Derek Jeter 'uncomfortable' with wrangling over his Yankees' contract

Derek Jeter professed Tuesday to be disturbed by the protracted and public negotiations that resulted in a three-year $51 million contract with the Yankees

Brian Blanco/AP
New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter addresses the media during a baseball news conference, Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2010 at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla. Jeter and the Yankees agreed to a $51 million, three-year contract , which also includes an $8 million player option for 2014.

Well, $51 million can salve a lot of discomfort.

Poor Derek Jeter is still the best-paid shortstop in Major League Baseball, despite a $3-million-per-year pay cut from his 10-year Yankees contract which ran out this year.

But at a press conference Tuesday in Tampa, Fla., the man who has worn pinstripes his entire MLB career, told reporters that the public - and sometimes bitter - negotiations bothered him. “It was an uncomfortable position that I felt was in. It was not an enjoyable experience,” he said.

At one point the Yankees declared that he could accept their offer for $45 million over three years - or shop elsewhere.

Just to underscore the implications of that position, The New York Post ran a doctored photo of Jeter in a Red Sox uniform.

ESPN quoted a source close to the talks saying no one will give Jeter (after a mediocre year) a better offer than the Yankees: "Where's he gonna go, Cincinnati?"

Which prompted a Yahoo photoshopped image of the Yankees team captain in a Cincinnati Reds uniform.

But Jeter indicates that it was all posturing by the team and his agent, Casey Close.

"I've said time and time again, I never wanted to go anywhere. I can't stress that enough." Jeter told reporters Tuesday.

Who could blame him? With bonuses and incentives, Jeter could take ultimately take home $65 million.

Poor Derek?

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