Source: Yanks, Derek Jeter at impasse

Updated: November 30, 2010, 11:34 AM ET
By Wallace Matthews | ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- Negotiations between the Yankees and Derek Jeter are at a standstill until Jeter and his agent, Casey Close, "drink the reality potion," according to a source close to the negotiations.

According to the source, a baseball industry executive who has knowledge of both sides' positions, the Yankees are not budging from the three-year, $45 million offer they made to Jeter earlier this month, nor has Jeter moved off his demand for a longer contract believed to be in the area of $23 million-$25 million per season.

No talks took place over the holiday weekend and none are currently scheduled. Neither Yankees general manager Brian Cashman nor Close immediately returned messages seeking comment early Monday.

Last week, Cashman told ESPN New York: "We understand his contributions to the franchise and our offer has taken them into account. 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."

A team source said Cashman's statement was not intended to be an ultimatum, but an invitation to comparison-shop around the league, with the belief that no other team would match or exceed the Yankees' offer.

The baseball industry source said the Yankees have provided Jeter and Close with detailed statistical and market analysis to support their contract offer, including comparisons between Jeter and other shortstops and middle infielders throughout baseball.

That is the way Jeter's last contract, the 10-year, $189 million deal that expired with the end of the 2010 World Series, was negotiated, based on Jeter's contention and the Yankees' concurrence that Jeter was the second-best shortstop in the game, behind Alex Rodriguez, who had just signed a 10-year, $252 million deal with the Texas Rangers.

This time, the Jeter side is said to not want Jeter's value to be judged against that of other shortstops, preferring to base his worth on his legacy as an all-time great Yankee. The next highest-paid shortstop, Florida's Hanley Ramirez, is nearly 10 years younger than the 36-year-old Jeter, hits for more power (21 HRs last year) and in 2010, hit 30 points higher, .300 to .270. He will be paid $11 million in 2011.

"They've changed the rules this time around," the source said of the Jeter camp.

Other industry sources have mentioned the Los Angeles Dodgers as a possible Plan B for Jeter and Close, considering Jeter's warm relationship with Don Mattingly, who will succeed Joe Torre as manager for 2011, and his increasingly chilly relationship with the Yankees' front office.

However, the Dodgers' financial situation has changed due to the ongoing divorce battle between owner Frank McCourt and his estranged wife, Jamie. In March 2009, the Dodgers gave Manny Ramirez a two-year, $45 million contract, but placed him on waivers last August, where he was claimed by the Chicago White Sox.

The uncertain financial future of the Dodgers pending the divorce settlement makes a possible Jeter-to-L.A. scenario a long shot at best.

Said the source: "There just doesn't seem to be much out there for him besides the Yankees."

Wallace Matthews covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com. Follow him on Twitter.

Wallace Matthews has covered New York sports since 1983 as a reporter, columnist, radio host and TV commentator. He covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com after working for Newsday, the New York Post, the New York Sun and ESPN New York 98.7 FM.
Follow Wallace on Twitter »  Chat archive »

SPONSORED HEADLINES

EDITORS' PICKS

  • Not A Kidd Anymore
    Jason Kidd has met every challenge this season. Now comes the biggest one yet.
  • Was That Bad?!
    The Yankees turned an early 4-run lead into a late Rays blowout in St. Petersburg.
  • That Was Close
    David Wright's eighth-inning single broke up a Braves no-hit bid at Citi.
  • Bracing For The Worst
    Woody's fate will likely be announced next week -- and he's expecting bad news.
  • Complete Control
    The Rangers dominated the Flyers in Game 1 thanks to stickhandling and skill.

ALSO SEE