A couple winters ago, the Yankees offered Andy Pettitte what they thought was a fair contract for an old man who had shoulder issues down the stretch. The contract was for around $10M, but Pettitte refused. The Yankees then signed Sabathia, Burnett, and Teixeira to ginormous contracts. Andy, with no other viable options, was forced to take an incentive laden contract worth only $5.5M in guaranteed money.
Jeter is currently in a position similar to Pettitte's. He's been offered an, according to the Yankees, fair contract. He is stalling for more money. The Yankees are looking to sign a mega free agent target in Cliff Lee. Sure, that's one target, not three; but the ginormous contracts of those other three free agents are still on the books. Mo's contract is also looming and seems more likely to get done easily. Does Jeter risk a very public humiliation if he lets the Yankees wrap up too much money in other free agents before getting his share? Could he be looking at an incentive laden deal of his own? One would think not, but then one didn't expect Bernie Williams to be offered a minor league deal in his last days, or Pettitte to sign a contract worth $5.5M either, did one? I wonder just how "messy" things could get.