Thursday, February 5, 2009

March 3rd may be a preview of 2011 for Yankee fans

From, via the AP, comes this interesting story about Derek Jeter suiting up in the red, white and blue to face the team he has played for his entire career. In a move that is likely as much of a publicity stunt to promote the World Baseball Classic as it is preparation for the actual tournament, Derek Jeter will be playing for Team USA when they play against the New York Yankees in an exhibition game on March 3rd.

The game at Legends Field in Tampa, FL will likely be the hottest ticket in Spring Training. Those obsessed with the A-Rod vs. Jeter drama will be disappointed as A-Rod will be off playing for his native Dominican Republic in exhibition games preparing for the WBC and not for the Yankees.

Many Yankee fans never thought they would see the day when Derek Jeter was playing against the team they love. On the other hand, there has been growing sentiment among Yankee fans that re-signing Jeter after the 2010 season isn't a certainty. Without getting into a bashfest of El Capitan, it is important to note that his defense has pretty much always been a liability (YES, even when he won a gold glove - that award is meaningless), and his offense is likely in full decline mode. As we have seen in recent offseasons, dynasty Yankees have a sense of entitlement and aren't keen on taking a "hometown discount, " even if their best days are in the past. Andy Pettitte eventually succumbed to the pressure (likely due to the allure of pitching opening day at a brand New Stadium, a lack of other offers, and a P.E.D-riddled past) and signed team-friendly deal. That wasn't the case in better economic times as Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada held up the Yankees for every last dollar, with Jorge using the cross-town rival NY Mets for leverage.

Jeter will likely fall somewhere in between. There is no way he will completely lack bargaining power like Pettitte. He will also not be coming off of an unlikely career year at an advanced age like Posada and Rivera were after the 2007 season. If Cashman is still at the helm in the offseason prior to 2011, you can bet there will be a showdown. If Jeter continues to decline (as PECOTA predicts), he will probably have to agree to move from shortstop and take a legitimate paycut from his 21 million per year. In my opinion, 4 years at 12 million per year would be fair for both sides. While clearly overpaying in both years and dollars, it would likely guarantee that Jeter would retire a Yankee without crippling the payroll for 4 more years.

Nothing like a stupid exhibition game inspiring a short essay about the future of Derek Jeter!

Talk about it in the Stadium Insider Forums!


Charlie said...

Today is Pete Abe food day

Just thought you guys would get a kick out of it

He never answers my emails

BuckyBadger said...

Wish I could be at George M. Steinbrenner Field for this one. But really, you bring up a good point. What happens if the all around perfect Yankee Derek Jeter doesn't perform so well and is casually excused like Bernie Williams was? I can never imagine him playing in another uniform, and I highly doubt he could picture it as well. I assume Mo and Jeter will retire in pinstripes, but you never know where money will take you. I hope they stick around to win a couple more rings and give some rookies a few pointers, but who knows what'll happen?

Ross said...

@Charlie -

The sad thing is, he is probably posting as Sam Borden just so he can get away with it without any fat jokes!!

Haha - but no, seriously, Sam Borden is filling in this week, so unfortunately, that joke isn't applicable.

nick2slick said...

Bucky, it would be quite a shame... but of all guys, I think it needs to be up to Derek Jeter and his agent to understand his value. The Yankees have overpaid him through his prime years, he should throw them a bone, work out a 2 year extension BEFORE free agency, for a much lower dollar value.

I dont think anyone wants to see the debacle of Jeter playing in a Dodgers uniform

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