Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What is Derek Jeter worth?

I would like to begin this post by stating I am not a Derek Jeter fan, but I do respect him as a player. What he has done over the past decade and a half has truly been amazing. Not so long ago, he was one of baseball's best players, but now he is clearly in decline and with his 10 year $189M contract coming to an end it is time for a new deal to be struck. The Yankees have an astronomical payroll, but even they need to be mindful of how much money and for how long they invest it. It has been reported that Jeter wants 4 or more years and likely $20M per season...unreasonable. The Yankees have offered him a 3 year deal for $45M...a good faith extension to their longest tenured player who has only known the feel of Yankee pinstripes. Jeter's not having it, he wants more. Why?

Jeter is 36 years old. In 16 seasons (15 full) he's racked up 1685 R, 2926 H, 468 2B, 61 3B, 234 HR, 1135 RBI, 323 SB, and a slash line of .314/.385/.452. He is an 11 time All-Star, 5 time Gold Glove winner (some undeserved), and been named the AL's Silver Slugger at shortstop 4 times. He is the Yankees' captain. He handles himself with grace in the media and is the face of the franchise. In 147 postseason games he has batted .305/.850 and has bee a member of 5 World Series champions. He's Cooperstown bound following retirement.

Last season he batted .270/.710, his worst season ever, by far. That's a red flag.

Then there's the argument of the intangibles. I am willing to concede that Jeter is a great man and has been everything the Yankees could have ever dreamed of and more. How much is that worth monetarily? The leading factor in determining a contraction is current and supposed future production. Jeter was fairly compensated during his career (Baseball-Reference lists his career earnings at $205,430,000) and 3 years/$45M is a far greater offer than he would receive on the open market. If he were truly to test free agency I would be surprised to see anyone go higher than 3 years/$30M, and that might be a stretch. Players on the downside of their careers that have seen a drastic drop in production in their contract year typically don't get big deals. Derek Jeter is not your typical baseball player though, he's a legend.

I've been listening to XM radio and Yankee fans are calling saying that the Yankees are low-balling Jeter and are disrespecting him. Tons of them have said, "Just give him the checkbook and have him decide his own contract." Really? I'm willing to bet these same Yankees fans are gonna be pissed when Derek Jeter is forced to DH duties and is barely batting .260/.700 and is a financial burden. Like I said above, Jeter is a legend. I'd love to see him stick around into his 40's and continue to rack up hits, but the bottom line is those hits are going to be coming fewer and farther between...just how long do the Yankees want to be paying for that?
Yankees offer to Jeter- 3 yr $45M
Just Right
Not Enough
Too Much free polls

*The Phillies will soon encounter the same situation with the face of their franchise and longest tenured member- Jimmy Rollins. J-Roll is not of the same caliber of Jeter, but he is the Phils version of Jeter. It'll be interesting to see how Amaro handles this delicate endeavor.


furiousBall said...

I think $15M/Yr is a fair price for the Yanks, but not any other team in baseball. To a lesser extent, Jamie Moyer's contract was a thank you contract, just like this offer from the Yankees is intended.

Although, I'd hate to see him help turnaround the Mets, that would be quite an eff you to the Yankees.

GM-Carson said...

Where would Jeter play on the Mets? Secondbase? Trade Jose Reyes and plug Jeter in at SS?

Anonymous said...

if hes gets pissed enough he could always pull a reverse Damon...which i would loveeeeee to see

GM-Carson said...

I voted "Just Right" in the poll, because that price is right for the Yankees.

Some people are voting "Not Enough". I'd love to hear their reasoning.

furiousBall said...

honestly, (Again, I don't want the Mets to fix themselves, I love them staying at "suck") they need a changing of the guard to get better. That team is just built to fall short of expectations, too many cocky selfish players. So yeah, trade Reyes for young pitchers if possible.

They need to start off with dumping the three players that said they didn't want to visit the veterans hospital last year, because they don't like to see people with missing limbs. I think that was Beltran, Castilla, and Perez - all jackasses.

I don't understand the Not Enough voters either, and I agree, the $15M is OK for the Yanks as a thank you present.

GM-Carson said...

The Astros just waived Tim Byrdak. He's a 36 year old lefty reliever that I wanted the Phils to grab 3 seasons ago when the Tigers released him. Over the past 3 seasons in Houston he's posted a 3.53 ERA and 1.35 WHIP in 199 appearances. Over his 9 year career he's held lefties to .202/.677. Sign him!

SirAlden said...

10 Mil a year Yankee Price
5 Mil a year for Yankee Promotion/Ticket Sales (not applicable for any other team).

Jeter is a 3 Year at 8 Mil for any other team. He is a silly goose.

Matty said...

As they say, it's a business. Jeter wants as much as he can get. The team will offer what they think he's worth. There's nothing personal about it.

cjones2273 said...

i think that is a lot to pay for one player

Jacob said...

I am also not a Jeter fan, but the Yankees set a precedent with A-Rod that they would pay for milestones. In a few years when A-Rod is nearing 700 HRs his contract will be worth it. Jeter is just over 1000 hits away from 4000 hits, something only Pete Rose and Ty Cobb have done. At his pace this would take 6 seasons at most. if he averages 180 hits. He would only have to hit 275 during that time and stay healthy. He's proven he can do both. Offer 18M/yr for 6 yrs and add incentives for plate appearances and reaching 3000 and 4000 hits.

Sleeping Dog said...

3/45 is plenty for Jeter and the 6/150 that he is rumored to have asked for is a joke. If Derek now feels that the 10/189 he signed meant that he ended up being underpaid, well tough he should have taken the chance and signed a short term agreement.

Let him find a team that will offer him more than 3/45.

Anonymous said...

Jacob, I like that idea a lot, maybe a four year deal to see if he can make it to 3500 hits first though. I'll be furious with Jeter and the Yanks if he goes somewhere else.

Chris said...

15 PER is fair but the deal needs to guarantee Jeter retires when the contract is over and 3 years is unlikely to do it. Jeter may be hobbling around the diamond but I bet Jeter plays at least 4 and probably 5 more seasons. The contract has to be a minimum of 5 years.

Me on facebook

GM-Carson said...

How about vesting options for games played/plate appearances. That way when he's 40+ he has to be getting in the lineup regularly to guarantee his contract for the upcoming season.

Thomas Kesten said...

I realize this is about two years later with the benefit of hindsight, but look at Jeter now. I am a big Jeter fan, yet don't think any big named player should be paid anywhere near what they are getting paid today. Let's be honest, professional athletes do not need to be paid that much. Young guns new to the majors don't make millions, yet some often produce similar statistics to those of veterans, getting paid 10+ million a year. I don't think Jeter should get paid anywhere near 15m a year, nor should anyone else. However, given his outstanding record throughout his career, he is undoubtedly one of the best players in the league still today.