Friday, December 3, 2010

Yanks re-sign Rivera, Jeter on deck?

Amidst all the talk of stalled negotiations between the Yankees and Derek Jeter, nobody has really been talking about Mariano Rivera. Today the Yankees re-signed their All-Star closer for 2 years and about $30 million.

Nobody was talking about Rivera because the negotiations were handled correctly (read: they were kept private). The fact that Jeter and the Yankees still haven't agreed to a contract is not a big deal to me; the fact that the negotiations got messy and went public is.

The Yankees have supposedly upped their money offer to Jeter from the 3 years, $45 million they initially offered. That original offer would've made Jeter the highest-paid shortstop in baseball, but his camp is trying to inch closer to their initial request of 6 years, $150 million.

That's an absurd amount of money for somebody who was paid $189 million over his last 10-year contract. Those 10 years represented the prime of Jeter's career and now he wants more per year at age 36 when his skills are in obvious decline?

Give me a break. As much as I love Jeter as a Yankees fan and appreciate everything he has done for the team over the years, the Yankees owe him nothing. They already paid for everything he has done; now it's only about paying for what he will do in the next few seasons.

Looking at Jeter on the field, anybody can tell he's not worth $15 million a season over 3 years. I would say he's worth $25 million TOTAL over 3 years, so the Yankees initial offer was a gift given because of everything the captain has meant to the organization.

I see no reason why Jeter shouldn't accept whatever the new offer amounts to; he gets more money and gets to save face, while the Yankees are still overpaying an above-average MLB shortstop. No other team will pay him what the Yankees will and it's extremely arrogant of the Jeter camp to think differently.

If they don't accept this new offer, I will have no problem saying goodbye to Jeter if another team beats that offer, as strange as it will be. But that isn't going to happen and Jeter will likely end up limping back to the organization's offer, looking bad in the process.

It's telling that most people in baseball are siding with the Yankees, the most hated franchise in baseball by non-Yankee fans. That should send a clear message to Jeter and his representation: YOU ARE WRONG. Sign the deal and finish your career the right way; with the Yankees. Or go somewhere else and look stupid. As Hank Steinbrenner said, the ball is in Jeter's court.

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