As was reported last night, Jeter and the Yankees spoke again yesterday and things went well.
Afterwards, Jon Heyman reported that, while there is nothing imminent, the Yankees may be willing to go up to $51 million over three years and to possibly add a fourth year in the form of an option. Moshe Mandel of TYU had received similar word from a source prior to Heyman’s report.
All of which fits nicely into the scenario I outlined yesterday: a negotiation more geared towards giving Jeter a face-saving way to accept a contract much closer to that which the Yankees were offering than it is to his reported demands. $51 million is still high in my mind, but when the gulf between the sides was $65 million or more, $6 million is not exactly a generous concession by the Yankees. A fourth year in and of itself is not smart, but if it’s an option of some kind — especially if it’s a team option or a vesting option — it’s far preferable, and ultimately not much for the team to give up.
But however this shakes out, a face-to-face meeting followed by a report reflecting calmness and (so far) no incendiary leaks to the media suggests that Jeter and the Yankees have started fresh, with an eye towards restoring sanity to the process.
And that’s good news for everyone except the bloggers.