Apparently Derek Jeter wants a $150 million contract to remain with the New York Yankees. This doesn’t seem like something the Yankees would do, and Jeter has placed the team at an impasse in the current negotiations. The Yankees are understandably reluctant to give the face of their team a new contract at that dollar amount, especially now that he is 36 years old. It is going to lead to animosity on both sides of the negotiations, and it has become even clearer that this is going to be a contract where both sides use the press to air out their thoughts.
According to the NY Daily News, sources close to Jeter are stating that he wants $150 million over the next six years, and that the $25 million per year average is to keep him on par with teammate Alex Rodriguez. Rodriguez has a current deal that he signed for 10 years at about $27.5 million per year on average. Rodriguez will finish out that deal in his 40s, and it appears quite clear that Jeter wants to do the same thing.
It has placed the New York Yankees front office in a difficult position, because there aren’t many MLB analysts who feel Jeter is worth anything close to that contract.
In the 2010 MLB season, Jeter hit just .270 with 10 home runs and 67 RBI for the Yankees. It was one of the worst hitting seasons of his career, and he did it while striking out 106 times. To his credit, Jeter did win the American League Gold Glove at shortstop this past season, possibly driving up his price in a new contract in 2011.
Jeter was paid $22.6 million to play for the Yankees in 2010, but many could argue that he really didn’t earn the money he was paid. Now he apparently wants a raise to come back as an even older shortstop, and the Yankees have to make the hard choice of either moving on or having one side of their infield soaking up more than $50 million per year.
It’s hard to estimate the monetary value that someone like Derek Jeter provides to a franchise, and it is clear that he does provide nice veteran leadership. The problem, though, is that he most likely isn’t worth as much as he or his team thinks he should be paid. Jeter could sell a lot of tickets as he passes 3,000 hits in the 2011 season, and if he hangs on long enough, he could start climbing the all-time hits list toward Pete Rose.
It could be time for the Yankees to say good-bye, though, because if his team of people isn’t going to back down from the outrageous contract demands, then they need to find a new shortstop.