For the first time in his illustrious career, Derek Jeter is a free agent. His 10-year, $189 million contract came to an end at the conclusion of the 2010 season. The New York Yankees, wishing to keep their franchise star shortstop in New York, began negotiations with Jeter and his agent.
The Yankees’ negotiating strategy has been unfavorable to Jeter so far. Initially, the Yankees were reluctant to offer Jeter anything more than a 3-year $45 million contract, while Jeter wanted at least a 4-year contract with more money on top. The Yankees’ negotiation efforts continue to fall short, and continue to get more bazaar.
The most recent development in the negotiation has the Yankees’ offering Jeter a 4-year $55 million contract and a package which includes upper-deck season tickets, a signed Derek Jeter 1992 Draft Pick baseball card, and a lifetime supply of Otter Pops.
Jeter’s agent spoke out against the offer, calling it “childish and insulting”. The Yankees’ responded saying that, “there was just no more money left to offer what Derek (Jeter) is worth. Which is why we added the package as a part of the deal.”
During a press conference, Jeter said, “I am confused as to why I would even use the season tickets. They’re not even good seats. I won’t even comment on offering me my signed rookie card and Otter Pops. I don’t even like Otter Pops.”
Yankees’ owner, Hal Steinbrenner, responded to Jeter’s comment saying, “We admit that the Otter Pops and signed baseball card are lame, but if he (Jeter) doesn’t want the season tickets he can give them away as a stocking stuffer perhaps. The seats may be upper-deck, but they’re still right behind home plate and you can see the whole field. I really don’t see what the issue is here. He is just pulling his ‘Diva’ card.”
The negotiations continue and Yankees fans will have to wait to see what Jeter decides to do. It is unlikely he will decide to go to another team, but for the Yankees organization it’s just a matter of “sealing the deal” to keep him there for sure.
In a related story, Tennessee Titans wide receiver, Randy Moss, has been contacted by the Yankees to replace Jeter if he opts for another team. Moss has been with three different NFL teams this season and switching sports seems like the next logical move for the indecisive veteran.
Fans have responded in outrage and one analyst calls the rumor “absurd”, saying that “the Yankees are clearly only after brand name players. I highly doubt Moss has ever touched a baseball before.”
Steinbrenner has quite a few difficult decisions to make during the off-season, but the Jeter contract appears to be the sun that all of the other decisions revolve around.