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ESPN:NY Article Review of the Jeter Contract Situation

November 28, 2010 Leave a comment

I only check the ESPN: New York satellite site because its a means of organization, that I can see Yankees, Giants, Jets, Devils, and Nets all on the same site instead of trying to find it on the main ESPN hub page.  I do this mostly for quick score updates of stats, as well as headlines.  I normally don’t read much beyond that, because in all honesty, it’s crap.  But I did come across one article yesterday from Ian O’Connor about a compromise between the Yankees’ camp and the Jeter camp that’s worth reading.  I was quite surprised to read along with and agree with O’Connor’s words, that rarely happens.

Here’s the article

Things I agree with:

  • The idea of a compromise, falling in between the Yankees’ initial offer of 3 years for $45 million, and Jeter’s belief that he’s still worth of $100 million.  The middle? 4 for $70m.
  • How Jeter has no leverage coming off his worst season statistically, at age 36, some terrible timing on his part.
  • How Jeter has beat the Yankees in terms of negotiating in the past, whether through arbitration years, or getting more money a few years after George Steinbrenner would not notarize a deal that was already set in place.
  • How Jeter is the reason Cashman normally won’t negotiate during the arbitration years for the youngsters.  I can only imagine the raise that Robinson Cano will get after his current contract is up, or what Phil Hughes’ first big contract since his signing bonus as a senior in high school will be.
  • The way the Steinbrenner brothers run the team financially (like night and day).  Hank awarded A-Rod with the massive contract full of options and monetary achievements, and Hal is pinching pennies on the Yankee captain.

Things I disagree with:

  • Mentioning how Jeter has been on record to compromise already, whether moving off of short in the future, or working on his defense in the offseason after a dinner with GM Brian Cashman.  Workout regimes and future hearsay are two totally separate things, especially when dollars are involved.  Just because someone compromises in one area doesn’t mean they will in another; a stupid assumption.
  • O’Connor getting cute by bringing his story full-circle with the Jordan-Washington Wizards and Toledo Mud Hens metaphor from the intro paragraph.  Just the kind of tackiness that keeps this article from being perfect, but I don’t expect anything less from ESPN: New York.

Hal Steinbrenner said things “could get ugly” and he was right, it has.  Of course, this is the ugly side of baseball, the whole negotiating game that isn’t played on a diamond with 90 ft. basepaths.  There have been numerous reports coming out on a daily basis of the “who said what” rant, and I’ve found myself overloaded and unsure of who to believe.  More numbers have been thrown around in the past few weeks then in an antique automobile auction.

What I do like in terms of the rest of the major leagues, is how Jeter is going to be paid well above market value.  Other premiere shortstops such as Troy Tulowitzki will use Jeter’s previous and current contracts to their advantage, possibly pricing himself out of Colorado, and perhaps ready to take over once the aging Jeter either calls it quits or (voluntarily) moves off the shortstop position.

So, things are getting a little sour.  Cashman says Jeter is free to test the open market and find a better deal.  Hal has stated that “we’re trying to run a business here.”  Jeter’s agent Casey Close may or may not have let his camp’s demands leak, and may or may not have tried to cover it up.  That’s what happens during negotiations in the offseason.

The Captain eluded questions from the media all season long about what would happen this offseason when his current contract expired.  We all understand why.  But let’s not forget what happened to Bernie Williams after the ’98 season.  Things are now both magnified and amplified due to new media and the timing of when we get ours news.  Thanks, Twitter.

Hot Stove Info: Meetings, Contracts, Call-Ups, Awards

November 10, 2010 Leave a comment

So far into the off-season, the window to negotiate exclusively with their free agent’s period has come and gone, with no deals done for the Yankees.  However, that doesn’t mean that GM Brian Cashman and the rest of the Yankees front office hasn’t been busy.  To recap so far…

  • Yankee brass has met with Jeter’s agent Casey Close, and it has been noted over the Internet and airwaves that “all parties agree a deal is going to get done.”   This, to me, is not real news.  News would be if the meeting went horribly and Jeter decides to take his talents elsewhere because of a low-ball offer.  (But I am pleased that things went well)
  • Cashman flew to Arkansas to meet with Cliff Lee.  No contract submission yet, but I would bet that the Yankee GM wasn’t selling New York to the lefthander, wearing his ’09 ring to show off to the pitcher that has missed out in the last two World Series matchups.
  • Jorge Posada will primarily be a DH in 2011, with Jesus Montero most likely getting around 100 starts as a rookie.  Who isn’t excited to have both of their bats in the lineup next year?  Side note: Will be interesting to see the battle from Spring Training on for the third catcher spot, with fist-pumping extraordinaire Frankie Cervelli and fellow homegrown backstop Austin Romine.  Let’s see how Jorge adjusts to his new role.  (And I’m not going to link to any Laura Posada twitter reactions, because the account hasn’t been verified yet).
  • The Yankees will also meet with Gil Patterson on Thursday, who was a Yankee coach before becoming a “roving instructor” for the Oakland A’s.  He’s my personal choice to be the new pitching coach for the club.
  • Jeter, Cano, and Teixeira won the Rawlings Gold Glove awards for their positions in the American League.

With the end of the regular season, it’s time to hand out the awards.  The Gold Gloves have already been handed out, and here’s the dates for the remaining awards:

Nov. 15: AL & NL Rookie of the Year

Nov. 16: NL Cy Young

Nov. 17: AL & NL Manager of the Year

Nov. 18: AL Cy Young

Nov. 22: NL MVP

Nov. 23: AL MVP

The Jeter Contract

November 3, 2010 Leave a comment

It has its own trending hashtag on Twitter.  It’ll get the backpage of the Post and Daily News in the next upcoming days.  Francesa will spend at least an hour on the topic until pen meets paper.  Might as well join the conversation.

Everyone’s throwing figures around trying to guess the next contract for Derek Jeter.  That it’s with the Yankees has to be a given, so I don’t see wasting any time on trying to envision him wearing #2 in anything but pinstripes.

One tweep of mine, Andrew Katz (@NoYoureATowel) has a contest going for his followers to guess the amount and years of Jeter’s next contract.

Derek’s last contract was 10 yrs/$189 mil.  I can’t see him getting a raise as he approaches 40 and continues to decline in terms of production.  Speaking of production, Jeter’s 2010 numbers: .270/.340/.370.  Not exactly Jeterian, or the kind of numbers to be used as leverage in negotiations.

Speculation has it that he is seeking 6 year deal, which would keep him in the Bronx until he’s 42.  I’d take 4 years, 5 max.

While the 2010 Jeter was frustrating with every groundout or GIDP to a middle infielder, I’m hoping 2011 is truly a fresh start.  Jeter’s been my idol growing up, as I started to really follow the team in 96, when I was 7.  One thing he has always done was address his flaws, so let’s hope he gains some range back at short, and quickens up the wrist, as his bat speed tended to drag through the zone this year, resulting in all of the groundouts, or weak tappers.

So, to get down to the bare bones of it, what’s my prediction on the Jeter contract?  I honestly don’t want to put a figure on it.  It’s not money out of my pocket, as many fans have worried that the team would be overpaying.  So what.  Derek Jeter is the face of the Yankees.  He’s been clean his entire career in an era tainted with sryinges and Supreme Court hearings.

If I’m Brian Cashman or either of the Steinbrenner’s, I hand Derek a blank check, knowing that he will make the right decision for both the franchise and himself.

(Getty Images)

Ending the Worst Week Ever

September 15, 2010 3 comments

Paranoia in Yankeeland.  Judging by the tweets, comments, and even some respected bloggers, this is the worst case scenerio.  The Yankees were swept in Texas, and wound up going 1-7 over the past 8.  Here’s what happened over that span:

9/5 vs. Toronto L, 3-7 – Hughes gives up three home runs, A-Rod returns to lineup.

9/6 vs. Baltimore, L 3-4 – A decent start by Burnett, but that was it. He was unable to shut down the O’s after his team scored him some runs.

9/7 vs. Baltimore, L 2-6 – Sabathia just didn’t have it in his first attempt at win number20.  Yankee bats still silent.

9/8 vs. Baltimore, W 3-2 – Yankees should have been beat, but Nick Swisher hit a walkoff two run homer off Orioles’ closer Uehara.

9/10 @ Texas, L 6-5, 13 inn – Rangers’ #9 hitter Julio Borbon has 4 RBI’s.  Nelson Cruz hits two big home runs off of Joba (to tie it in the 8th) and Gaudin (walkoff homerun).

9/11 @ Texas, L 7-6 – Wearing those god awful red hats, Mariano hits Jeff Franceur to bring in the winning run.  I’ll hit the lottery before that ever happens again.

9/12 @ Texas, L 4-1 – Dustin Moseley matched Cliff Lee frame for frame, but Texas bunted in a run to break the tie and then tack on a few more to beat the Yankees.

9/13 @ Tampa Bay, L 1-0 – The Yankees lose four straight for the first time all season, as CC and Price both pitched well, but the Yankee bats didn’t show up again.  Gardner gets thrown out at third after stealing second as a pinch runner to kill the late rally.New York also drops to second place in the AL East.

Which brings us to last night’s game.  The Yankees started strong, going up 6-0, but then blew that lead after a pinch hit three run homer by Willy Aybar.  Jorge Posada bailed the Yankees by breaking a 7-7 tie with a loooong home run to center (which Michael Kay thought was a routine fly ball that BJ Upton “was comfortable under”).  With Rivera in to preserve an 8-7 lead, Carl Crawford mistook Greg Golson’s arm for Bernie Williams’ in rightfield trying to tag up on a fly ball with one out.  Golson caught the ball and unleashed a laser (flat-footed, nonetheless) that one-hopped to A-Rod at third who applied the tag on Crawford to end the game.  It’s the play everyone was talking about today.

With last night’s win, let’s hope we as Yankee fans can find some self confidence and start fresh.  Let’s put the worst week ever behind us since we have something to look forward to: the return of Andy Pettitte on Sunday in Baltimore.

Please, no more “Joe Must Go” articles, you’re better than that.

These were games the Yankees were “in” for the most part, even with Teixeira in a mini-slump, the on-going documentation of the Derek Jeter slump and decline, Phil Hughes’ fatigue, the bullpen(outside of Kerry Wood)’s inefficiency, Javy’s high arc slow-pitch fastballs, the numerous nagging injuries, and whatever the hell goes through AJ Burnett’s head when he’s on the mound.

Let’s take the series and first place back from the Rays and finish strong to head into October.

The Jynx

Last week’s Sports Illustrated cover.  Of course everyone knows about “the jynx.”  Here’s been the state of the Yankees since this issue hit the shelves.

Jorge Posada: hit in right knee by Jeremy Guthrie, plus a sore calf has kept him from starting since.

Andy Pettitte: left Wednesday’s game after 5 innings and 77 pitches.  Has felt stiffness in his shoulder during his bullpen sessions, and the arm inflamed after the 5th and Girardi decided to pull him.

Mariano Rivera: has felt tightness in his side, hasn’t appeared in a game since.

Derek Jeter: nothing yet, hopefully [knocks on wood]

The good news: The Yankees are 7-2 since the magazine has been out, and the replacements are filling in nicely.  Joba Chamberlain has closed out two games, Ramiro Pena has played stellar defense while driving in runs, and Frankie Cervelli has been outstanding, mashing the ball, calling great games behind the dish, and catching foul balls over dugout railings.

As long as Jeter stays out of harm’s way, the Yankees will be able to compete because of the value of the 25 players on the roster, making them a “complete team” as Girardi said in an interview this week as the kids have filled in.

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