For all the love Derek Jeter receives from the New York Yankees, there once was a time when Brian Cashman believed the team could do without the shortstop.
The Yankees general manager recently was profiled by Sports Illustrated (the article isn’t on the magazine’s website), and a source revealed Cashman was brutally honest with Jeter during his contract negotiations in 2010. Jeter apparently asked his boss whom he’d rather have at shortstop. Cashman replied it would be just fine with him if Troy Tulowitzki, among others, were at short in place of Jeter.
“Do you really want me to answer that?” Cashman told Jeter, via ESPN.com. “We’re not paying extra money for popularity. We’re paying for performance.”
At the time, Jeter was coming off a season in which he posted a then-career-low .270 batting average with 10 home runs and 67 RBIs. Tulowitzki, on the other hand, batted .315 with 27 home runs and 95 RBIs for the Colorado Rockies. Tulowitzki also is a better fielder than Jeter, so you almost can’t blame Cashman for not wanting to give the then-36-year-old the four- to six-year, $22 million to $24 million per year contract he wanted.
Jeter ended up signing a three-year, $51 million deal, then retired in 2014.
Cashman told the New York Daily News on Wednesday that he didn’t speak about negotiations with SI, but author S.L. Price “did a lot of homework.” Cashman wouldn’t confirm or deny the quote, though he said he had no issues with the article.
And Cashman did tell Price he likes being honest.
“Sometimes honesty hurts,” Cashman said, per ESPN. “But if you’re being paid to do a job, do the job. You have to honor the job description; if not, you’re a fraud or stealing money. You can’t fake your way doing this. You either do it or you don’t.”
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images
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