“We're going to do everything we possibly can to put the best winning team on the field. We feel Derek Jeter gives us the best chance to win. But we're not dealing with Derek alone.” – via ESPNNewYork.com
That quote says it all.
Cashman still hasn’t confirmed the reported three-year, $45 million offer to Jeter, and Jeter’s agent, Casey Close, hasn’t said anything since he told the Daily News he was “baffled” by the team’s negotiating strategy.
I have no idea why he’s baffled. Does anybody understand the Yankees don’t have an unlimited payroll and Jeter isn’t the only player the Yankees are trying to sign this winter?
Baseball is still a business, and if players ask for far more money than they are worth, why bother with them? This is even more true in Jeter’s case since there is likely no team willing to spend more than $15 million per year on the 36-year-old shortstop.
The Yankees need to spend more money on Jeter than other teams need to because he is worth more to them than he is to other teams. To the Yankees, he’s the face of the franchise and some still consider him the face of baseball. To other teams, he’s just an old shortstop. Cashman has clearly taken this into account in his suspected offer. The sooner Close understands that the better.
On the other hand, maybe the Yankees should just forget about signing Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte and Cliff Lee. (Sarcasm.)