Derek Jeter’s agent brought down the 36-year-old shortstop’s contract demands. But it may not be enough, or in time, to save the Yankee icon’s image from tarish.
The Daily News on Saturday reported Casey Close’s counter-offer of a five-year deal worth between $22 and $24 million per year, which is down from the $25 million average of the six-year, $150 million pact the Jeter camp was thought to be desiring. Still, the Yanks have yet to budge off their offer of three years and $45 million, leaving more than a $60 million gulf between team and player.
The problem now, however, is that pubic sympathy appears to have shifted away from Jeter during the increasingly bitter negotiations, a situation that serves neither party well. The Yankees consider Jeter a permanent, iconic fixture. But as they continue to publicly expound their “fair” offer, Jeter is being perceived as greedy and spoiled.
Hosts on all-sports radio station WFAN have more than hinted that Jeter needs to come down, due to the limited future of any 36-year-old ballplayer. A New York Post online poll indicated three out of four respondents said the Yankees’ offer is fair. Some feared Jeter would end up in a different uniform, although that is unlikely despite feelers from the Cardinals, Giants, Orioles and Nationals.
The New York Times reported the sides haven’t talked to each other in a week. But Jeter’s side has said plenty in the media, to the apparent detriment of the shortstop’s image.
After all, nobody likes a spoiled icon.