The Yankees may truly want Derek Jeter to wear pinstripes for the rest of his career, but according to a source familiar with both sides, their "arbitration-ambush" approach in contract negotiations with the captain isn't doing them any favors. In fact, says the source, the Yankees would do well to remember what makes them an iconic franchise - their great players.Can you believe this crap?
"Players like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle - and Derek Jeter - are what make the Yankees the Yankees," the source said. "The iconic players make the iconic franchise, not the other way around."
The Yankees have made it clear that while they want to sign their 36-year-old captain, they expect it to be on their terms, namely with a three-year contract. And they have not been shy in pointing out Jeter's shortcomings, presumably as a counterpoint to what he brings to the franchise - a peculiar approach to signing a free agent of Jeter's status.
"If you have a valuable asset, why would you want to devalue it?" the source said. "That's what they're doing. It has an arbitration feel to it."
"He's not trying to be unreasonable," the source said of Jeter. "He just doesn't want to go through this again in a few years."
Given Jeter's place among the all-time Yankee greats, he figures to be the one called upon to throw out ceremonial first pitches and be the link to this generation for years to come. Why, asks the source, would the Yankees take the chance of alienating the most popular player they've had since Mickey Mantle?
"They may be overvaluing their brand," the source said.
"When you say it's nothing personal and that it's just business, it becomes personal," the source said. "Even if they end up signing him, do they want there to be bad feelings? It makes no sense given everything he has meant to the Yankees."
These sources sound more like Jeter's PR team.