Lupica: Yankees should open purse strings for Jeter

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If you listen closely enough, you’ll hear all sorts of reasons as to why the Yankees should not pay impending free agent Derek Jeter an exorbitant amount of money this offseason. 

First and foremost, they don’t have to.  No other club is going to hand a major contract to a 36-year-old shortstop with diminishing skills offensively and defensively.  Jeter, a stellar .314/.385/.452 hitter throughout his career, batted just .270/.340/.370 in 663 at-bats this season.  He had an Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR) of -4.8.  Oh, and he’ll be 37 in June.

But none of that matters to the New York Daily News’ Mike Lupica.  He thinks Jeter should be awarded whatever he wants — up to $20 million per year over four years.  Why?  Because he is “the kind of Yankee” that “everybody still wants the Yankees to be.”

Jeter is going for his sixth World Series ring with the Yankees. He has
become the iconic Yankee of his time in New York, is regarded as one of
the great winners of his time, in any sport. More than that, Jeter is
the Yankee brand they sell with both hands – class, history,
excellence – and has been since the winning came back to the old
Stadium.

Those are all great things, sure, but why not approach the situation with a little business sense?  A former general manager told Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York last week that Jeter is worth no more than $12 million over the next two seasons — as in, $6 million per year.  That’s probably a bit of an overreaction, but it’s not really that far off.