The biggest trap of the offseason: Derek Jeter

The title is misleading. Derek Jeter isn’t really a trap. He isn’t some well-concealed ponzi scheme that takes the FTC months to unravel. He’s more like a Nigerian 419 scam with weird grammar and dozens of misspellings. You know it’s a bad idea to give money to something like that. Everyone else knows it too. The 419s are still active because one out of 10,000 thinks, hey, what if this guy really is a prince? But only a really, really small percentage of functional adults fall for the thing.

Now that Juan Uribe has sold his soul, you know there are weirdos out there who want Derek Jeter to replace him. The Yankees have already offered Jeter 3/$45M. He was insulted. So it’s safe to assume that to steal him away from the Yankees, another team would need to at least match the 3/$45M offer.

REQUEST FOR URGENT BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP

FIRST, I MUST SOLICIT YOUR STRICTEST CONFIDENCE IN THIS DEALINGS . THIS IS BY VIRTURE OF ITS NATURE AS BEING UTTERLY CONFIDENTIAL AND "TOP SECRET". I AM A 36-YEAR-OLD SHORTSTOP IN THE PRIME OF HIS CAREER, AND I SOLICIT YOU TO WATCH MY IMPENDING MILESTONES AND TEAM LEADING CAPABILITIES.

This would be a spot where I’d usually slip in a Sabean-luvz-veterans! quip, but even Sabean just sent Jeter’s e-mail to his recycle bin. Right now, Jeter is expecting to get paid based on his past accomplishments, his legacy, and his brand. That might be worth something to the Yankees. It’s not worth much to the Giants, who would be concerned with his value as a shortstop for the three-plus years he’d be getting paychecks.

When a great hitter over the age of 35 has a season that’s markedly worse than the ones before it, and the decline is unrelated to a serious injury, the player never rebounds with three more superstar seasons before riding into the sunset. Never? Well, that’s an educated guess, but I’m sick of looking. Cal Ripken, Robin Yount, Pete Rose, Alan Trammell, George Brett, Paul Molitor, Rod Carew…try anyone you can think of. If the production fell off a cliff in the mid-to-late 30s, they might have rebounded with one good season, but they never rode into the sunset with two or three years at the previously established superstar level.

You know this. Even someone who generally gives veterans the benefit of the doubt like Sabean knows this. From the Wall Street Journal:

The Giants have been in contact with Mr. Jeter's agent, Casey Close, who also represents their catcher, Buster Posey. But they are not seriously pursuing him at the moment, according to a person familiar with the team's thinking.

Here’s how that contact went:

Giants: So, please, Casey, tell Buster that we’d love to buy out his arbitration years if we can find common ground. Also, what’s up with Jeter? I mean, we do have an opening at short.

Close: Oh, we’re tying to get a six-year deal, but we’ll be willing to settle for a four-year…

Dial-tone: Bzzzrrrrrr-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh. No.

I could almost – almost – see a situation where the Giants ignore the defensive metrics and the single-season decline to give Jeter a super-sized Renteria-type deal of two years and many millions. But if he were willing to take that, the Yankees would be able to match or best the offer. And there you go. There’s no way Derek Jeter is going to leave the Yankees.

If a team would send Jeter his salary in certified funds, though, Jeter would be glad to send his talent in return by transfer latest seven (7) business days from the date of receipt of check and the receipt of various key documents by TEL/FAX. Just be patient.

Also, Derek Jeter is not a player the Giants should target.

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