So Derek Jeter is potentially a free agent after the world shook a dozen times in the past few days. Now, after that constant shaking, and open discussion, everyone knows outside of Yankee land, that Jeter is a free agent after the upcoming season (as of now).
And I am sure that each and every Yankee fan is on board with giving him whatever he wants to keep him town. Whether that be four years, six years…Even the most logical Yankee fan might initially frown upon six years and tell Derek to take a hike. But would they really? Would they really rather him walk than pony up for six years, if that is in fact what Jeter required to stick around?
So, I get it. Not entirely, for I am not a Yankee fan. But I get why they want their captain to stay until he washes his uniform for the last time. Well, not him necessarily, as I expect people making as much money as Jeter does, don’t actually do laundry. But hypothetically, Jeter, when he “hangs up his cleats” (again not literally, as someone else will probably do it for him), he might be imagining his laundry being attacked by detergent one last time, ridding of the remnants of base-paths past.
But there is a serious, logical, and rather important question to be asked: How much is too much? Even for the Yankees, there must be boundaries on the amount of money they pay a single player, especially when a player is clearing their mid-thirties for most of the potential contract, right?
Put in a position of power, everyone within 20 feet of Derek Jeter for the past decade will probably give him everything he desires.
I wouldn’t. But maybe that is because my subjective hasn’t been tainted. However, in this case, that is probably a good thing. You throw this guy on the free agent market, and no one comes close to entertaining a six year offer. And anyone who reaches a four-year offer, outside of the Yankees, would most likely be hindering their club with the amount of money they would be dishing out.
Simply put, Jeter means a lot more than to the Yankees than he does to anyone else. He probably wouldn’t be worth more wins,, no matter where he plays, but there is more to this situation than that.
He is close to 3,000 hits, something that wouldn’t be the same in another uniform (something that wouldn’t be forgiven by Yankee fans either, if they had to watch it happen somewhere else). He was the biggest reason they won five World Series,’ at least from an individual standpoint. And he still has a distant — very distant — chance of reaching 4,000 hits. Oh, team leader, Mr. intangible, clubhouse god, all that good stuff.
Not to mention, Jeter will most likely throw a few good years our way, possibly great ones. And any fan that lives in the Bronx, or bleeds pinstripes, will be furiously saddened by watching anything he does well, in another uniform.
Speaking of ‘Bleeding Pinstripes.’ We need to sign a petition to get Geoff blogging again for the upcoming 2010 season. Sure, his opinion pissed me off a ton, and he lacked the statistical understanding that I believe in so much. But there was not a more entertaining blog, in my opinion. His writing was great, and although his opinion was partial to the Yankees, maybe too much for my sake. His blog was the best around.
So, this current situation being taken into account (Jeter) is more unique than any other in the game. Seriously, as Paul Lebowitz writes, there is no one that means more to an organization than Jeter.
Mauer is very important, but lacks the “history” that Jeter has accrued in his time in the big leagues. And of course, moving forward, Mauer will accumulate many more wins than Jeter. But just from a standpoint that losing Mauer is more understandable than losing Jeter, given respect to the teams being discussed. Money matters more in Minnesota.
Pujols is vital to the Cardinals. But he still falls a notch below Jeter, as far as what it would mean to lose him. Again, when money means more, there is more of an excuse.
Dustin Pedroia means a lot to the city, the fans and the organization. but come on, he has been a Major League player for three full seasons. Not to mention, we are fairly sure he finishes his career elsewhere, for that is just the way the Red Sox do business. And I am fine with that, although it is disappointing watching star players leave. It seems to be the best for business however. And winning exceeds any individual player.
With a payroll like the Yankees, it won’t really hinder their ability to win. But even with that, how much does one want to pay a player once they reach age 40?
From where I am sitting, no way I go over four years for The Captain. And even that, I seriously dwell on. But there is no pressure from where I am sitting. I am a fan of another team…and I write a blog. I don’t have to deal with the pressure coming from the ticket-holders. I don’t have to suffer the backlash watching “The franchise” walk away. And I definitely don’t have to deal with the New York media ripping me apart day in and day out, which I am sure takes its toll.
And after all that, I don’t have to watch the guy that has been the most important to his team for 13 years, and a guy, that by all accounts is a near-saint in between the lines. I wouldn’t have to watch him play elsewhere, as Cashman would have to.
So it really is a moot point. No one else will offer for even four years, for the amount the Yankees will. So of course, Jeter will be staying put, in the Bronx, where he belongs.
But that doesn’t mean that the other side of the spectrum should not be explored. After all, this is A LOT of money we are talking about…