The New York Yankees have faith in Derek Jeter.
The team has re-signed its captain for 2014 in a one-year, $12 million dollar deal that will actually give him a $2.5 million raise. Jeter had a nightmare of a 2013 season. He played in only 17 games between multiple disabled-list trips.
He didn't begin the season until July after coming back from a broken ankle suffered the previous postseason. Then he hurt his leg in his first game back. The story remained the same after that. Hurt, healthy, hurt again. He managed to play 12 games between Aug. 26 and Sept. 7, his busiest stretch of the season. He was shut down on Sept. 11 with more ankle issues. Jeter will turn 40 next June.
This, at least, answers one of the three big questions in the Yankees infield this offseason. A-Rod might be suspended and Robinson Cano is a free agent. First baseman Mark Teixeria is also coming off injury, but he's under contract and expected to be OK by the spring.
Jeter was paid $17 million a year ago, roughly $232,000 per plate appearance. He had a $9.5 million option for next season as part of a three-year contract he signed in 2010. Yes, the Yankees are actually paying Jeter more in his new contract than they would have had he taken the option.
MLB accounting being what it, however, the Yankees are actually saving money against the luxury tax by paying Jeter more. Huh? Andy McCullough from The Star-Ledger explains:
The accounting appears to help the Yankees in reaching their goal of reducing the payroll beneath the $189 million luxury-tax threshold. Had Jeter accepted his option, the average annual value of his contract would have been about $14 million, the figure that counts against the luxury tax. Now that figure is $2 million less.
Off the field, yes, signing a new contract with Jeter (whether they paid him more or less) will help the team's luxury tax situation. On the field, the Yankees better hope they're getting more out of Jeter in 2014 than $232,000 per plate appearance.
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