Derek Jeter and the New York Yankees agreed Friday to a $189 million, 10-year contract after more than 13 months of negotiations.
"I never intended to play elsewhere," Jeter said, "and to be honest with you, never intended to look elsewhere."
Yankees president Randy Levine and Casey Close, the agent for the All-Star shortstop, finalized details of the deal Friday morning, according to a baseball official familiar with the negotiations who spoke on the condition he not be identified.
Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, who backed away from a long-term commitment to Jeter last winter, then gave his permission to finalize the contract, the official said.
"This was an arduous process," Levine said. "This is an agreement that's a fair agreement and a great agreement for everybody."
Jeter's contract package is the second-largest in sports history, trailing only the $252 million, 10-year agreement in December between shortstop Alex Rodriguez and the Texas Rangers.
"Being the highest paid is not something I covet," Jeter said. "If that was the case, I would have waited another year and maximized my earning potential, so to speak."
At 26, Jeter already has won four World Series championship rings. He was MVP of the World Series and All-Star game last year.
The contract raises the Yankees' payroll to $99,337,143 for 20 signed players, with closer Mariano Rivera still in arbitration and expected to get a salary of $9 million to $10 million.
Jeter gets a $16 million signing bonus payable over eight years, $11 million this season, $13 million in 2002, $14 million in 2003, $17 million in 2004, $18 million in 2005, $19 million in 2006, $20 million in each of the following three seasons and $21 million in 2010.
Last year, Levine and Close agreed to a $118.5 million, seven-year contract for Jeter, but Steinbrenner wouldn't close the deal because he didn't want to set any salary records, preferring to wait for a $143 million, eight-year contract between Juan Gonzalez and Detroit to be finalized.
But Gonzalez's deal stalled and then fell apart. Jeter signed a $10 million, one-year contract.
Jeter hit a team-leading .339 last season with 15 homers and 73 RBIs. The Yankees have won baseball's championship for three straight seasons and four times in five years since Jeter joined the team.
Jeter's price then went up when Rodriguez signed with Texas. The average annual value of his contract, $18.9 million, is baseball's third-highest behind Rodriguez ($25.2 million) and Boston outfielder Manny Ramirez ($20 million).
Jeter had been eligible for free agency after this season but he had no desire to follow Rodriguez's example and test his value on the market.
"I couldn't picture it," Jeter said. "I really felt there was no reason to see if the grass was greener on the other side. Even if I had played out the year, my first choice would have been New York."
Sirotka could miss season
CHICAGO -- In an unexpected twist to a blockbuster trade, the Toronto Blue Jays pronounced former White Sox pitcher Mike Sirotka damaged goods Friday, setting the stage for a potential battle over compensation.
A magnetic resonance imaging test on Sirotka's shoulder Wednesday found a complete tear in the labrum, the edge of the structure in the shoulder joint. Dr. James Andrews is to examine Sirotka on Tuesday and the pitcher could undergo arthroscopic surgery that would sideline him for 2001.
Toronto General Manager Gord Ash filed notice Friday with the commissioner's office and informed White Sox General Manager Ken Williams he is likely to seek compensation over the injury.
Ash wouldn't rule out asking for the return of David Wells, the former Blue Jays ace who was the key to the six-player deal, though he is likely to ask for Jon Garland or Jon Rauch instead.
"We've detailed all the information for the commissioner's office and talked to Ken Williams (Thursday) evening and made him aware of everything," Ash said. "We'll wait until we get a third opinion on (Sirotka's shoulder) Tuesday, but clearly the Blue Jays feel that compensation is in order."
Williams said the Sox exercised "due diligence" in the transaction and he doesn't expect to give the Blue Jays another player. That would mean Commissioner Bud Selig may have to intervene.
"We got information (two weeks ago) that it was a completed deal, based on a thorough exam by their doctor," Williams said. "I still consider that to be the case."
If it's determined Sirotka is out for the season, the Jays may ask for Garland, Rauch or Kip Wells. If Williams turns them down, they may ask for Jim Parque instead.
But the Jays may want to check on Parque's shoulder as well. Sox manager Jerry Manuel revealed last week that Parque had a sore shoulder when he started Game 1 of the playoffs, which was the main reason Manuel removed him after the sixth inning.
"If I didn't take Parque out, he might have had shoulder surgery, too" Manuel said. "If we had played any longer (in the postseason), he wouldn't have pitched."
Sirotka originally cleared an examination by Sox doctors 10 days before the trade and Toronto's physician, Steve Mirabello, examined him Jan. 19 when an MRI found a "tight posterior capsule with no instability" in the shoulder. Mirabello passed him and said Sirotka "should be ready for the start of spring training."
But Sirotka complained of shoulder pain and discussed it with the Blue Jays' trainer Tuesday when he was in Toronto for a winter caravan. The following day, an MRI taken from a different angle than the first located the tear, Ash said.
Williams spoke to Ash about Sirotka's shoulder before the trade, but Williams had no knowledge of a torn muscle.
"He did reveal to us Sirotka is a slow starter in the spring," Ash said. "He confirmed though a trainer and doctor that they felt this was not a serious issue."
If it's a matter of buyer-beware, the Sox should owe Toronto nothing because its own doctor couldn't find a tear after the first MRI. Sirotka may have torn it in Japan while on a postseason All-Star tour in November.
Ash claimed the labrum injury "is categorically old . . . it's not recent." If the condition existed before the trade, Ash believes Toronto deserves to be compensated.
Asked if the Jays could ask for the return of Wells, Ash replied: "If David Wells is one of the best pitchers in the league, that stands to reason. We feel this will sort itself out in the best way possible."
Ash said he does not believe Williams intentionally deceived him about Sirotka's health.
"He only knows what he knows," Ash said. "If after the fact the other information becomes available, I don't think you can hold him accountable for that."
Around the horn
Eric Milton became the second Minnesota Twins pitcher to get a long-term contract, agreeing to a $21 million, four-year deal. The 25-year-old left-hander, who made $285,000 last season, gets $2.15 million this year, $3.85 million in 2002, $6 million in 2003 and $9 million in 2004. He can make an additional $850,000 in performance bonuses based on innings pitched.
Right-hander Robert Person and the Philadelphia Phillies avoided arbitration when they agreed to a one-year contract worth $2,975,000.
Details of the $189 million, 10-year contract agreed to Friday by Derek Jeter and the New York Yankees, as obtained by the Associated Press:
Signing Bonus -- Paid in $1 million installments on Jan. 30 and June 30 from 2001-2008 (first installment paid upon approval of contract by commissioner's office), for total of $16 million.