25 Feb 2010
Throughout this offseason and previous ones, Brian Cashman has shown that he doesn’t act with his heart. He is cold and calculating, a perfect combination for a GM. Cashman doesn’t get caught up in the emotion of a move, he simply continues to try and make the Yankees younger and better. Yet somehow, everyone seems to think that the Yankees and Cashman will hand Derek Jeter a huge contract next fall when his current ten-year deal expires. I have seen various writers guess at six years and $25 million a year.
Now Derek Jeter is a special player. He is one of the greatest Yankees to ever play the game, but he is also 36 and playing shortstop, a position that very few players have played well in their late 30’s. While he hasn’t shown much rust and his 2009 was stellar, it is legitimate to question just how much he has left in the tank.
Obviously, nobody knows for sure, but we do know that the closer to 40 he gets, the bigger the chance he stops producing at his current levels. Brian Cashman understands this and I wouldn’t expect him to offer anything close to six years to Jeter. Unless the economy really improves, I imagine the negotiation will play out with the Yankees offering Jeter arbitration (and probably hoping he will take it since it would just be a one-year deal) before making a proposal for a three-year deal for no more than $60 million. That in itself is a very risky deal for the Yankees to make and I don’t think they would do it for any other player besides Jeter.