The Yankees met with Casey Close in person for the first time since November 8 on Tuesday, and various reports describe that meeting as promising, vital, and constructive. Unlike the negotiation-through-the-press that had taken place over the previous weeks, the discussion was called cordial, respectful, and polite. So, they must be making real progress then, right?
Not quite. Via the News:
The two sides did not discuss where they were in terms of money and years, but rather tossed around ideas as to how they could bridge the immense gap between them.
And from the Times:
That person, who asked to remain anonymous because he did not want to jeopardize his access to confidential information, said that while no real progress was made on narrowing the substantial financial gap between the sides, the tenor of the meeting was cordial and that both sides will try to keep it that way.
The talks reportedly ended with the Yankees asking Close for thoughts on how to proceed — and while that could mean finding creative solutions (like a vested option for a fourth year, or some sort of marketing agreement, similar to the ones in Alex Rodriguez's contract, tied to Jeter's pursuit of 3,000 hits), it probably just means they want Close and Jeter to lower their demands to truly narrow the gap. Which has pretty much been the case all along.