Michael S. Schmidt of the New York Times reports that, according to someone in the know on the Yankees-Jeter negotiations, the parties are “not even in the same ballpark.”
If so, it would be the first time Jeter has left the ballpark in ages. Hey-o!
No, seriously, there’s reportedly trouble in paradise, as the Yankees are taking an outrageously hard line:
“We do appreciate the contributions he has made to this organization,” Cashman said in an interview with The New York Times. “And Derek Jeter is the person we want playing shortstop.” But, Cashman added, the money in a new contract “ has to be a fair salary” that reflects the fact that Jeter will turn 37 next June . . . “We have told them directly, face to face, how we came up with our offer, and we have made it clear to them that our primary focus is his on-the-field performance.”
Wait, that’s not a hard line. That’s fairly reasonable. And that “fair offer” stuff is not actually even true, because Schmidt confirms that often-mentioned three-year, $45 million offer, and that values Jeter way above what is fair for a guy of his age and skills. Really, I’m not sure what the Yankees need to do to be more reasonable here.
But as the guild obligates us to do, let me say this: I still think a deal gets done. I think that when it gets done it will be pretty darn close to what the Yankees are currently offering and that, if there is any sweetening of the deal, it will be of the bells and whistles variety (performance incentives, creative options, etc.) that allow Jeter to claim he did better than what the Yankees were initially offering.
Because really, what leverage does Jeter have?