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The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

Out of Bounds: Jeter must return to the Bronx, but at a fair rate

Editor in Chief Jonathan Roisman (Chris Corbin/The Inquirer 2010)

I’m writing this on Thanksgiving morning, and it’s making me feel dirty. I should be writing about what I’m thankful for (which is a lot), but I’m trying to determine whether someone deserves $45 million or $80 million. Please forgive me.

Is loyalty and a shared history with someone worth a lot to you? If you could, would you be willing to overpay this person for services rendered in the past? And even if this person is an important part of your life, would you be willing to pay them for probable diminished performance in the future?

What am I talking about?

Derek Jeter and the New York Yankees.

Let me begin by saying all professional athletes are overpaid in the grand scheme of life. Does anyone deserve $20 million for throwing a baseball or dunking a basketball? No. Never. However, we live in a society that, as a whole, loves sports and accepts that certain people will get paid enormous amounts of money for playing games. And I’m not talking about Congress. Let’s all laugh at the bad joke.

In terms of baseball economics, Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter isn’t worth what he used to be. After signing a 10-year, $189 million deal to extend his stay in the Bronx following the 2000 season, Jeter hit .310/.380/.445 during the 2001-2010 span, played about average defense, and most importantly, he was the face of the Yankees and an ambassador to baseball. He was worth the contract.

But now Jeter is a free agent for the first time, and he’s looking for one last big contract. He had the worst season of his career this year, and if you took his name out of the equation it would be hard to see him receiving offers better than two years and $20 million total.

His skills at shortstop are below average and he’ll have to change positions within the next two years to stay viable. Left-field is the only spot that makes sense if he stays in New York, and most teams value a player’s bat over his glove there. Unless Jeter starts hitting .320 again, it’s going to look bad, either way.

Apparently, Jeter’s camp doesn’t want to take much of a pay cut, and I’ve read they’re looking for a deal that will pay him $20 million a year for at least three or four seasons. Talk about excessive. The Yankees have offered a three-year, $45 million contract, and I agree with Brian Cashman, the team’s general manager, that Jeter should shop that offer and see if he can get something better.

I think New York should overpay Jeter. I know he’s entering the twilight of his career and he’s not the player he once was, but a team like the Yankees should pay their most important player of the past generation a little extra. It’s not like they don’t have the money.

But I think people are forgetting that the team is already overpaying him with their initial offer. If he can’t find more than $20 million on the open market and his team is offering him $45 million, isn’t that overpayment? To be fair, I doubt Jeter is the one driving for the extra money. I mean, can you really trust an agent? I’m pretty sure the universe would implode upon itself if you did.

Both sides need to work out a deal together. The Yankees should overpay and Jeter should take the overpayment and stop asking for more. If it’s all about the money, I’m sure Jeter knows he won’t make any more anywhere else, either in terms of salary or his endorsements. And if it’s about respect, well, I don’t know if he didn’t get the memo, but respect is defined by dollars and cents in sports.

With all of that said, the Bronx Bombers shouldn’t be stubborn to the point that they lose an icon. So here’s a fair deal for both sides: The Yankees should offer two deals to Jeter: a three-year, $54 million contract ($18 million a year for the 18 years of service Jeter has honored the team with once the deal ends) or a four-year, $60 million deal that offers the most amount of money. This is fair for both sides. The team keeps a legend and the player can add to the $200+ million he’s already made.

And let’s not forget Derek Jeter has something that makes money and World Series rings completely irrelevant. Her name is Minka Kelly. I hope he’s thankful for her.


Contact Jonathan Roisman at [email protected]

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About the Contributor
Jonathan Roisman
Jonathan Roisman, Editor-in-chief
Co-editor-in-chief, fall 2010.

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Out of Bounds: Jeter must return to the Bronx, but at a fair rate