UPDATE (12/4/2010 @ 4:30p.m.): Mark Craig of the Newark Star Ledger reports that a deal could be completed as early as this evening, but an official announcement my not come until next week's Winter Meetings in Orlando. The contract will be for three years at $15-17M per season.
The word regarding the fourth season is still pretty murky. It's been described as "very unusual," and will be include "a combination of guaranteed money and compensation that will be tied to incentives." Well, that's not confusing at all.
12:30 p.m.: Michael S. Schmidt of the NY Times has the bittersweet scoop on the Derek Jeter contract negotiations
"The Yankees and shortstop Derek Jeter talked late into Friday night and are close to a three-year agreement that will pay him $15 million to $17 million a year, according to a person in baseball who was briefed on the matter.
The agreement, the person said, will include a “creative hybrid-type option” for a fourth year. The person said the option is 'not vesting and is highly unusual.'"So there you have it. The long nightmare appears to be ending. I don't how I'm going to fill the countless hours I spend everyday scouring the internet for Jeter stories, but I'm sure I'll survive. If all else fails, there's always internet porn, but I digress...
I'm not sure what to make of the "creative hybrid-type option" for the fourth year. If it's not guaranteed, and it's not a vested option, what is it? It kinda sounds like a load of crap. They're essentially saying they've agreed in principle on the first three years, but they don't have a clue on how they'll handle the fourth. Still, that's a lot closer than they were a week ago. If the reports are true, a deal should be completed by the end of the weekend.
Another interesting aspect of the Jeter deal is that he (and Rivera) has agreed to defer money as part of his contract. Presumably, this would clear some additional money for Cliff Lee. Stay tuned.