Derek Jeter and the New York Yankees are apparently trying to kiss and make up. The Yankees met Tuesday with Jeter's agent Casey Close -- reportedly their first meeting in three weeks. ESPN indicates that the Yankees would like to have Jeter's signature on a new contract before the Winter Meetings begin next week.
"I feel confident that Derek will remain with the Yankees, and my brother does, as well," New York's co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner said Tuesday night in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "We want to keep him. He's very important. I certainly hope he remains with us and he certainly should."
Mind you that this is Hank Steinbrenner talking, but that certainly sounds a lot more conciliatory than most of what we have been hearing lately.
As has been well-documented the Yankees have been offering Jeter a three-year, $45-million contract. Reports have indicated that Jeter is seeking $23-24 million for as many as five seasons. It will be interesting to see which side ends up giving more to get this done. My guess is they will meet in the middle on the money, somewhere around $19-20 million. That is still drastically overpaying for Jeter's current productivity, but it's probably fair considering that this is Jeter. The big question will be whether or not the Yankees budge off the three years. They seem intent on not being tied to Jeter beyond his productive years.