New York Yankees Playing Chicken

By Craig Williams

The New York Yankees and Derek Jeter have a little game of chicken brewing.  Joel Sherman has the details here.  The summary is simple: the Derek Jeter camp wants more years than the Yankees are willing to offer.  The New York Yankees will go to three years, but Jeter reportedly wants four.

About a week ago, I expressed my disinterest in the Yankees offering Derek Jeter a four-year contract.  Ideally, I want two.  One season for his 3,000 hit chase and another season for a farewell tour.  Jeter has done so much for the organization though so I would be more than willing to see him get a third year if it was necessary.  Anything beyond that is simply a bad baseball move.

Each side needs each other in this negotiation process.  The Yankees don’t want to trot out Eduardo Nunez as their starting shortstop to kick off the 2011 season and I would be thoroughly surprised and borderline shocked if anyone comes anywhere close to a 3 year/$45 million deal – let alone $60 million (a total that I don’t think is out of the question).  Those two factors remove any doubt in my mind that Derek Jeter will be playing shortstop for the New York Yankees in 2011 and beyond.  I just hope he doesn’t misplay his cards and overestimate his leverage.  As cut-throat as it may seem, I would fully expect the Yankees to privately explore alternative options (if they haven’t already) if the negotiations continue to bog down.

When its all said and done, can anyone see Derek Jeter not being a member of the New York Yankees?  I can’t.  Its just going to take a little longer than we all thought.

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