New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is in no hurry to negotiate contract extensions with Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Joe Girardi, the New York Post reports. All three contracts expire after the 2010 season, but Cashman plans to treat them all the same to avoid creating any controversy.
"I don't think you can separate one from the other," Cashman told the Post. "I am not saying they are the same, but the questions will come, 'If you did one, why didn't you do the other?' If this was Kansas City, it would be different — but it's not."
Because they are the Yankees, every move they make gets scrutinized, and the media spotlight can be especially intense on the manager. The Joe Torre saga didn't end well following the 2007 season, but Girardi isn't sweating Cashman's current negotiating stance.
"I am not concerned, and I don't think it will be a distraction," Girardi told the Post. "I am fortunate to be a Yankee."
Cashman may be wise for putting off discussions to avoid any bitterness if the Yankees are unwilling to negotiate on the players' terms. Rivera, 40, is wrapping up a three-year, $45 million deal. Jeter is entering the final season of a 10-year, $189 million deal and will make $21 million this season. Both players have amazing credentials and are iconic Bronx Bombers, but the Yankees may not be able to offer them their asking value.
"Everybody signed those contracts, and there is a lot of money being made, and people are comfortable,” Cashman told the Post.
The long-tenured Jeter is probably not going to jump ship, and the Yankees will work to keep their captain — at least for the sake of preventing likely rioters from burning down the new stadium.
Co-chaiman Hank Steinbrenner hinted that Jeter will remain in pinstripes past the 2010 season.
"We'll get into all of that eventually," Steinbrenner told The Associated Press last week. "Jeter's place in Yankee history is obvious, so I think you can pretty much assume from there."
For now, Cashman's policy has not presented any problems, and Girardi, Jeter and Rivera have neither pushed the issue nor seemed too concerned.