Monday, November 29, 2010

A Brief Thought on the Jeter Conundrum

I, for one, have been on the side of the Yankees over the course of the negotiations with Derek Jeter. There is some recent precedent for the Yankees asking a player to take a pay cut as they enter their twilight years (Mike Mussina in 2007 and Andy Pettitte in 2009) - particularly where the market for said player doesn't really exist. As great as Jeter has been, I do not believe that any team will match the Yankees first offer, nor do I believe that Jeter's value is as great to any team outside of the Bronx. Put simply, Jeter will not produce as much off the field value to another team as he has (and will) for the Yankees. As a result, it seems as if the Yankees will spend a fair chunk of the offseason bidding against themselves.

It is that last point that has left me wondering what exactly the front office is currently pondering. From the outset, it seemed as if Cashman et al were willing to let Jeter twist in the breeze a bit. While I can see how that could potentially alienate the Jeter camp to a fair degree, I do think that it's worthwhile - this team has a few holes that it has to account for, and it cannot spend its time and resources catering to Jeter's whim. That being said, the team has seemingly never been willing to do just that. With word that the Yankees are prepared to up their offer bouncing around, I can fully sympathize with Jeter's willingness to stay firm in his demands - if the team has shown signs of wavering without any threat of another team swooping in, what reason does Jeter have to acquiesce?

The reality of the situation is this - Jeter doesn't really have anywhere else to go, and the Yankees don't really have anyone else to fill the captain's shoes. In the end, I'm all but entirely sure that both are quite aware of that, and that a deal will be struck. In the interim, it's the fans that are left twisting in the wind.

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