TAMPA, Fla. — Derek Jeter can admit it now: He was definitely getting steamed at the New York Yankees.
While Jeter tried to keep talks quiet as the sides negotiated, the Yankees went public with suggestions his increasing age and decreased numbers should result in a pay cut.
At one point, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said the 36-year-old shortstop should explore other options.
“I was pretty angry about it, and I let that be known,” Jeter said Tuesday after finalizing a $51 million, three-year contract that cut his salary. “I was angry about it because I was the one that said I didn’t want to do it. I said I was the one that wasn’t going to do it.”
At a news conference at the team’s spring training home to announce the agreement, Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner and Cashman maintained there will be no lingering fallout.
“A big happy family,” Jeter said. “You move past it. It’s over with, and I won’t bring it up again.”
Jeter and the team reached a preliminary agreement Saturday on the deal, which includes an $8 million player option for 2014 with a $3 million buyout that could make it worth $56 million over four years. With an escalator, his 2014 salary could rise to $17 million and make the contract worth $65 million.
Jeter hit .270 with 10 homers this year, down from a .334 average and 18 homers the previous season. While his RBIs increased by one to 67, his on-base percentage fell from .406 to .340 and his slugging average dropped from .465 to .370.
After averaging $18.9 million as part of a 10-year contract, he gets salaries of $15 million next year, $16 million in 2012 and $17 million in 2013, with $2 million annually deferred and payable on each March 15 over three years starting in 2015.