Jeter contract situation
February, 6, 2009
Nope. When it comes to Derek Jeter, it's not too early to talk about Derek Jeter, whose massive contract expires at the end of the 2010 season. In the Post, here's Joel Sherman:
But as we learned again this week with Torre, there are not many happily-ever-afters in these situations -- and the issues and potential stress points with someone as beloved as Jeter only make the ticking clock toward November 2010 hover more ominously.
"I might not make 2011," Cashman said. "I am dealing with 2009."
That is the right public answer. But know this -- Yankee officials already talk privately about dreading D(erek)-Day.
After all, what team official wants to tell Jeter he has to take a pay cut or has to move positions or -- gulp -- just has to move on? How would you like that on your baseball epitaph: You were the Yankee executive who told Derek Jeter thanks for the memories?
Of course, the alternative is not too appetizing either. Because kowtowing to Jeter's legacy by paying him lavishly and keeping him at short means tying yourself to a late-30s icon well beyond his expiration date.
As if the matter needs complications, Jeter will conclude his current 10-year, $189 million contract on the doorstep of 3,000 hits, a total never reached by a Yankee.
And, really, do we need complications? He is Derek Freaking Jeter. He is the very definition of Yankee. How do you explain being tied to Alex Rodriguez for 10 years, but cutting relationships with Jeter?
But how do you decide to make this a popularity contest rather than a baseball team? How do you decide to ignore all the obvious data that screams be heartless, even with Jeter?