Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sorry, Tino, but Derek Jeter IS being greedy

Today's New York Post features interviews with former Yankees Tino Martinez and Johnny Damon on -- what else -- the Derek Jeter contract situation. Tino tries to tell George King that even though Derek Jeter reportedly wants between $24-25 million for the next four to six seasons, the captain really isn't being a money-grubbing egomaniac who has a delusional opinion of how much he's worth:

A byproduct of this process is the perception that Jeter has gotten greedy. That bothers Tino Martinez, a close friend of Jeter and a special assistant to Cashman.

"It's making it seem like he is greedy, Martinez said of the public opinion. "He is not being greedy. He is going through a baseball negotiation like everybody else. It's made him look like he doesn't know what's happening in the real world, and he is not like that.

"This guy gives millions to charity. He is only going through a baseball negotiation and for people to think he is greedy, that bothers me. Derek is my friend, and I would say the same thing about Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera. They all are quality people. 

If Jeter asking for more money per season than he ever earned in his career, after the worst season he ever had, during the most brutal economic times since the Great Depression isn't greedy, then what is? I mean, really.

While it's great that Jeter gives money to charity, that doesn't mean that he deserves to be paid $80-100 million more than he's worth for doing so. It doesn't work that way.

And Tino sets up a bit of a straw man for his good friend by bringing Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera into the conversation. They're all going through negotiations with the Yankees, but by the accounts so far, Mo and Andy don't appear to be asking for anything unreasonable. Jeter is.

As for the idea that asking for such a huge contract is a standard part of negotiations, Johnny Damon is living proof that this doesn't always work with the Yankees. Heck, Damon had a great 2009, with 24 homers and the most memorable play of the World Series. But when he started making noise about not taking a pay cut, Brian Cashman lost interest pretty quickly.

Granted, I thought the Yankees should have re-signed Damon, and that Cashman's last-minute, $2 million offer to Johnny was insulting. That being said, Damon and agent Scott Boras' initial demand for two years at $13 million each season was unreasonable.

Damon talked to George King about Jeter's contract situation, saying:

"There is no way around it, older players are being looked at differently," he said. "But what a lot of people forget is that guys like me and Jeter, we came out at the same time and we are special players. If things need to get done on a baseball field, we get it done."

If I were Damon, I would have told King in the Post's interview to tell Jeter to lower his demands right now. But King didn't appear to directly ask him about how his negotiation failed for him. The Yanks offered him $7 million, he balked at that, then Cashman did the $2 million offer, then Damon finally ended up signing with the Detroit Tigers for $8 million.

What do you think? Tell  us about it!


Roger 9 said...

I am not sympathetic to either Derek Jeter or the Yankees.Jeter is being greedy and unrealistic. On the other hand the Yankees have flushed countless millions into the sewer via Carl Pavano, Javvy Vasquez, Nick Johnson, Kei Igawa and Roger ClemensII,without getting anything positive in return.They then take it out on players that have given them quality results over the years....Matsui,Damon,and have gone on to insult Joe torre and now Derek Jeter. The current debacle will be settled with a contract to Derek Jeter based on incentives and a realistic time period...three years with an option for a fourth year. Both sides need each other.No other organization will come close to what the yankees are offering and the Yankees do not have a replacement for Jeter at this time.

Uncle Mike said...

Let's see, the Yankees refused to give Tino what he wanted... and didn't win another World Series for another 8 years.

The Yankees refused to give Damon what he wanted... and lost the Pennant to an inferior team.

The Yankees, for the moment, are refusing to give Jeter what he wants...

The Yankee brass can afford to pay a "greedy" man what he wants. Can they afford to look like idiots... again?

Lisa Swan said...

Roger, Matsui signed with the Angels in the first week of free agency without the Yanks ever making him an offer.

And whether the Yanks spent money on players that were disappointments is irrelevant.

Mike, Using the logic that Tino was the key, then the Yankees should have won another ring when he came back with them, right?

All this putting Jeter above the team sounds, oh I don't know, very 24 and 1 ish!

Steven said...

The only prior contract that matters is A Rod's. That is what is hanging over this negotiation. Jeter wants something that looks like an A Rod deal. The Yankees see that deal for the debacle that it is now that A Rod has been revealed to have been a steroid user in his prime and seems to already be on the decline.

For once, Lupica is probably right 3-4 years at the last k's average. But going into his 40's just is not a (wise) option even if it means a breakup.

All the ad homs against Jeter and the Yankees are really silly. Both want what they want. That's what a negotiation is all about - to find both sides' "I can live with it" points are.

Subway Squawkers said...

"All the ad homs against Jeter and the Yankees are really silly. Both want what they want. That's what a negotiation is all about - to find both sides' "I can live with it" points are."

If it were any other player, I'd agree, Steven. But when it's the player built up as Mr. Yankee, Mr. All About Team, Mr. Cares More About Winning Than Money, I think it's relevant to bring up the difference between reputation and reality.

Steven said...

Fair enough; I guess I never bought the idea that Jeter was (or was going to be) some sort of saint when it comes to his contract in the first place.

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