Could Yankees Offer Jeter Arbitration

by Paul Raymond | Posted on Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

There’s no doubt that the New York Yankees will eventually sign future Hall Of Fame shortstop Derek Jeter, the question has been how messy can things get? How long will negotiations take, how much will he be overpaid? Even with the knowledge he will continue being a Yankee they are valid questions. Joel Sherman of the New York Post threw a new wrinkle into the mix today and that’s arbitration.

The thought actually isn’t too absurd and could help the Yankees brass guarantee he’s back with the organization. The deadline for offering arbitration is November 23rd and if negotiations aren’t going well this could help.

If he declines, then the Yankees would be guaranteed a draft pick if he signs elsewhere. Would any team in baseball be willing to give up a draft pick for a player with a drastically declining skill set? Yea, they’ll get an income boost while he chases hit number 3,000 but is it worth sacrificing a teams future to do?

If he accepts then Jeter will be guaranteed to be a Yankee for at least one more season and if give them more time to work out an extension. A win-win in my book.

Sherman mentions arbitration could wind up being very pricey for New York. If Jeter accepts then his agent, Casey Close is sure to ask for an astronomical figure and who can blame him? Even with their insane revenue stream the Yankees will earn even more while Jeter chases that milestone hit. Those mid-week early season games will be closer to sell outs then ever before, which means more $$ all around and Close knows this.

However, if Jeter actually accepts, the Yankees face peril in how much he could ask for and win in arbitration. Yes, Jeter had his worst season, but a veteran agent said “special qualities of leadership and public appeal” could be argued in arbitration. One NL executive said Jeter would ask for no less than $25 million because “his platform year [2010] was not great, but his resume, fan appeal and career are all great. His length of consistency and special accomplishments are great and — believe me — Casey is not going to shy away from arguing every one of those.” (via Sherman’s article)

Sherman even suggests that Jeter could ask for more then Alex Rodriguez’s average annual salary. The scary thing is based on Jeter’s career an arbitrator may give it to him. Those arbitrators have always tended to lean towards special accomplishments not what a players current level of play is. I don’t think this threat would prevent the Yankees from offering arbitration if it did get that far.

Who knows if it even does as both sides are already talking.

@SI_JonHeyman: jeter & agent casey close recently met with hal steinbrenner, randy levine and cashman. may take awhile, but theyll work it out.

People are arguing that Jeter will be grossly overpaid next season if he signs for $15 million, if he makes $25+ then I can only imagine the hysteria that it will cause. But you know what, the Yankees don’t care.

Hank and Hal will just chalk that up to the cost of doing business. They’re smart enough to realize that to protect and to continue to extend the Yankees brand they have to have Jeter back in the pinstripes. And that is why you have to say again the Yankees are the best run business in the world of sports.

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