Does the Uribe signing give Jeter’s side the “other suitor” they need?

I also have to completely agree with this comment by “an executive from another club”:

“I’m pretty blown away that it even came to this level. This is a Hall of Famer. This is the face of the franchise. It just usually doesn’t come to this.”

Agreed. I know the team wants to hold the line on salaries and there’s a very big part of me that applauds this attempt.  However, to choose Jeter as that guy to stick it to strikes me as misguided and disappointing. I would never endorse a blank check policy in a situation like this, but I never would have conducted this as transparently as the Yanks organization has done thus far.  This public spat is embarrassing for all sides.  Don’t tell me “it’s just business” anymore; it’s gotten way too personal to be “just business“.  Someone needs to gain some sense soon and put an end to Al Jeterzeera.

As I said a week and a half ago, the Yanks should come out with a statement like this and begin a press embargo until Jeter signs, somewhere:

“The entire Yankee organization desires to keep Derek Jeter in pinstripes his entire playing career and for the rest of his post-playing life. We have the utmost respect for Derek’s contributions to this organization and we will be forever grateful for his service. He is and has been everything we want our organization to represent. We remain optimistic that a mutually beneficial agreement will be reached as soon as possible. We will have no further comments until that time.”

Has Jeter declined?  You betchya, but as Mark noted here, there was very little room to go up after his 2009 season:

The other argument against Jeter receiving that much money is his “declining performance”. Well, that’s true. He did play worse in 2010 than 2009, but I don’t think anyone expected him to repeat his 7.1 fWAR season. Almost anything is a “declining performance” from that. But Jeter recorded only 2.5 fWAR this past season, and it was his lowest ever, including his rookie season. However, if you look a little deeper, there are reasons to believe Jeter will be better next season with the most obvious being his .307 BABiP, which is almost 50 points below his career norm. In other words, he was highly unfortunate in a season that he couldn’t really afford to have one. 2007 was pretty close to an “average” season for Jeter, and he racked up 3.5 fWAR that season. That also included a nasty -17.9 UZR rating that he hasn’t neared in the past three seasons, and you could make the argument that even a -8 rating would leave him with 4.5 fWAR, which sounds more accurate.

And as Larry noted in the comments:

You have to consider marginal as well as absolute value. Jeter’s 2.7 fWAR was still third best in the American League for shortstops, and it’s probably 2.7 more than Nunez could produce. I don’t see any position on the field that the Yankees could afford to upgrade (other than Cliff Lee in place of Javy) where they could add 2.7 wins to the team.

This stupid game of chicken needs to come to an end. Now.

As a bonus, a great article about Jeter and Pujols, sent to me by Anna McDonald of the HBT:

The Jeter and Pujols contracts will not just be an exercise of baseball executives pushing on a string. Both the Yankees and Cardinals owners are business artisans. They will create a new threshold for baseball contracts, beyond A-Rod, whether the money ends up being less, the same, or more. They’ll give a pull on the string that tugs at the heart of the modern day value of fans’ devotion to two ballplayers who have their molds of greatness already taking shape. It’s just a matter of where the final bronze statue will land.

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4 thoughts on “Does the Uribe signing give Jeter’s side the “other suitor” they need?

  1. If it's a game of chicken, it's all on Jeter's end. The team is already offering him an above market contract, while every report regarding his hopes for a contract are made up of wildly unrealistic numbers. Nothing's going to get done in that context until Jeter's camp gets a more realistic view of what his contract is going to look like.

    And I don't get the notion that it's somehow wrong that they're "Starting" to hold the line on Jeter. I mean, when else would they have? We all pretty much agree that they mishandled they bungled the A-Rod and Posada negotiations because Hal and Hank wouldn't listen to Cashman, and there hasn't really been a departing free agent they've tried to bring back since. Except for Johnny Damon, and I think it's safe to say they held the line on him.

    Also, I think you could say they're "holding the line" on Mo a bit, since most reports have them trying very hard to get Mo to agree to a 1 year deal, but that's a bit different since the difference between 1 and 2 years, for a guy who's shown very little signs of aging and is still the best at what he does in the game, isn't all that great. But they didn't just get Mo's proposal and sign it by any means.

  2. Agreed with both of the above comments, at this point I feel like the Yankees have put forth an exceptional offer, that I continue to believe no one will match. In all scenarios of the Yankees going public it's been in response to Jeter's agent. It looks like they went to Close/Jeter and said, here's our offer, here's why we offered it, here's what players of your caliber or above your caliber are being played and then they took it public.

  3. I really don’t think dollars are the big stumbling block here. It’s the contract length, and if that’s the case then I don’t blame the Yankees one bit for playing hardball with Jeter on that. Jeter probably won’t be a starting quality SS in three years, let alone in 4 or 5.

  4. Here's a random thought: Say the Yanks don't sign Jeter. They'll need a shortstop, badly. If I'm the GM of a small market (i.e. revenue sharing receiving) team, don't I accommodate Cashman with a reasonable trade? The Yankees' PR concerns are shared with everyone in baseball, since they (along with the Sox and the other, lesser marquee teams) drive a huge proportion of baseball media attention, ticket sales, and merchandise. Doesn't it behoove those smaller market GMs to make sure the Yankees avoid PR disasters by either not making it harder to sign Jeter or bailing out the team in the even they don't?