A force for the New York Yankees since 1986, Derek Jeter became a free agent when the World Series ended on November 1. Jeter personifies the Yankees and his clubhouse leadership is without peer. He was a major contributor on five Yankee world championship teams, became team captain in 2003, his life off the field is not in the headlines and fans idolize him.
Jeter is 36, and in 2010 did not have the type of productive season a player wants when he approaches free agency, as his overall statistics were the worst of his career. His .270 batting average was 64 points below his 2009 average, and 44 points below his lifetime average of .314. He matched his previous low of 179 hits not counting his injury shortened 2003 season, and his on base percentage of .340 was the worst since his rookie season.
As a result, his agent doesn’t enter contract negotiations with the Yankees on firm statistical ground, but, statistics or not he is Derek Jeter.
Jeter’s expired contract was for $189 million over 10 years, and reportedly, Brian Cashman Yankee’s general manager, and Jeter’s agent Casey Close contacted each other, but neither disclosed whether there were negotiations or not.
Hal Steinbrenner, managing partner of the Yankees, said regarding Jeter, “We absolutely want him back…But having said that were running a business here, so, if there’s a deal to be done, it’s going to have to be a deal that both sides are happy with,” according to an article on ESPNNewYork.com.
Steinbrenner went on to say that, negotiations might not go as smoothly as either side hopes. His other concerns revolve around the team not getting to the World Series, its overall age, the 2011 payroll, which is in the range of $142 million right now, negotiations with free agents outside the Yankee family, such as Texas Ranger pitcher Cliff Lee, and pending negotiations with Yankee free agent Mariano Rivera and long time ace Andy Pettitte.
Steinbrenner continued, “We know we are expected to field a championship-caliber team, and we’re going to do what it takes to do that. So if we have to get creative in a trade or if we have to go after a big free agent, we’re going to do it. We’re going to be a World Series-type team next year. Absolutely.”
Wallace Matthews: Yankees Hope to Resign Jeter: go.com