Posted by Sabrina B. @gametimegirl
The Yankees apparently have no interest in playing chicken with Derek Jeter.
According to published reports, the Bombers will not offer arbitration to Jeter, not wanting to take the risk that the shortstop would accept and draw a salary up to $25 million for the 2011 season.
The Yankees won’t receive any draft picks as compensation if Jeter signs elsewhere, but the team likely believes that its captain will return to the Bronx, leaving little upside in an arbitration offer.
General manager Brian Cashman did not return a phone call on Monday.
The Yankees must decide Tuesday whether to offer arbitration to their six Type A or B free agents. Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte are Type A, meaning an arbitration offer would bring back a first-rounder and a sandwich pick between the first and second rounds if they signed elsewhere.
If the Yankees were to offer Jeter arbitration, the 36-year-old shortstop could roll the dice and accept, using the 2011 season to prove that last year’s numbers were the exception and not the rule, then look to sign a multi-year deal next winter.
It’s not unprecedented for a future Hall of Famer to accept arbitration in their free-agent year, as Greg Maddux did so with the Braves after the 2002 season.
Lance Berkman and Javier Vazquez are all Type B free agents, meaning that an arbitration offer would yield a second-round pick for the Yankees if the players signed elsewhere. Still, it’s doubtful the Yankees will extend such an offer to any of the three, who made $10.5 million, $16 million and $11.5 million, respectively, so any or all of them could accept and force the Yankees to pay a hefty price for a one-year deal.