Jeter says it's too soon to think about free agency

Given the sensitivity of the issue, Derek Jeter

Given the sensitivity of the issue, Derek Jeter and the Yankees almost certainly do not want details of their contract negotiations to leak out. (Oct. 22, 2010) Photo Credit: AP

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ARLINGTON, Texas - Derek Jeter refused to address his forthcoming free agency after the Yankees' 6-1 loss Friday night, saying it was too soon after the end of the season for him to think about it.

"I really haven't thought about it," Jeter said. "We just lost. Coming into today, I wasn't planning on this being the end of the season."

When asked if he anticipates being in pinstripes next season, Jeter said, "I haven't really thought about those things. It would be selfish for me to think about what's going on with me when we're trying to win a game. Honestly, I haven't given it any thought."

But when Jeter was reminded that he always has said since his initial days with the Yankees that he wants to finish his career in pinstripes, he said nothing has changed on that front.

"I've always felt that way," Jeter said. "I've told you guys that before. That hasn't changed."

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Jeter is coming off a 10-year, $189-million contract, and Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has made no secret that the Yankees have every intention of bringing their captain back.

But finding middle ground will be an interesting process, especially considering Jeter is coming off his worst season in the majors. Most notably, Jeter posted career lows in average (.270), on-base percentage (.340) and slugging percentage (.370).

Sitting in front of his corner locker in the visiting clubhouse, Jeter was asked to assess his season. "It's over," he said.

Jeter revealed in spring training that his agent, Casey Close, approached the Yankees during last offseason about beginning negotiations on an extension. But the Yankees stuck with their organizational policy of letting contracts expire before negotiating a new one.

They did the same with fellow pending free agents Mariano Rivera and manager Joe Girardi.

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