The Finish Line

The Yankees have made deals with both Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter, bringing the two of them back where they belong. I commented on Rivera’s deal yesterday and Jeter’s makes similar sense. Three years at $17 million per is a high for Jeter the player, but for Jeter the total package, it is fair. Plus, he is deferring some money which helps the Yankees going forward. As for the 4th year, Jeter has a player option that could be worth somewhere between $8 and $17 million based on how he performs over the next few years. I would be willing to bet that if Jeter is no longer Jeter, he won’t exercise that option. Overall, I think the immortal Peter Gammons said it best tonight when he tweeted “I don’t care what Jeter makes, only that he and Mariano begin and end as Yankees.” Amen to that.

Now it becomes all about Cliff Lee. The Yankees are making some head fakes towards guys like Crawford, but it is really all about Lee at this point. If the Yankees can get him on board, Andy Pettitte becomes a “nice to have” instead of a “must have”. If they can’t get him, they better get Andy to put off retirement. Losing both would be a very bad situation. I would bet we know the answer to where they both end up by this time next week.

One last note. Clearly the Cardinals didn’t watch much of Lance Berkman as a Yankee. $8 million to play the outfield? Good luck with that next year!