Reports: Yanks toughen stance on Jeter
The Yankees' negotiations with Derek Jeter might be turning ugly.
The New York Times, citing two people briefed on the matter, reported that the Yankees did not offer the franchise's iconic shortstop salary arbitration on Tuesday.
Jeter and the Yankees have been involved in contract talks more or less since the season ended, with the two parties being unable to reach an agreement so far.
In arbitration, Jeter would have had the right to accept a one-year deal from the Yankees and have an arbitrator rule on how much he would get paid. He would have most likely received a contract worth more than $20 million, the Times said, about $5 million more than the Yankees' current reported offer of three years and $45 million.
The apparent downside for Jeter would be that he'd be a free agent at the end of next season and right back in this same position.
Another report Tuesday quoted Yankees general manager Brian Cashman suggesting that if Jeter doesn't like the offer the Yankees have presented, he should feel free to shop around.
"We understand his contributions to the franchise and our offer has taken them into account," Cashman told ESPNNewYork.com. "We've encouraged him to test the market and see if there's something he would prefer other than this. If he can, fine. That's the way it works."
Jeter's agent, Casey Close, told the New York Daily News on Sunday that he was "baffled" by the Yankees' negotiating strategy with one of the team's stalwarts.
Jeter has been a Yankee for all of his 16 major league seasons. He has a .314 career average, has been an All-Star 11 times and has won five Gold Gloves.
But his offensive numbers took a big dip in 2010, which led many to wonder how the Yankees would approach the offseason negotiations with the 36-year-old. Jeter hit a career-worst .270 in 2010.
The Yankees are also deciding whether to offer arbitration to Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte and others. The deadline for all offers is midnight Tuesday.