This is what baffles me

It’s interesting to hear Jeter’s agent, Casey Close, describe the negotiations with the Yankees as “baffling.”

There’s nothing baffling about it. Now I understand that Close, like any agent (and I revile sports agents as I do, say, lawyers and politicians) is trying to get the most for his client—especially since he may get a percentage for his own services.

But since this is “baffling” to him, let’s try to put things in ways that he can understand.

  • Your client will be 37 next year. I have a friend who, when JoePa signed a multi-year deal a few years ago, exclaimed “who does he think he is, Methusaleh?” Great quote. (Look up Methusaleh in the Bible if you don’t know what I mean). Well, Casey, your client will be 37 next year. Salary based on projections of current and future performance. You can’t really believe that Derek will put up the numbers at 37-39 that he put up at 27-29. If you do, then you are delusional.   
  • Current or future performance. This is on projections based on Jeter coming off his worst year of his career. One in which his OPS+ was a 90. His BA 21 points lower than any other season in his career. One in which his numbers (.270-10-67, OPS+ 90 with 18 SB, Rtot of -10)  were close to Marco Scutaro’s (.275-11-56, 5 SB. OPS+ 92, -1 RTOT at SS). Scutaro made $5.5MM in 2010, didn’t have Jeter’s SB, but had a much better Rtot. Note, Casey, $5.5MM, not Jeter’s $22.6MM. See what Derek would get on the open market.
  • If I’m paying, I’m not paying on the past. The past doesn’t win you games in 2011. Only the present does. Like I stated. See what Jeter gets on the open market. But sell him as if his name were Joe Schmoe. As if there wasn’t a past with 2926 hits, 5 rings and all the rest. Sell him as he is now. Not as he was in 2000. See what you get.   
  • This contract is about him as a player. Yes, “everything he symbolizes” comes into play. His legacy as a Yankee. His iconic stature. His conduct. His popularity. Hell, all that fits 85 year old Yogi Berra, too! The Yanks aren’t paying Yogi to catch in 2010. Yogi is just as popular on Madison Avenue (as I remember that great AFLAC commercial…)
  • Personally, I don’t go over the age of 37 on a multi-year contract with ANY player. Once 37, I would hope every team goes year by year. No multi-year deals for ANY player once they hit 37. That’s just me. Won’t happen, though. But let me dream.
  • You know the Yanks won’t release Derek. Something will eventually get done. But asking for a multi-year deal over three years at anything over $18MM/per (Yanks apparently offered 3 years, $45MM) is insane. But remember that in Feb. 1935 the Yanks actually released 39 year old Babe Ruth. Who had a better legacy or meant more to the franchise than the Babe? But time marches on and waits for no one. The Babe hit .288-22-84, OPS+ 160 in 1934 at age 39. Granted he played in 30-35 less games in 1934 than Derek did in 2010, and he was a power-hitting OF, not a sleek SS who still could steal 18—but Babe’s 1934 numbers do look a bit better than Derek’s 2010 numbers. Of course, we know what happened in 1935, when the Babe was completely kaput while with the Boston Braves, and retired.
  • In Bernie Williams’ final year, he went .281-12-61. Granted, power-hitting OF again. Bernie was 37, 38 at season’s end. OPS+ 96. Just 2 SB. Numbers similar to what Jeter put up this year. After showing signs of slippage, Bernie worked on just a $1.5MM contract in 2006, that final year, after making over $12MM in 2005. Bernie got invited to spring training in 2007 on a minor league deal. He didn’t come. He still hasn’t “officially” retired.
  • Granted, the Yanks won’t do to Derek what they did to Babe and Bernie. After all, Babe and Bernie had showed signs of decline over a couple of years (Babe 1932 to 1934, Bernie 2003-2006). But neither Babe or Bernie were working on long-term deals by that point. Jeter has showed serious decline just this past year. But “baffling” negotiations? There isn’t anything baffling about it. Old player so you don’t want many years, decline starting don’t want to commit too long, numbers going down so not worth as much. What’s “baffling about that?”

I know he has to say the right things and protect his client. But there isn’t anything “baffling” about the Yankees more-than-fair offer. What’s baffling is that greedy agents don’t get it. But then we saw this last year with the Damon situation, didn’t we?

Happy b/day to Stan Musial, NINETY yesterday (and thanks to my local paper for pointing it out)! A true treasure.

But the same paper suggests Phillies alternatives to Werth. Plan B is trading for Swisher. Sorry to rain on the parade, but the Plan B that the columnist has for the Phillies (trade for Swisher to replace the departing Werth) won’t come off, I don’t think. Sorry, but the Yankees are not after Carl Crawford (the Yanks getting him being the prereq for getting Swish). Their top target is Cliff Lee. There is no room or need for Crawford. If, somehow, the Yanks don’t get Lee, then maybe they target Crawford and try to trade an OF for pitching. But there isn’t any real decent pitching out there to trade for. Predictions? Yanks get Lee. Crawford to Angels. Werth to Boston. Maybe the Phils do the columnist’s  #1 alternative for replacing Werth—that is trade for Corey Hart of the Brewers. But maybe the columnist should contact me or other Yankees bloggers about the Yanks before she writes about them. The Yanks will keep their toes in the water to drive up the price on Crawford. But they aren’t interested in him unless they can’t get Lee. Your thoughts? But hey, the columnist covers the Phils. I really don’t think she knows the Yanks as well. 

But then, some columnists and reporters automatically tie the Yanks to everyone without looking into matters (need, what minor league prospects they have, budget [yes, they do have that]) and think they will throw money at everyone and everything. It’s like they refuse to think that Cashman may actually have a plan

Interesting show. T.O. and Ochocinco. I don’t know how the ratings are, but they better be better than the Bungles sorry 2-8 record.

Final AFL numbers of Yankee prospects:

Austin Romine 16 g. 61 AB. .279-0-7.
Manny Banuelos. 7 starts. 0-2, 3.60
Brandon Laird 27 g. 110 AB. 0236-4-22.
Craig Heyer 7 G. 3 starts. 1-2, 2.50
George Kontos. 10 g. All relief. 1-2, 12.08
Ryan Pope. 9 g. All relief. 0-1, 3.18
Jose Pirela 23 g. 89 AB. .180-1-5

You may want to read about Yankees prospects on milb.com.  But as you do, remember that Miranda has been traded to Arizona and Albaladejo was released so that he can sign in Japan.

New managerial signings recently. Hurdle to the Pirates, Terry Collins to the Mets.

Oh yeah, final thing for now. Rumors have the Yanks offering Lee $115-$120MM for five years. That’s $23-$24MM per.

 

 

 

 

        

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