Contract Crowdsourcing Results: Derek Jeter

The crowd has spoken, and Derek Jeter will not be getting anything close to the 5 year, $100 million deal that was rumored before the season. His relatively poor performance this year, combined with his age, has the crowd thinking that settle for a deal that pays him about half of that.

Average length: 3.38 years
Average salary: $14.91 million

Median length: 3 years
Median salary: $15 million

Standard deviation, length: 0.82 years
Standard deviation, salary: $4.20 million

While our first two subjects both had standard deviations of just under $3 million in salary, Jeter blows that out of the water. There’s a huge difference of opinion over what his annual salary will be, though most everyone agrees that he’s looking at a 3 or 4 year deal. Salaries range from as little as $4 million all the way up to the maximum of $25 million, with each number across the board being fairly represented. Some people clearly think that Jeter will get paid for what he has been, while others feel that he’ll end up getting what the market will bear, and that it won’t be kind to a 36-year-old coming off a bad year.

In the comments, someone made the comparison to Chipper Jones, and I think thats a good one. Like Jeter, he’s a one organization guy, and both parties wanted to see him end his career in the same uniform he has always worn. The Braves gave Jones a 3 year, $42 million deal for his age 37-39 seasons, though his age 36 season was significantly better than what Jeter is putting up right now. On the other hand, the Yankees have more money than the Braves and Jeter probably has more perceived intangible value.

The Chipper contract looks to be a pretty good template for the Yankees to use, and it’s right in line with what the crowd thinks he’s going to get. 3/45 – it’s probably less than what Jeter was hoping for, but about what he deserves. It’s a fair deal for both sides.




Print This Post



Dave is a co-founder of USSMariner.com and contributes to the Wall Street Journal.


33 Responses to “Contract Crowdsourcing Results: Derek Jeter”

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
  1. Omar says:

    Yeah, I said 3/60 just because he’s Jeter and the Yankees can afford to overpay him a bit….this seems to be pretty fair.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Mike says:

    My estimations for Jeter were purely based on the fact that he will be a Yankee next year, and the Yankees will over pay for him.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. John says:

    I thought I went to conservative with 4 years and 60 million because I assume that the Yanks will overpay him since Jeter has a bit of bargaining power given his reputation with the fan base. Hard to see the Yanks staring Jeter down and holding him to fair market value.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. scatterbrian says:

    I may be wrong, but it seems to me that people are blowing Jeter’s intangibles out of proportion in terms of it affecting his next contract. Sure, he’s the face of that franchise and has provided or been part of countless great memories and moments with the Yankees. But the Jeter Mystique doesn’t really mean as much to the 29 other clubs–especially to their fans–so it doesn’t seem logical that the Yankees will need to overpay.

    Hypothetically, if Jeter were to sign elsewhere, what percentage of Yankee fans would quit on the team?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. James says:

    As a goodwill gesture, Yankees will certainly overpay in terms of years and dollars (relative to what he would get on the open market) due to their revenues and his significance to the franchise. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get $15-20m (maybe even more) from the Yankees, but I doubt he’d get more than $10m from anyone else. I think 3 years only if they believe this year is an anomaly. For the record, my vote was 2 yrs @ $15m. I’m not convinced he wants to play 3+ years.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. KC says:

    Just a coincidence this was posted at the exact same time as the identical study on Baseball Prospectus?

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=11931

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  7. KG says:

    4/80

    The Yankees can eat the money. It’s a goodwill gesture to the Captain and a fan favorite. Jeter has value not only as a player, but as a Yankee himself.

    Poz brought up a good point: they can’t possibly pay Jeter less than Burnett. Burnett sucks.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  8. Xeifrank says:

    $25M per year? I think someone is trying to mess with the poll. Maybe you should filter out or not include such ridiculous choices.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Adam says:

      Is it really though? I think it’s more likely Jeter gets vastly overpaid (like a $25M / yr salary) than vastly underpaid (like a $4M / yr salary). While it’s definitely at the far end of the spectrum, we are dealing with the Yankees here so I don’t think somebody who entered $25M as the annual amount is trying to mess with the poll.

      Besides, this blurb was posted in ESPN’s Rumor Central piece about Jeter’s next contract this morning:

      “There also is the seven years and $209 million left on the contract to Alex Rodriguez. Two former teammates tell Harper that while Jeter is the ultimate team player, his pride will demand that he get a deal within A-Rod’s parameters. “

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Adam says:

        …and I meant to follow up that last part about the Rumor Central piece by saying that somebody who read that this morning, then came to FanGraphs this afternoon could have had that in the back of their mind when filling out the poll.

        I personally put 4 yrs / $14 MM per year, but I just wanted to play the devil’s advocate against automatically dismissing an entry of $25M/yr.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • John says:

      How would you determine what is ridiculous? If Dave had done this for Ryan Howard’s extension would you have thrown out a 5 year 125 million dollar submission as a ridiculous offer?

      The intent here isn’t scientific so why attempt to complicate the methodology of it.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Xeifrank says:

        Without seeing the data I am not definitely suggesting anything. I just said “maybe”. I guess I should’ve made a more lengthy and descriptive post outlining all the parameters for throwing out a poll answer. :)

        But my post was meant as more of a “heads up” that someone may be messing with the poll. I am sure Dave can look and see if there are a bunch of wierd submissions or not. Sounds like we got a reasonable mean, so most likely not a big deal. But $25M, which is 2.4 SD from the mean is pretty far off. If only ~1 out of 100 or so picked that number then no harm done.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • John says:

        Odd, it won’t let me reply to yours, so I will reply to my own.

        I am just saying that someone thinking a GM would be dumb enough to throw 25 mil at a player who doesn’t deserve it isn’t that surprising, given the history of overpaying aging players.

        The intent here is to determine what common wisdom thinks players will get, rather than what common wisdom thinks they are worth. Is thinking the Yanks will overpay an aging star really that inconceivable? The only result that would be truly shocking is Jeter signing for Nick Punto money. Anyone who thinks Jeter would sign for 4 million, doesn’t follow baseball.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  9. James says:

    The Chipper comparison seems pretty good. Same idea–one org guy, classy, Hall of Fame career.

    One thing though: Chipper never took a paycut. In fact, he got a raise from his previous contract. I may be reading it wrong on Cot’s (someone correct me if I am), but it seems his AAV jumped from $11MM in ’06-’09 to $13MM in ’10-’12 (more when you include the signing bonus). We’re proposing Jeter lose almost 25% of his salary and I think that’s a significant factor. Yes, of course the open market would never pay him $18-20MM AAV, but it will never get that far. [Granted, Chipper had a tremendous season in '08 and then signed the extension the following March before his performance fell off a cliff just like Jeter's has, but I still don't think the Braves would have embarrassed their superstar like that.]

    Jeter also possesses a unique value to the Yankees exclusively in the form of marketing and other “intangibles”. That angle has been used a lot with agents in the past, such as Scott Boras with Manny Ramirez (Mannywood) and A-Rod (HR king). Casey Close won’t hesitate to look for Jeter’s slice of the pie when he’s approaching 3,000 hits and giving speeches at home plate to the legions of New Yorkers and just generally acting as Mr. Yankee. Other players don’t have that kind of appeal, and there’s definitely value in that for the Yankees.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • TK says:

      Chipper was only receiving a “raise” because he had already restructured his contract to basically take a voluntary pay cut.

      He had vesting options (which he would have met) that made the original value of his contract from 2006 to 2008 $47MM. That is about the same as what he was paid for 2006 to 2009 so Chipper basically played for free in 2009 (maybe he should have).

      His performance went downhill right after he signed his last contract, but that is irrelevant when considering the thought process of the team or the player in making the initial deal.

      Derek Jeter, on the other hand, got as much money or more from the Yankees and will do so again. I’m sure he’ll get at least $15MM a year and it won’t even matter to the Yankees. He also refused to make his team better by changing positions when the far superior defensive SS came to “his” team. So what besides the “jump throw” makes Jeter the ultimate team player?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • B N says:

        I believe that part of what gives him a great reputation as a team player is that he’s the guy who will go play rope-a-dope with the media and free up other players to do something more baseball or life related. He also seems to manage to do so without causing media firestorms. In NYC, that’s a pretty big job.

        I don’t think I’d call him the ultimate team player (it’s not like he’s donating kidneys here) but he definitely provides some kinds of leadership and media insulation to the team. Also, I’m willing to bet that Jeter actually thought he was as good or better defensively until the advanced stat guys showed him up. (I know one of the guys at Penn who did this research. Did you see Jeter’s response? “Maybe it was a computer glitch.”) In my opinion, this points to a failure in the Yankees ability to properly judge and allocate talent at the time. It is the manager and the GM’s job to make sure players are playing the right spots, and deal with the egos later.

        With that said, Jeter wants the money and knows the Yankees can fork it over without losing talent on the field. In that situation, who wouldn’t try to shoot for the moon?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • James says:

        Thanks for the clarification on Chipper’s contract, TK. However $15MM a year would still be a significant drop-off. And I’m willing to wager that when you consider his on-field performance and all the other benefits Jeter provides the Yankees, it could add up to the $19MM I suspect he’ll receive–basically an extension of his last contract. I don’t think a .300/.360/.420 season is *unrealistic* (maybe optimistic) for Jeter next year, in which he’d be approaching 4 WAR with defense typical of the past couple years, right? Maybe I’m way off.

        The Yankees would pay the additional 2-3 mil/year to avoid a PR war with the city’s most beloved superstar. Jeter may only be “worth” the deal Chipper got, I agree with that, but I believe that’s a far cry from what he’ll actually get.

        And BN, Jeter gets a pass from the media. He only plays “rope-a-dope” with the media because the media *are* dopes when dealing with Captain Super-Clutch. He never gets tough questions, and when he does he feeds them cliches that says nothing. And the press eats it up. However, when A-Rod or someone else gets questioned, it’s something of an interrogation session. There’s a double-standard in New York when it comes to Jeter. So it’s pretty easy to play ball.

        I mean, it wasn’t until the first of week of September that the NY Post (Sherman) even suggest Jeter bat somewhere other than #1 or #2.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  10. chuckb says:

    I’m a little curious about your statement at the end that a 3 yr./$45 million deal is “about what he’s worth.” To be “worth” that sort of deal, we would have to believe that Jeter will be a 3-3.5 win player next year, regressing slightly each year and a 2.5 win (or so) player in year 3. Right now he sits at 1.7 WAR for this year and I’m skeptical that he’ll be a 3.5 win player next year. Does Jeter’s historical “value to the franchise” lead you to the statement that $15 million per year is “about what he’s worth?” I ask b/c I doubt that any other player in baseball, at Jeter’s age and coming off Jeter’s year, would be worth that sort of deal in free agency.

    Perhaps I’m splitting hairs over semantics but is Jeter’s worth, in your eyes, partly determined by what he’s done in the past as opposed to what he’ll do over the next 3 years? If so, should we measure these “franchise players’” worth in those terms? For example, should the value of Albert Pujols’ next deal include some bonus for what he means to the city of St. Louis and what he’s done for the franchise over the last 10 years (if, indeed, he resigns with the Cardinals)? Or should the Cards only look at what he will do over the next 8-10 when evaluating Pujols’ worth? Is this an apt comparison — Jeter’s worth to the Yankees vs. Pujols’ value to the Cards?

    I guess the point is that an objective determination of Jeter’s “worth” would be something a little less than $15 million per year and, were he to sign with the Braves (for example) for that amount, we would likely view it as an overpay, perhaps by several million dollars. But we’ll all acknowledge that Jeter has an intangible value to the Yankees that he doesn’t have to any other team (just as Pujols does with the Cards). Should we really include that additional intangible value when evaluating the merit of a contract? And, by extension, should the Cardinals include that intangible value when making a contract offer to Pujols?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Kevin S. says:

      You can’t look only at the current year when trying to determine a player’s current talent level. If we pro-rate Jeter’s current WAR across the final month of the season, we get him at 2.0 WAR for 2010. Doing a 4/3/2/1 weighted average of his previous four seasons pegs his true talent level at 4.1 WAR. Doing a 5/3/2 (docking him much more credit for his bad current season still brings him in at only a shade below four wins. Assuming a half-win decline, that gives you 3.5, 3.0 and 2.5 wins in the next three seasons. 3/$45 mil is a pretty fair offer if we’re expecting that kind of production.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  11. scatterbrian says:

    “…while Jeter is the ultimate team player, his pride will demand that he get a deal within A-Rod’s parameters.”

    Anyone else see a contradiction?

    Also, I really don’t understand why the Yankees should overpay as a “sign of goodwill.” They have pretty him quite handsomely for the majority of his career, why do they need to give him extra credit now?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  12. RPS says:

    I wouldn’t be shocked to see Jeter’s next contract be a quarter-percent or so ownership stake, with the understanding that he retires when both parties are able to agree that it is for the best.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  13. Phantom Stranger says:

    Whatever the Yankees give him will be an albatross of a contract. It would sink lesser teams and budgets, but the Yankees will just swallow it to make sure Jeter played his entire career for the team. The natural thing to do would be to move him to second, but they already have a MVP candidate playing there who is much younger.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • moebius says:

      I wonder how Cano would play at 3B or RF? He certainly has the arm.

      It’s all sort of academic at this point, since even though Jeter’s not a good defensive SS, he’s still going to provide more value at the position than any of the other options for another year or two. What SS on the market or in the minors will be more attractive than Jeter over the next two years?

      The only possibility is there’s a foreign player out there right now who could effectively play SS.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • TFINY says:

        Can’t move him to 3B. Oh, unless you move that former gold-glover back to SS. I forget his name.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • TFINY says:

        You guys know the one I’m talking about? The one Jeter refused to move for in the first place?

        Yea, I don’t see Jeter moving away from SS.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Tree says:

        I do remember a quote from Jeter suggesting that he know his whole career might not be at SS, but the place to put him would be the outfield, not 2B.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  14. noseeum says:

    There’s no place in the field for the Yanks other than SS. His bat is too weak at this point for any OF position other than CF, and he can’t play there.

    There are too many people clogging up DH to put him there, and he would be bad to have at DH anyway, considering the weak bat that would replace him at SS.

    3 year deal, $20 million, all at SS or super utility in the final year.

    The more I think on it, though, I could see Cashman driving a hard bargain in private with him. “Derek, you’re not the player you were. That’s clear. We will overpay you at $15 million per, guaranteed for 3 years. We’re not going to embarrass you by putting in a ton of incentives. This is the best deal you could possibly get. You know we’ll put the additional cash back into the team. We’ll zip our lips and you tell the world you’ve made enough money, want to end your career as a yankee, and you want to maximize resources available for winning more titles.”

    And really, at the end of the day, how is $15 million an insult?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Brad says:

      I tend to think in the same vein as you but as an act of compromise I see Jeter and Cashman simply agreeing to a 3 year extension of his current contract terms. Both sides would essentially say they’ve had a wonderful relationship on those terms for the last 10 years and are glad to continue in the same way. Yeah, its more than he’s “worth” (although worth is a very abstract term here as I’m sure the Yankees have a very good idea what he is “worth” to them in some sort of real dollar figure that we are not privy to), but its an easy out for all involved. It would be just like Jeter to take this mountain of a media created situation and make a molehill out of it.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  15. FireOmar says:

    5 years, $25mil per. His career numbers are nothing short of Jeterian.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  16. David says:

    Oh, an excellent written report! I have no clue how you were able to write this article..it’d take me weeks. Well worth it though, I’d assume. Have you considered selling ads on your blog?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>