I've been astonished now for the last few weeks on how the sports media has turned on New York Yankees Captain Derek Jeter. I could see the point of view that the media put forth in his winning his 5th Gold glove for a Shortstop. Where my astonishment lies is how he is being portrayed as a greedy and egotistical person in his contract demands.
It was reported yesterday that Jeter was looking for a contract in the range of 5-years and 25 million-per-year. Whether that is true or not I cannot say. If it is true then Jeter's demands are unrealistic. On the other hand, I believe the Yankees' offer of 3-years and 15 million-per-year is disrespectful. Now I know many of you who are reading this will say: How is making 15 million-per-year a slight. Allow me to elaborate.
In this past contract, Jeter averaged 18.9 million-per-year. Looking at that number, the offer made to Jeter is almost 4 million less. When most of us leave a job for a newer one it is often based on salary and the prospects of making a higher salary. This is especially so when we feel that we cab do our jobs at the level that is expected of us. Then why should it be different than Derek Jeter.
Sure he had an off year by Derek Jeter standards. But isn't anyone allowed an off year? Would you rather have Jeter who you know is a model of consistency or a player who only performs at the highest level during his contract or walk year. His accomplishments, actions, class and grace have spoken for themselves year in and year out. Let's judge Jeter's decline on next year and the year after not just on last year.
I believe a suitable offer for the player that means so much to not only the New York Yankees but the city of New York and the fanbase of the team should be in the range of 3 to 4 years at 20 million-per-year. The team will make their money back as Jeter chases and eclipses the 3000-hit mark and further cements himself as a first ballot Hall of Famer. All this "nickel and dime" business is doing is turning a simple negotiation into a bitter conflict that can have long lasting effects between Jeter and the team.
For the good of all parties, get this done already. If the Boss was still alive, this post would be non-existent as Jeter would be signed, sealed and delivered.