Sunday, December 05, 2010

Yanks Resign Jeter and Rivera to Deals

The New York Yankees have closed deals with both Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera that will essentially see both long time All-stars finish their careers with the Yankees.

That hasn't stopped some from questioning the kind of deal that Jeter managed to get. Mike Lupica, who hasn't been the same kind of sports reporter/editorialist since he went off on a tangent thinking that he was a political observer, thinks that Jeter was somehow disrespected by the deal that saw him take a pay cut over the three year (or four year with option) deal that he got.

This was business. It wasn't personal. Jeter had career lows last year in average and power, and he's sliding towards the backside of his career. It just doesn't make any sense from a baseball standpoint to lock him in on a more costly deal, and the Yankees treated it as a business decision. Jeter's agent, Casey Close, was trying to play up the emotional ties between the club and Jeter, who has been the consummate player and ambassador for baseball and the Yankee organization.

Yet, it ultimately came down to how Jeter performed on the field that led to the lower deal. Jeter just didn't keep to his previous statistics. Had he done so, his argument about being paid comparably to his prior deal would have carried more weight. I'm as big a Jeter fan as anyone out there, but it just doesn't make sense to pay him more money than his just expired deal. This was a business negotiation, and normally such negotiations take place out of sight, but this was done in the full light of public view.

It's that aspect that got so many fans bent out of shape and debating the merits of compensating Jeter even though that is between Jeter and the Yankee organization.

Moreover, Lupica trying to compare the Jeter deal with Rivera's deal is just asinine. Rivera has been as steady a performer as they come. He has not shown the slightest slowdown in his skills or outcomes. He still closes games as the top closer in baseball. Rivera didn't ask for more than he got previously, and he got what he was worth.

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