That’s what Joel Sherman is floating in this column. The overall thinking is fairly sound: the Yankees will overpay what he’s really worth to some degree because it would be embarrassing for everyone involved if some other team made a competitive offer, but they’re not going to do what a lot of us figured they might do a few months ago and try to make this into an A-Rod-Lite kind of contract. That thinking, of course, was based on the notion that Jeter’s 2010 would look a lot like his 2009: highly effective and age-defying. And that certainly didn’t happen.
I think the $45 million line is a safe one, by far. I can’t think of a single team not named the New York Yankees who would believe that Jeter brings anything close to that kind of value to the table, even if the deal specifies that Mystique and Aura get their own hotel suites on road trips. This isn’t the “oh noes, the Yankees have to keep Jeter!” world we thought we’d be living in a few months ago. Now it’s simply a matter of him being more valuable to the Yankees than anyone else, and the need for everyone to resolve the situation with dignity intact. That shouldn’t be too hard, and I’d be shocked if a deal wasn’t done by December 1st.