Yanks, Jeter Go to Arbitration
Feb. 15, 1999
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) _ Risking the chance they will alienate one of their top stars, the New York Yankees went to salary arbitration Monday with shortstop Derek Jeter.
Jeter, who appeared in his first All-Star game last summer, asked a three-man panel for $5 million, which would match Ruben Sierra's 1992 salary with Texas as the second-highest ever awarded in arbitration. The only higher award was the $5.3 million pitcher Jack McDowell got from the Chicago White Sox in 1994 _ when he lost his case.
The Yankees, led by lawyer Frank Casey, asked that Jeter be paid $3.2 million, more than four times Jeter's $750,000 salary last season.
Arbitrators Nicholas Zumas, Ira Jaffe and Gil Vernon are expected to issue their decision Tuesday.
When Bernie Williams became a free agent last autumn, he said that anger from his 1996 arbitration hearing lingered. Williams, the last Yankee to go to a hearing before Jeter, nearly signed with Boston but instead stayed with New York, agreeing to an $87.5 million, seven-year contract.
Jeter, 24, is eligible for free agency after the 2001 season, one year after Seattle shortstop Alex Rodriguez becomes eligible, which could lead to a record deal.
Jeter hit .324 last season with 19 homers, 84 RBIs and 30 steals. He was fifth in the AL in batting average and first in runs with 127.
Owners won the first five hearings this year. Chicago White Sox second baseman Ray Durham, also scheduled for a hearing Monday, instead agreed to a $20 million, four-year contract.