Yankees, Jeter finalize 10-year, $189 million deal
Updated: Friday February 09, 2001 10:12 PM
"I never intended to play elsewhere," Jeter said, "and to be honest with you, never intended to look elsewhere."
Yankees president Randy Levine and Casey Close, the agent for the All-Star shortstop, finalized details of the deal Friday morning, according to a baseball official familiar with the negotiations who spoke on the condition he not be identified.
Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, who backed away from a long-term commitment to Jeter last winter, then gave his permission to finalize the contract, the official said.
"This was an arduous process," Levine said. "This is an agreement that's a fair agreement and a great agreement for everybody."
"Being the highest paid is not something I covet," Jeter said. "If that was the case, I would have waited another year and maximized my earning potential, so to speak."
At 26, Jeter already has won four World Series championship rings. He was MVP of the World Series and All-Star game last year.
The contract raises the Yankees' payroll to $99,337,143 for 20 signed players, with closer Mariano Rivera still in arbitration and expected to get a salary of $9 million to $10 million.
Jeter gets a $16 million signing bonus payable over eight years, $11 million this season, $13 million in 2002, $14 million in 2003, $17 million in 2004, $18 million in 2005, $19 million in 2006, $20 million in each of the following three seasons and $21 million in 2010.
Last year, Levine and Close agreed to a $118.5 million, seven-year contract for Jeter, but Steinbrenner wouldn't close the deal because he didn't want to set any salary records, preferring to wait for a $143 million, eight-year contract between Juan Gonzalez and Detroit to be finalized.
But Gonzalez's deal stalled and then fell apart. Jeter signed a $10 million, one-year contract.
Jeter hit a team-leading .339 last season with 15 homers and 73 RBIs. The Yankees have won baseball's championship for three straight seasons and four times in five years since Jeter joined the team.
Jeter's price then went up when Rodriguez signed with Texas. The average annual value of his contract, $18.9 million, is baseball's third-highest behind Rodriguez ($25.2 million) and Boston outfielder Manny Ramirez ($20 million).
Jeter had been eligible for free agency after this season but he had no desire to follow Rodriguez's example and test his value on the market.
"I couldn't picture it," Jeter said. "I really felt there was no reason to see if the grass was greener on the other side. Even if I had played out the year, my first choice would have been New York."
Counting last year's deal, Jeter will get $114 million for the years 2000-06. By waiting, Steinbrenner actually will pay $4.5 less for those years than he would have under last year's tentative agreement, but he was forced to guarantee Jeter an additional four years, paying $85 million over that period.
Last year's tentative agreement called for a $6.5 million signing bonus, $8 million in 2000, $10 million in 2001, $16 million in 2002, $19 million in 2003, $19.5 million in 2004 and $19.75 million in each of the final two seasons.
Using a 6 percent interest rate, the Yankees calculated the average annual value of both deal in present-day dollars at $13.5 million.
Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, originally scheduled for a hearing Thursday, will have his case rescheduled for Feb. 14 or 19 following the firing of his agents, Jim Bronner and Bob Gilhooley, by SFX Entertainment Inc. Randy Hendricks will take over arguing Rivera's case.
Rivera is asking for a raise from $7.25 million to $10.25 million, and Bronner turned down a $27 million, three-year deal. The Yankees offered $9 million in arbitration.