Derek Jeter: Not the Yankees Loyalist We Thought

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And the plot thickens...

So today we find out that the San Francisco Giants contacted Derek Jeter's agent, Casey Close, about his client's possible employment with them.

While the reality of the situation that a team other than New York Yankees is talking to Jeter about playing for them is an astonishing notion in itself, the fact that things have even gotten to this point is the most shocking part of this.

If someone was going to be poking around inquiring about Jeter however, the fact that Brian Sabean is the first one to be found kicking the Yankee Capitan's tires at this point is pretty logical.

  1. Sabean was the Yankees' vice president of player development when Jeter was drafted in 1992 and knows him very well.
  2. Giants 2010 NL Rookie of the Year catcher Buster Posey is also one of Casey Close's clients.
  3. The Giants are one of the few teams in baseball that with a few added pieces to their puzzle, can win now (similar to what they did this past year.)

No matter how hard other GM's kick the tires though, the facts remain:

  • Jeter won't receive many offers (if any at all) from other clubs, not because he can't play and help them, but because everyone expects him to sign back with the Yankees in the end. No one wants to be used as a bargaining chip.
  • No team is going to offer more than the $15 million for three years that the Yankees are offering him. His production is not worth it. He's worth more to the Yankees than anyone else. (This is probably Jeter's biggest negotiating problem and the Yankees know it.)
  • Unless Derek Jeter gets so disenchanted by the process and so annoyed at the Yankee brass because of how he perceives he is being treated that he is actually willing to sign elsewhere for less money just to prove a point that he doesn't want to be dictated to, Jeter will be back with the Yankees. The reasons are clear.

I hate to say this but currently ex-Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter is acting greedy. I didn't think it would come to this, but it has. Jeter is insulted by a contract offering him $15 million a year for the next three years. That 15 million would make Jeter who is currently the highest paid shortstop in the game, still the highest paid shortstop in the game. The problem (from Jeter's eyes) is that this would be a cut in salary of about 1/3 from what he made last year and he is having a hard time swallowing it. Derek's logic is simply out of left field because the reality is that the Yankees offer of $15 million for three years is an offer to over pay, basically because he's Jeter and they are the Yankees.

Let's look at some the metrics of his piers with regard to their on-field performance:

  • Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies his WAR is 6.4, salary $3.5 million, age 26.
  • Stephen Drew, Diamondbacks his WAR 5.1, salary $3.4 million, age 27.
  • Hanley Ramirez, Marlins his WAR 4.4, salary $7 million, age 26.
  • Alexei Ramirez, White Sox, his WAR 3.8, Salary $1.2 million, age 29.
  • Cliff Pennington, A's, his WAR 3.7, salary $405K, age 26.
  • Alex Gonzalez, Braves, his WAR 3.7, salary $2.75 million, age 33.
  • Juan Uribe, Giants, his WAR 3.2, salary $3.25 million, age 31.
  • Jose Reyes, Mets, his WAR 2.8, salary $9.37 million, age 27.
  • Derek Jeter, Yankees, his WAR 2.5, age 36, salary was making $22 million, looking for more than $15 million a year.

Statically, by WAR, Derek Jeter was the 9th best shortstop in baseball last year. He is older by at least 4 years than any of the eight shortstops ranked above him. The salary he was paid way more than any other shortstop in baseball. If you take Jose Reyes out of the mix, Jeter's salary was more than the total of the top 7 performing shortstops!

At $15 million per year, Jeter would still be the highest paid shortstop in baseball by far. In fact, if I were Troy Tulowitzki or Hanley Ramirez, I'd be pissed!

Remember Dennis Green's infamous tirade, "They are who we thought they were." Well Derek Jeter isn't who we thought he was, he's just like everyone else and it's time for Derek and his agent to get over themselves. Jeter was paid handsomely in the past, very handsomely and the Yankees are willing to pay him handsomely now and in the future. I really don't blame the Yankees here and to be honest, if he should ever play elsewhere (for less money) the Yankees would be off the hook as Jeter would look like the bad guy. That's something the Yankees clearly are willing to gamble that he won't do to his reputation. The cards are in Jeter's hands, let's see what kind of poker player he is. - Keith A. Baker

Keith is a sports agent in Stamford, Connecticut. His goal is to offer a unique insight to the world of sports. Comments in his columns are for entertainment purposes only and do not reflect the views and opinions of his firm or his clients.


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