Commentary

Pay Derek Jeter about $25 million

19 historically similar players reveal Jeter should get what Placido Polanco got in '09

Originally Published: November 4, 2010
By Tom Tango | Special to ESPN Insider
Getty ImagesJeter's time for big money has passed.

In a March 1 post for the ESPN Stats & Information baseball blog on the worth of Derek Jeter, I wrote:

    Jeter has enjoyed a remarkable career, with no signs of slowing down, including an MVP-level season in 2009. How much Major League Baseball life will be left in Jeter's body in 2011, when he will be 37 years old?

One season later, we have a huge sign of Jeter slowing down. In 2010, he put up one of his worst -- if not the worst -- season of his career. It was still a good season by the standards of an average ballplayer, but not by his own standards. The question stands: How big will his next contract be? This question is particularly relevant considering the comments of Jeter's agent, who yesterday said that Jeter's value to the Yankees, "cannot be overstated."

As I also wrote in my earlier piece, to determine his value we need to figure out how good we think he will be from 2011 onward. One way to determine this is to use a metric called WAR (wins above replacement), which I helped develop and accounts for hitting, fielding and baserunning. BaseballProjection.com has the annual WAR for all players through 2010, and the numbers can be used to put Jeter's future value in context.

While Jeter accumulated a total of 15 wins in his past four seasons, he earned less than two of those wins last year at age 36. We need to find a representative sample of players who were great over a period of three years, but followed that up with a less-than-stellar season.


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