Buster Olney surely thinks so. He doesn’t really give us a lot of information, so I’m not sure how he came to this conclusion. Then again, Buster Olney is the “go to” source for all things Yankee related, so when he speaks, I’m willing to listen. It’s possible he has some insider information, but if he does, he’s not sharing it. I can’t think of a reasonable angle as to why he’d withhold information, so I’ll assume he’s basing this off of intuition. I’ll just remain skeptical until I hear anything else.
There are some positive reports that the Yankees have increased their offer to 3 years and $51M with a vesting option for a fourth season. I’m not convinced Jeter will take the bait—at least not yet. It’s still a pay cut of almost $2M per season in terms of average annual salary (AAS), so that might be tough for him to swallow. While this may end up being the contract Jeter finally agrees to, I expect there to be some maneuvering on the part of Jeter and Close. Don’t be surprised if you hear reports that Team Jeter has countered the Yankees offer with a contract that has an AAS around $19-20M and a guaranteed fourth year.
Now that the two sides have decided to act in a civil, rational manner, I see no reason why this deal can’t be worked out relatively quickly. I predict the negotiations will probably play out for another week to ten days. In the end, the Yankees and Jeter will agree to terms, and all will be right with the world.