jeter could take awhile. #yanks may be thinking 2-3 yrs. but industry sources suggest he could ask to stay 'til hes 42 (6 yrs), a la arod.What Heyman wrote that the captain would be asking for would not surprise me. ESPN's Ian O'Connor, who Jeter is cooperating with on a book, wrote this summer that Jeter wants to play into his forties.
But what will the Yankees be getting for paying Jeter for so long? Even Jeter's agent Casey Close didn't promise that Jeter in the future would be anything more than a Yankee icon for that time or salary. Here's what he told AOL Fanhouse:
"While it is not our intent to negotiate the terms of Derek's free-agent contract in a public forum," Casey Close told FanHouse, "we do agree with Hal's and Brian (Cashman, the GM)'s recent comments that this contract is about business and winning championships.Really. No other athlete "embodies the spirit of a champion more than Derek Jeter"? You have to be kidding me. Just on a Yankee basis, is Jeter more of a winner than Yogi Berra with his ten rings, or Babe Ruth, or Joe DiMaggio. or Lou Gehrig, or Mickey Mantle? Why does Jeter, who has won exactly one ring in the last decade, (incidentally, the same number as A-Rod, the player who suffers in comparison to him), who was captain of the team that had the worst postseason collapse in baseball history, and whose team got outplayed this year by a team with 1/4 the payroll, "embodies the spirit of a champion" more than these Yankee legends do? C'mon now.
"Clearly, baseball is a business, and Derek's impact on the sport's most valuable franchise cannot be overstated. Moreover, no athlete embodies the spirit of a champion more than Derek Jeter."
And in other sports, forget about Michael Jordan, or Bill Russell, or Kobe Bryant, or Magic Johnson, or Larry Bird, or Tiger Woods, or Martina Navratilova, or Roger Federer, or Joe Montana, or Terry Bradshaw. No, Jeter's more of a champion than any of them, according to Close. Puh-lease.
Unlike Mike Francesa, I'm not saying Jeter should be moved off shortstop for 2011 -- even with his down year, he still is one of the better offensive shortstops in baseball. And I don't even have a problem with the Yankees paying him big bucks for, say, three years, although he already has already been rewarded quite handsomely ($189 million in his last contract) for his impact on the team.
But there has to be a limit on how much the Yankees keep on paying him for past performance. Even Jeter's own agent seems to be suggesting that Jeter should be paid on his value as the face of the franchise over the last fifteen years, not on his current playing abilities.
And a new six-year deal is a long time to pay for the past. Unless you're ageless like Nolan Ryan or Jamie Moyer, or chemically enhanced like Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds were, what you're going to get at age 42 in even a superstar ballplayer isn't going to be very good. Remember the sadness of a 42-year-old Willie Mays stumbling around the field in the 1973 World Series?
And before you ask, yes, I expect A-Rod to look just as terrible at 42. But just because the Yankees made one dumb move with him, doesn't mean they have to do it again with Jeter. Three years is enough.
What do you think? Tell us about it!