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Monday, November 08, 2010

Source: Jeter to Get Hall of Fame Dollars for Putting Up Ian Desmond's and Mario Scutaro's Numbers's sources report that a 3-year deal at between $15 and $20 million per year is in order for the future, first-ballot Hall of Famer.

It's a good deal if you can get it, and it shows how much Jeter means to the Yankees, for whom $10 million is another team's $1 million. True, it's a unique situation, and many teams over the history of baseball have found themselves in a bind over what to do with aging superstars. If baseball were a pure meritocracy, compensation would be parabolic -- a player would make less money on his way up, the most at his peak, and then progressively less as his skills atrophy. But instead, the market that the players' union and the owners have created gives rise to many inefficiencies, among them overpaying for free agents and then wanting to dump them to any takers after the players turn into overpaid underproducers (see, for example, Barry Zito and Carlos Lee). As for Zito, years ago Mets' fans were disappointed that then-GM Omar Minaya failed to get the job done and sign Zito; had the signing happened, Omaya would have been fire much more quickly than he was.

That said. . . this isn't about inking a free agent to fill a glaring hole, it's about preserving an untarnished legacy and keeping an icon and a leader, for whom there is a premium, especially in New York. The thought of Derek Jeter spending his final seasons in a Mets', Angels' or Cubs' uniform frightens baseball purists to the core, or, at least, those who live in New York. For this and perhaps many other Yankee-centric reasons, the Yankees, the team who can afford a luxury of this nature the most, will overpay for three more years of Derek Jeter's services (and, the guess here is that by the time A-Rod turns forty, they'll be overpaying for him, too).


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