Jeter not offered arbitration

I was beginning to get into this a bit but Buster Olney just weighed in (Insider required) and he captures it well here:

The Yankees’ belief is that their current three-year, $45 million offer is fair, and that by offering arbitration to Jeter, they essentially would bail him out after a down year. Jeter might make $22-23 million through arbitration. The Yankees feel that in the past, Jeter has fairly negotiated from his standing in the market place — when he went to arbitration in 1999, when he negotiated a 10-year, $189 million deal in 2001. And now the Yankees feel these talks should reflect Jeter’s place in the market; they also believe that no other team would be willing to pay him what they have offered.

Here’s one big factor working against Jeter in this negotiation: While the Yankees want Jeter and are offering him above what his market value is, they operate in the knowledge that if Jeter doesn’t re-sign — if he actually walks away — then his departure would not be a mortal blow to their pennant hopes in 2011. If Jeter walked away in 2001, that would have been different; he was an exceptional player then.

Now he is a good player, but far from irreplaceable.

The sentiment towards Jeter is slowly turning. Yes, this will get done and it will be generally acceptable for each side.  It just needs to be done soon.

About @Jason_IIATMS

IIATMS overlord and founder. ESPN contributor. Purveyor of luscious reality.

6 thoughts on “Jeter not offered arbitration

  1. Jason, actually I WAS surprised by this. To my mind, this is the first significant piece of news we've had on the Jeter front.

    Why not offer Jeter arbitration?

    If he accepts, there's still plenty of time to negotiate a contract. If the contract does not get done, then the Yanks will be able to sign Jeter to the shortest of short-term contracts, which is what we hear is most important to the team. Yes, Jeter would probably make more than the $15 million that Buster Olney mentioned in his post, but he wouldn't make much more (he might make less) than the $21 million a year we've heard elsewhere has been offered to Jeter. If Jeter accepted arbitration, this would eliminate the risk that legitimately worries the Yankees, which is that they'll be stuck with TWO long-term unmarketable obligations to left side of the infield guys.

    If Jeter turns down arbitration, this would essentially eliminate any ability Jeter has to sign with another team, as no other team would want to pay Jeter's price AND give up a top draft pick to the Yanks. While no one here seems to see a threat that Jeter will sign elsewhere, Jeter's refusal of an arbitration offer would take this threat off the bargaining table.

    To paraphrase from a recent statement by the agent of a certain future hall-of-famer: I'm baffled.

  2. Heyman just tweeted this:

    @SI_JonHeyman #yanks decided against offering jeter arbitration bec he could get $25 mil or more. they haven't decided on rivera, pettitte yet.

    $25m seems excessive. Jeter COULD take that and try for a 3 year deal next year, possible if he rebounds.

  3. Oy. Brian Cashman has certainly been more right than I have been about arbitration cases over the past 2 years, but I don’t know about this one. There’s virtually no chance Jeter would accept, since he wants a multi-year deal, so all you’d be doing is holding out the chance to get compensation picks in the unlikely event he goes somewhere else. And since Jeter’s a Type A, you’re talking about a potential first round pick.

    I don’t see any reason for this move other than not wanting to aggravate Jeter. And if that’s the case, I’m less optimistic about this contract than I was last week.

    • The optimist in me hopes this means the two sides are close to a deal. But full disclosure: no one credits the optimist in me with any intelligence, or common sense.