Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Captain's Uncertain Future?


It's hard to believe that 2010 is the final year of Derek Jeter's contract and he'll be a free agent after the season. It's even harder to believe that the New York Yankees have made it clear they will not discuss a contract extension until after the season.

So when asked about it, Jeter responded--

"It's their organization and they can make any policy they want. I have no issue with that. This is the only organization I ever wanted to play for and that's true today. I was a Yankee fan growing up, this is where I want to be. I've never envisioned myself playing anywhere else and hopefully I don't have to."

"I think it is unfair to talk about myself when we are trying to win. I know it might cause a lot of speculation and maybe a few stories. But it won't be a distraction because I won't talk about it. I can't think about what happens after this year. I'll say it again: This is the only organization I want to play for. I can't say that enough times."

Well, I guess it's pretty clear who'll have first dibs at Jeter when he becomes a free agent after this season. But even mentioning the term free agency in the same sentence with Jeter feels kind of weird. When he signed his monstrous 10-year $189 million contract back in 2001, he admitted that he signed for as long as possible just to avoid free agency and to avoid even talking about free agency.

I guess there's a first time for everything-- even for the player who's name has become synonymous with Yankee pinstripes.

But I highly doubt this issue will be a big story come the off-season. My prediction: Jeter signs a 5-year, $110 million contract, which will keep him in pinstripes until age 41.

A quick note on the Johnny Damon front:

I think the Damon-Yankee parting is a bummer. And I believe both sides share the blame. Damon demanded too much (2-years, $26 million) and the Yankees offered too little (2-years, $14 million). They could have met each other halfway, at let's say-- 2-years, $20 million.

My suspicion is that the Yankees played hardball, not because of Damon, but because of his agent Scott Boras. After all, Boras' relationship with Yankee brass is not exactly all lovey-dovey. And the Yankees' excuse that they are cutting payroll is just plain lame. I mean, the Yankees worrying about payroll is like Warren Buffett cutting back on household expenses because times are hard. Get real!


After the Alex Rodriguez fiasco of two years ago, I think Boras overextended his welcome at Yankees' headquarters. So trying to make demands to the most powerful organization in baseball for an aging Johnny Damon, was a bad business move on Boras' part. I guess he didn't learn his lesson from the A-Rod drama when A-Rod had to dump Boras and throw himself at the mercy of the Yankees. I mean, both Boras and A-Rod were on Fantasy Island when they shunned the Yankees and thought they could get the kinda loot they were asking for from another organization. A-Rod had to come back (without Boras) and literally beg for forgiveness.


In the end, the loser in this latest Boras flop was Damon, who ended up having to take a one-year, $8 million deal from the Detroit Tigers. I'm sure he wishes the Yankees 2-year, $14 million deal was still on the table.

But that's the business of baseball. I guess the lesson to be learned is-- don't mess with The Empire.

Photos courtesy of the AP

1 comment:

  1. I heard the reason the Yankees are waiting to discuss resigning Jeter until the end of the season is becuase if they do it now, than Rivera will want resigned now too. I don't think they want to resign Rivera to a large contract since older closers can go downhill fast. I think they want to get one more productive season out of him.