Derek Jeter and the New York Yankees have agreed to a one-year, $12 million contract.The deal Friday replaces a $9.5 million player option for the 39-year-old shortstop. Jeter was limited to 17 games this year after breaking his ankle in the 2012 AL championship series opener against Detroit. Jeter hit .190 (12-for-63) with one homer and seven RBIs in 2013, playing 13 games at shortstop and four at designated hitter. The Yankees' captain was on the disabled list
four times. — The Associated PressWhat does it mean?Jeter has every intention to return to full strength with the Yankees next season. And that's good enough for them to cut him a deal above his required salary. MoreSN's Top 25 free agentsFull list of players on the marketA-Rod attacks Trade rumors: They're heating upRed Sox win World SeriesImages: Sox celebrate | Fans go crazyFive offseason dates to watchSorry season for YankeesBut at 39, is Jeter worth more than most free-agent shortstops entering the 2014 market?Only time will tell. For now, an aging star cashes in despite playing 17 games last season, one that began and ended with injuries with few healthy days in between.So why do it? Call it a decision to bolster confidence in a franchise that did something rare in 2013 — miss the postseason.Team officials, the New York Times noted, are sure Jeter will fulfill his offseason rehab assignment and be ready to resume his roles in the infield, at the plate and as captain in the clubhouse. If that makes sense, consider the dollars: Had Jeter accepted the option, the New York Daily News noted, he would have taken a pay cut of $7.5 million from his 2013 salary. Thus, a source told the publication, the player and his agent went to boss Hal Steinbrenner to appeal for the one-year accord."He's Derek Jeter," the source said. "Nobody wanted a fight over a couple million dollars."And yes, there was an upside for the Yankees. They will pay out more but face a lower luxury tax hit, the Daily News reported.Yankees brass plans to hold the payroll on the $189 million cap this season, and Jeter's deal helps further that aim. Exercise the option, CBSSports.com noted, and the tax hit would have been $14 million.Do the math: Jeter at $12 million is a bargain.Yes, he remains wildly popular (and not just with the sensationalist media and paparazzi that trail him at all hours).And he's not Alex Rodriguez, who continues to battle his long suspension in a nightmare case that involves performance-enhancing drugs.That in itself makes Jeter all the more obvious a talisman for the Yankees. Good news in regards to Jeter wipes away the stain of A-Rod.So even though Jeter turns 40 next June, and might be headed for his Yankee Stadium swan song and Mariano Rivera-like farewell tour, he is an attraction in pinstripes. And if he does make a stirring comeback, all the better.