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The Free Agent

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Derek Jeter’s contract is up, and G.M. Brian Cashman is in a delicate situation. Jeter is easily the most popular player in the Bronx—if not in the entire sport. But the shortstop, now 36, turned in perhaps his worst year in 2010. Still, most observers expect that his marketability—and the Yankees organization’s sentimental loyalty to a player who’s been their public face for fifteen years—will earn him another lucrative deal.

FADING ON THE FIELD...

$9.8 million
What a player with Jeter’s stats is worth, per year, on the free-agent market, as calculated by fangraphs.com.

$21 million
Jeter’s base salary this year.


...BUT STILL A STAR OFF IT
39 of 49 baseball-business professionals surveyed by Sports Business Daily named Jeter the sport’s most marketable athlete.

Zero
Number of baseball players who have a higher Q rating than Jeter among sports fans.

Derek attracts casual fans in a way that no other Yankee player can. And the casual fans are just as important, if not more important, to the Yankees and to advertisers than the people you already know are going to be watching games.” —Brian Helfrich, Sports Business Daily


The Top Ten Shortstops in Baseball Last Year, and How Much They Cost

*Wins Above Replacement measures how many more wins a team accumulates with a given player than it would if it spent the lowest possible amount of money to replace him.

Troy Tulowitzki
Age: 25
Wins Above Replacement : 6.4
2010 Base Salary: $3,500,000

Stephen Drew
Age: 27
Wins Above Replacement : 5.1
2010 Base Salary: $3,400,000

Hanley Ramirez
Age: 26
Wins Above Replacement : 4.4
2010 Base Salary: $7,000,000

Rafael Furcal
Age: 32
Wins Above Replacement : 4.1
2010 Base Salary: $8,500,000

Alexei Ramirez
Age: 29
Wins Above Replacement : 3.8
2010 Base Salary: $1,100,000

Cliff Pennington
Age: 26
Wins Above Replacement : 3.7
2010 Base Salary: $405,000

Alex Gonzalez
Age: 33
Wins Above Replacement : 3.4
2010 Base Salary: $2,700,000

Juan Uribe
Age: 31
Wins Above Replacement : 3.2
2010 Base Salary: $3,250,000

Jose Reyes
Age: 27
Wins Above Replacement : 2.8
2010 Base Salary: $9,000,000

Derek Jeter
Age: 36
Wins Above Replacement : 2.5
2010 Base Salary: $21,000,000


What’s your best guess as to what the terms of Jeter’s contract will be?

“Four years, $64 million.” —Joe Sheehan, Sports Illustrated

“Four years, $84 million.” —Mark Feinsand, Yankees beat writer, Daily News

“Four years, $100 million, with a team option for a fifth.” —Alex Belth, bronxbanterblog.com

Have good intel? Send tips to intel@nymag.com.


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