Let the negotiations begin.

The Yankees and Derek Jeter’s camp haven’t talked to each other, but they are talking through the media about what Jeter’s value should be.

Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner told WFAN’s Mike Francesa and 1050 ESPN Radio’s Michael Kay that he is not going to overpay for Jeter’s services. Casey Close, Jeter’s agent, talked about how Jeter’s value can not be overstated.

Jeter wants to get that last payday. He reportedly wants an overpaid six-year contract. He also wants to be one of the top paid players in the game.

Obviously, this guy is in fantasy land. He still thinks he is one of the best players in baseball. Never mind, he has been average at best in the last couple of years.

He had to know he is not the player he used to be. This is not going to stop him. His ego does not allow him to accept reality.

Someone has to stand up to him, and that’s Steinbrenner. He needs to live up to his talk about running a fiscal franchise. Handling Jeter is a good test to see what he is all about.

The Yankees are in the driver’s seat in this situation. No team is going to overpay an aging shortstop. Plus, Jeter is not going to go to the other teams to finish his Hall of Fame career.

The Yankees will pay Jeter in their terms, and at some point, Jeter and Close will realize that. Don’t think Steinbrenner does not know about it. Why else would he talk in bravado about running a business? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know who he was referring to.

In a perfect world, Jeter wouldn’t be coming back. He is nothing more than a fringe player at best.

Sure, he hits well in the postseason. Guess what? Any role player can flourish in the postseason. This year’s World Series MVP, Edgar Renteria, proved that theory well.

What the Yankees need is a shortstop that has a good throwing range. They also need a shortstop that can hit consistently. That used to be Jeter, but that’s no longer the case.

In the last few years, teams started to hit in the left part of the field. They know Alex Rodriguez and Jeter don’t have the athleticism to go catch or make a grab. Hitters can somehow beat the throw for an infield hit.

Jeter has been dropping the ball. That’s un-Jeter-like, but that’s what happens when a player is in his late 30s.

Want to know Jeter is not living up to his high standards anymore? He has become an automatic out. It’s easy for an opposing pitcher to get a strikeout on Jeter’s expense. No one fears pitching to him. He doesn’t beat the throw anymore.

That’s why Yankees manager Joe Girardi moved his shortstop up and down the lineup. For all the criticism Girardi gets for tinkering the lineup, this is one move he got it right. It goes to show blind squirrel can find an acorn.

If his name is not Jeter, he would be moving on. Since he is an icon, the Yankees have no choice but to bring him back for public relations. This is nothing more than a team showing generosity to a washed-up player.

Jeter is a fan favorite here. He deserves it for what he has done in his career. He is one of the reasons why the Yankees won championships in the ’90s. If he did not make that ridiculous throw to Jorge Posada in getting Jeremey GIambi in the 2001 Division Series, the A’s would have swept the Yankees.

That play turned that series around, and New Yorkers never forget it. After all, they see that replay all the time in commercials.

Folks want to see him retire with one team. The Yankees want to see that happen. It’s rare these days to see a great player finish his career with one team only anymore. Part of it is a player moves on free agency and another part is the team like to replace him with more athletic player.

The Yankees want to see Jeter achieve several more milestones in a Yankees uniform. The YES Network can’t have enough of him achieving it, so that he can be on Yankeeography in an updated version.

This is why the Yankees are not going to be cold-blooded in handling this decision. It does not mean they should give in to his demands.

That’s not happening. The Yankees know it, and Jeter’s camp knows it.

Right now, both guys are going to presents offers. That’s standard procedure for negotiations.

It will be interesting how long this lasts. It’s hard to believe this is going to be lasting a long time. If this goes on until January, then someone is being in denial.

At this point, Jeter shouldn’t be worried about getting a payday. He is financially secure. He plays for an organization that will always contend for a championships, so he will always get an opportunity to have his typical Jeter moment in October. He plays in a great sports town.

His ego can’t be that big, right?

If the Yankees are stupid enough to bid themselves against others in keeping their shortstop, they deserve to be ridiculed. Don’t expect that to happen.

Hopefully, this will be quick and painless. No one needs to see the drama between Jeter and the Yankees.

A three-year deal to Jeter sounds right.

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