensated for to some extent. But how will they, or other retired Yankees, handle if Jeter gets such a huge deal, even though he's already made $205+ million as a Bomber? Reggie Jackson draws a salary from the Yankees as a special assistant, but it's not even near the money in Sherman's offer.
* And it's not like this would guarantee Jeter's undying loyalty to the pinstripes. Sherman writes that in his deal idea, "Jeter would receive an opt-out provision any time if he truly wants to pursue an ownership stake with another team." Sherman wants the Yankees to spend $75 million on somebody who won't be playing, then let him go and have to watch him compete against him elsewhere one day? How does that even make any sense?
What do you think? Tell us about it!