The Yankees are going to overpay for Derek Jeter, and there's really no way around it.
The New York Post reports the Bombers plan to offer the 36-year-old shortstop — whose 10-year, $170 million contract expired last month — a deal somewhere in the three-year, $45-million range, but could even go as high as $57 million to $60 million with an option for a fourth-year.
While that seems like an incredibly lucrative deal for a player whose best days seem far behind him, sources say that Jeter, whose .270 average in 2010 was his worst in 15 full seasons in the big leagues, wants at least a four-year deal, and possibly either five or six, according to ESPN.com.
There has been much speculation as to what Jeter's actual value is to the team on the field versus what he is worth off the field as a marketing and public relations asset. The Yankees will be selling to their fans that the shortstop's value is in his future Hall of Fame bat and his five Gold Gloves, but the reality is that letting Jeter walk and end his career outside of the Bronx would be a PR nightmare for the GM Brian Cashman and the Steinbrenners.
"Everything he is and who he is gets factored in," Yankees president Andy Levine told the Post. "But this isn't a licensing deal or commercial rights deal. He's a baseball player. With that said, you can't take away who he is. He brings a lot to the organization and we bring a lot to him."
Whatever Jeter gets paid in 2011, it will almost certainly be less than the $21 million he earned in 2010.