About Brien Jackson

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

46 thoughts on “What did Yanks get for Jeter’s contract?

  1. Is this article necessary on 4/28? Really? We haven't heard this all before when the contract was being discusse. These are real issues that should be discussed thoroughly, but how about November?

    • Because there's a much bally-hooed book about Jeter coming out really soon?

  2. Regarding Soriano, Cashman never said he wasn't a very good pitcher. In fact, he said he made the team better. Cash's objections were business-based, but Levine and Steinbrenner decided the business could take a hit (and it should be their right to make such a decision).

    As for Jeter, where is the disaster? The best thing about being a Yankees fan is they have enough money to be both successful and sentimental. I realize I am probably in the minority, but I think that's a good thing. I just can't imagine being a sports fan and not having sentimentality play a large role. If one's relationship to their team is so cut and dried, why even bother at all?

    • "I just can't imagine being a sports fan and not having sentimentality play a large role."

      Fans can be as sentimental as they want. The guys charged with making decisions about the team? They're not fans.

      • But, if the job of the front office is to reflect the desires of the fans (that can be debated, but ultimately, a happy fan base means more revenue), then they must also allow sentimentality to enter the equation. The fact that it's "a business" doesn't mean there's no place for being sentimental.

        • I'm having a hard time believing that there are really that many fans for whom sentimentality stretches to worrying that a salary of $5-10 million simply isn't enough for a 36+ year old shortstop.

          • That's another argument altogether. This post seemed to imply that Jeter wasn't worth keeping regardless of the salary. After all, his salary is another "business decision". Who knows how much the Yankees calculate his worth to their brand. A lof of factors go into that assessment. The bottom line beyond the bottom line is whether it is a good thing that Jeter is still on the team. I say yes for the reasons cited above. Apparently, a large segment of the fan base is much less sentimental than I am.

            I am not really sure what's behind all this vitriol toward Jeter. Maybe people are just making it easier to boot him out the door by dulling their affection for him? Regardless, it does seem to put into perspective the changing nature of what it means to be a "fan".

          • Well there was never any doubt he was coming back to the Yankees or that they were going to offer him more money than anyone else. I guess I took that as a given.

            And I'm not sure why this always gets characterized as "vitriol towards Jeter." Especially since I plainly stated that this wasn't about him and that I didn't have any problem with him trying to get as much money as he could. Saying he's not worth a 4 year $56+ million commitment isn't being vitriolic, or anywhere near that really, it's stating the obvious reality of things.

  3. Honestly it's the years that bother me more than the dollars. They could be paying him $20 million this year and I wouldn't complain if it were a one year deal.

    • please, tell me he won't exercise his option and come back for the fourth year – that would be too painful for words.

      • Do you want me to tell you the truth or tell you he won't exercise the option? :)

    • Exactly (which is why Posada, who's in his final year, is not that big a deal).

      I'm glad they didn't do 5 years (if the rumors of that being what Jeter wanted were true), but the 4th year should have at least been a mutual option with a buyouy (not a player option).

      I would have been happier with a 2 year deal with a 3rd year vesting option, but I'm guessing that would have caused even more ill will with Jeter.

  4. Sigh. It's April 28. Jeter is batting .262, not .162, and is second on the team in hits (granted, most have seemed to be of the infield squib variety). But can we hold off on the Jeter is Finished meme until at least such time as we've had a decent sample size. Red Sox Nation was convinced Papi was done by April 28 last year, and he ended up turning in a pretty decent season. Also, who exactly was going to be the Yankees shortstop if they didn't sign Jeter? Maybe you should lobby for the Yanks to sign Jose Reyes in the off season. He's proven to be such a winner during his storied career.

    • "He's proven to be such a winner during his storied career."

      Well shucks, if that's the standard, the answer is easy; you replace him with David Eckstein! Better yet, why don't we just run Yogi out there?

    • The problem is the peripherals and just watching him swing. His power is way down (he has an iso of .024) which means eventually teams will continue to cheat in in the OF and he'll get less dunkers.

      His GB rate is now 75% and while this may seem unsustainably high it was ~66% last year.

      His infield hits are unsustainably high; even with the higher ground ball rates Jeter has a 12% infield hit rate vs his career norm of ~8%.

      He's clearly getting beat on fastballs in, which causes him to cheat and start his swing earlier (which makes him a groundball machine on outside pitches or anything offspeed)

      His swing rate on pitches out of the zone is 29% (and was ~28% last year)… his career average is ~20%. This is consistent with having to start to swing earlier and having slightly less tiem to determine ball vs strike. His swingrate on pitches IN the strike zone is down for the 4th year in a row.

      Unless he is nursing an injury, I think the small sample size meme might be overstated especially when it is a continuation of lwhat seems like a signifcant decline.

      • The small sample size stuff has been old for a while. It's true in some sense, but it's not the universal solvent some people seem to think it is when you consider his 2010 season and his age.

  5. Overpaying is one thing, overpaying for no reason is another. If someone else had made a realistic offer and forced the Yankees to beat it that would be one thing, but the Yankees were totally bidding against themselves for Jeter, and everyone knew it.

    "We don't want Jeter to follow the route of a Babe Ruth or Willie Mays, and end his career elsewhere after a dispute with the Yanks over a few dollars. "

    This doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Mays was pretty bad in 1973. Ruth was still pretty good in 1935, but he was decidedly less than Ruthian and retired after just 28 games with the Braves. Taking your statement to the logical endpoint, you're basically saying Jeter should be guaranteed a roster spot on the Yankees as long as he wants one no matter what, aren't you?

    • Brien, I don't get your distinction between overpaying for a reason and overpaying without a reason. Overpay is overpay: it means that someone is worth $x, and you're paying more than $x. Presumably when people overpay, they do so for a reason, even if the reason is not a good one.

      The business about "bidding against yourself" is not meaningful to me. Not everything bought and sold is auctioned. Plenty of things are bought where only one potential buyer has been identified, or where other potential buyers are not solicited. Jeter decided not to bid his services to other teams, and other teams (possibly in reaction) chose not to bid for Jeter. Draw from that whatever conclusions you like … but the lack of an auction does not itself mean that Jeter is overpaid. Consider that there was no auction for Joe Mauer when his contract was extended, and many thought that Mauer had given the Twins a hometown discount.

      I live in a house where I made the first offer, even before the house hit the market, and I made the offer contingent on it being accepted and the house never being marketed. I'll never know if I could have made a better deal at auction — it was the house I wanted, I made a private determination that I would pay more at auction, and I structured the negotiation in a way that I thought would get me the best deal. That sort of thing happens all the time.

      To "bid against yourself" would mean, I think, that you'd have to make a first offer, then make a higher second offer, even though no one else has made an offer higher than the first one. That's not always a dumb thing to do, either. That's pretty much what happens in any complex negotiation — the seller identifies a potential buyer, then the two sides haggle over terms.

      So … my take is that if the Yankees overpaid for Jeter, they did so for a reason, even if you don't like the reason. My take is that the Yankees' bid for Jeter was structured in a way that the Yankees thought made the most strategic sense, even if you think they could have employed a better strategy.

      • "Jeter decided not to bid his services to other teams, and other teams (possibly in reaction) chose not to bid for Jeter."

        Your making a huge assumption here, aren't you? If in fact it is true that Jeter did not open himself to recieve other offers, it was very much likely a strategic negotiating position. Jeter's negotiating stand point was his "Legacy", he knew there was no significant leverage in his baseball skills anymore. He knew his legacy stand point only worked for 1 suitor. If he recieved offers from other teams they likely would've been far lower than the Yankees initial offer, only proving that they were the only suitor for Jeter's services. He didn't do that to maintain whatever little leverage he had.

        The Yankees overpaid Jeter and from a business and baseball perspective it was a mistake. The impact of that mistake can be debated. But it would be hard not to argue the Yanks overpaid where they didn't have to.

      • "I made a private determination that I would pay more at auction, and I structured the negotiation in a way that I thought would get me the best deal. "

        Well in that case, this analogy just doesn't fit.

        To "bid against yourself" would mean, I think, that you'd have to make a first offer, then make a higher second offer, even though no one else has made an offer higher than the first one. That's not always a dumb thing to do, either. That's pretty much what happens in any complex negotiation — the seller identifies a potential buyer, then the two sides haggle over terms."

        THe difference being that, in those cases, either side can threaten to walk away altogether over the terms. In this case, with no other teams interested in him (and with Jeter needing the Yankees, for that matter), the only way Jeter could realistically do that would have been to not play baseball in 2011.

        I understand the analogies you're trying to make, but a much better one would be the much more direct one; trying to negotiate a salary with your employer when both of you know they're the only ones who will offer you a job.

  6. In normal baseball terms, this contract doesn't make sense, but…

    The Yankees have the luxury of asking themselves different question when dealing with a franchise symbol like Jeter:
    1.) Does overpaying him hurt us?
    2.) Does overpaying him stop us from signing other free agents?

    The answer to both of these is NO.

    Then they ask the same questions as other teams.

    1.) Will it help our business to have him in our uniform?

    Resounding YES (just think of all the pink-hat wearing i'm-not-a-baseball-fan-but-a-capn-jeter-fan people in the stands on the consession lines, tuning into the YES network. A lot will remain fans after Jeter leaves but he brought them in and will continue to according to lists of marketable sports figures).

    Then finally they ask:

    1.) Are we really going to let him play for a different team.

    NO, so this was the price of doing business. I have no problem with it. If i were a fan of most other teams i might.

    • But this is a strawman since it was as much of a certainty as it could be that he was going to be a Yankee in 2011.

    • Wait, overpaying Jeter does not hurt the team? How can any one know that?

      Maybe Cliff Lee was never going to sign with the Yankees no mater what. As it was, the Phillies gave him less years, but were competitive on a year by year basis.

      If the Yanks had negotiated a better deal with Jeter, and used that cash to up the offer to Lee, maybe Lee is in the Yankee rotation right now.

      Does it help to have Jeter on the team? Sure. But the point is that the Yankees could have had him for substantially less dollars and years. And yes, that money could have been used in other areas.

  7. If jeter is such a great captain and teamate, why did he choose to work out rather than going to andy pettitte's press conference announcing his retirement…the book coming out tells the story that anyone who knows the inside scoop about this team already does, and that is that jeter is not the leader he is portrayed as in the media, and his image is one that has been crafted just as carefully as tiger woods (and we all know how that ended)…just keeping it real

  8. Who cares! Jeter either will retire at the end of this year or be sitting on the pine next year. I just can’t wait until he gone for good!

    • See my list above of the guys that came before Jeter. Shortstop is probably the hardest position on the field to fill (catchers are also hard to find). Probably the best free agent shortstop in the last 5 years (excluding Jeter and A-Rod from consideration) was Marco Scutaro. Top quality shortstops rarely hit the market. Jeter's replacement is almost certainly playing for the Yankees' organization as we speak.

      Be careful what you wish for …

  9. If it’s one thing I learned from the Brett Favre saga that began 3 years ago, sometimes the image we have of these guys and sometimes how they really act are two different things. I think the point is while it’s convenient as fans to put someone on a pedestal, it’s up to Management to avoid making the same mistake. Personally when Jeter made such an issue about his contract is when I lost any love for the man. He wanted to be paid like a top player and actually even with this “lesser” contract is still being paid like a top player and only continues to decline.

  10. William, thought I'd share with you a list of some of the Opening Day shortstops that preceded Jeter.

    Ruben Amaro, Gene Michael, Jim Mason, Bucky Dent, Roy Smalley, Tim Foli, Bobby Meacham, Wayne Tolleson, Rafael Santana, Alvaro Espinoza, and Tony Fernandez.

    Bucky Dent was the best of the lot. Think we'll miss Jeter when he's gone?

    • "Think we'll miss Jeter when he's gone?"

      You're making the awfully big assumption that he isn't already.

  11. jeter's pride made him great, and now it will decrease his standing in yankee lore when fans and management will be counting the days until his contract is over…in an age of media character creation and assassination (usually coming from the same people) jeter will eventually be exposed as a phony whose best days are behind him

  12. one more thing…would have been great to see jeter pull a tim duncan and tell the team to pay him reasonably but at/below market value so they can use the money to bring in other guys to ensure the long-term success of the team…salary cap issues aside that don't apply to baseball, this is a class move and something our Captain should have done as well…but he didn't…Captain ME

  13. In response to the hall of fame comment. With player movement these days, how many players actually enter or will enter the hall of fame only playing for 1 team in their career? Not many, if any. Many of the guys that have recently entered that played for 1 team (Gwynn, Ripken, Rice) started their playing careers only at the beginning of increased player movement, those that started in the late 80's to early 90's will be less so.____The next question is, is their any real value in it? You referenced Ruth, but what impact on his legacy did 28 games for another team have? He is revered as a Yankee, despite not being initially signed by them and starting his professional career in Boston. Jeter will always be a Yankee, and will always be remembered as such even if he left and played a few sub par seasons with another franchise.____The Yankees build a revenue stream on 1 simple practice. They putting a winning team on the field each season. If by holding onto a legacy player that hurts your chances at winning (not necessarily saying thats the case with Jeter) then you need to move on. It's plan and simple.

  14. The Jeter negiotations and contract signing is actually starting to remind me of the looming sport vs player (or trade) union issues that are just starting to crop up with the set of expiring deals arriving.

    Both sides want to get a deal done, but money is a sticking point. Although they can be resolved it doesn't necessarily mean that either side is going completely happy by how it went or what the terms end up being.

    As far as over-paying and/or over-committing too long to a player, based on how Posada is performing, the Jeter contract might not be the only contract that the Yankees have where that might turn out to be the case. (Then again, it is only the end of April for Posada.)

    Going into the contract negotiations, the assumption was that the Yankees were going to give more money to Jeter than the market would offer him otherwise. So is it really a tragedy that the overpayment took form of both money and perhaps an extra year to bridge the gap between the two parties?

    • In the sense that a 2 year contract for half of what they paid him probably still would’ve been more than others were offering for him, yes, it is kind of a tragedy.

  15. The Yanks didn't have any legitimate better alternatives this year. There's no one on the roster or in the minors that deserved to replace Jeter and which free agent or trade candidate has the balls to come to NY to be the guy who replaced Derek Jeter? $17M for the Yanks is a legitimate business decision (primarily marketing). The 3+ years is the real problem. I've watched almost every single one of his at bats this year and think he's only hit ~5 good balls (hard grounder, liners) that any self-respecting major leaguer would consider a good at bat. Tom's post supports that his .262/.330/.286 overstates his actual swings. I respect Jeter's work ethic and character that made him who he is, but he needs to balance pride vs. ego. Pride would have him volunteer to bat 9th until he gets his swing out of this ridiculous funk (because Girardi shouldn't be forced to do that to him). Right now, it looks like ego is getting in the way. For what it's worth, I was hopefully optimistic coming into the season that he would have a respectable season.

  16. Nunez anyone? Who cares what they pay Jeter? He's their best option, regardless of price. I'll take a 2010 overpaid Jeter over the alternatives right now. And Cliff Lee wasn't coming here, so they didn't need Jeter's $$$ to sign him. ABesides, Tulo or Hanley are not available. And heaven-for-effing-bid they sign Reyes this winter… Now, as for where we are in 2013, I shudder to think. Jeter at SS, A-Rod at 3B, Tex at 1B, Montero at DH. The metrics will be ugly, to say the least.

  17. I dont see teixeira declining significantly on defense/offense in 2 years, as hes only 31 right now. The only real problem would be SS with Jeter and maybe 3B with ARod, although so far this year rodriquez looks real good.

  18. My two cents…. And this is just my fan sentimentalism…..our current group of HOFers are advancing into old age.. why not cultivate a new crew from the stars that carried us through our current golden years….. We screwed up the Bernie williams situation IMO… He was maybe 2-3 yrs away from HOF
    consideration….since we showed him the cold shoulder of the business side of the yankees..now he is barely considered a fringe HOF…..Posada should hang on 1 more year to solidify his Hall case…and then in 5 yrs when Mo retires ..another candidate…

    • "We screwed up the Bernie williams situation IMO… He was maybe 2-3 yrs away from HOF
      consideration….since we showed him the cold shoulder of the business side of the yankees..now he is barely considered a fringe HOF."

      Huh? Bernie would get into the HoF if only he'd been kept on the roster to play poorly for 2-3 more seasons?

  19. In regards to Jeter…. the historical aspect has not been discussed… He has the chance.. as even an average shortstop for 4 yrs to move into a rarified stratus of revered figures In BASEBALL history.. not just Yankee lore .
    The Yankees cultivate an image of greatness and excellence…Jeter embodies that even to the Haters. In regards to commitment to winning.. Out of the 30 teams, how many field better shortstops
    than a down Jeter… not many… So in the interests of winning and Yankees Legacy interest.. it was ok to overpay Jeter to keep him happy and in the fold… Imagine the procession of Yankees in the coming FutureHOF….posada rivera jeter arod cano teixiera maybe even pettite(if he un retires and pitches 2 more yrs)

  20. Another thought on this topic that I just had is: We are evaluating this contract now essentially one month into the first season of the new contract. The contract is what it is. While we can debate the merits of Yankees front-office for what the ended up agreeing to pay, doesn't it make more sense to withhold judgment until we have the numbers to conclusively state what Jeter was worth as a player on the field during the contract?

    Jeter isn't off to the start we had hoped for this season, but it is still only April of the first year of this new contract.

    • Forged, thank you.

      Let's put aside all the stuff about the Hall of Fame and the legacy and Jeter's fame and marketability. Let's just look at baseball performance. Jeter is either being paid $17 million a year for three years or (if he exercises his option) $14 million for four years. Let's assume the former, as it sets the bar higher for this year. Using a Chip Buck-like analysis (http://bit.ly/e3yH6y), let's put the value of a win above replacement at $5 million, and say that Jeter has to produce 3.4 WAR per year to justify his salary. We've played about 1/8 of the season so far, so Jeter should have about 0.4 WAR at this point to be worth his $17 million.

      Jeter has produced 0.2 fWAR so far. That's not good. It's also a deficit of 1/5 of a win. It's also worth pointing out that when it comes to worth, Jeter has so far outproduced the second best shortstop on the planet, Hanley Ramirez. Jeter is tied for WAR with Michael Young (who I'd heard was having a terrific year) and Ichiro. Jeter's 0.2 WAR is better than the current performances of Adam Dunn and Carl Crawford.

      So: let's sum up. What did Yanks get for Jeter's contract? They want low threes in WAR, and 4% of the way into the contract they're getting mid 1s in WAR. At $5,000,000 per WAR and a 0.2 WAR deficit so far, we have a $1 million shortfall. If it's money you're worried about, we have bigger problems than this.

      Slow start? Yes. Cause for concern? Yes. Not worth his contract? Too early to say.

      • Although I am one of the haters, I utterly agree with Larry. It's still April. Yes, he's coming off a down year, in which he was "only" around the 10th best SS in MLB, but players with Jeter's skill set (yes, there have been more than a handful of them in baseball history) don't fall off a cliff in production, they decline more gradually. Did the Yankees overpay? Probably. Is it an albatross on par with Gary Matthews Jr., Oliver Perez, or Carlos Silva? It's way to soon to start thinking that way. What Josh's data (see "A Groundball Problem") says to me is that Jeter's anxiety has effected his approach as much as his declining bat speed. That problem is fixable, especially over the course of a long season. Surely the vaunted Captain will eventually adapt to his new limitations. Will he be a 3-3.5 WAR player? I don't know. But even if he gets back to the range he was last year (2.5), it isn't like he's single-handedly crippling the franchise. There simply aren't a whole lot of 3 WAR shortstops hanging around, ripe for the picking.