Only a wide-eyed optimist could have thought the re-signing of Derek Jeter by the Yankees would get done without some blood being spilled. Jeter's side has fired off the latest salvo as the two sides continue to debate the shortstop's value.
"There's a reason the Yankees themselves have stated Derek Jeter is their modern-day Babe Ruth. Derek's significance to the team is much more than just stats," Casey Close, Jeter's longtime agent, told the Daily News in a story published Sunday. "And yet the Yankees' negotiating strategy remains baffling.
"They continue to argue their points in the press and refuse to acknowledge Derek's total contribution to their franchise."
Yankees president Randy Levine declined to comment Sunday.
At the owners' meetings last week in Orlando, Fla., Levine said Jeter's next contract will be about baseball rather than marketing. And in baseball, Jeter is coming off the worst season of his major-league career.
The Yankees are in the process of advancing negotiations to the point that parameters of a three-year, $45-million contract are being discussed.