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Nine Years Ago Brian Cashman Told Derek Jeter He'd Rather Have Tulo Over Him And It Destroyed Their Relationship Forever

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New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman told Derek Jeter in 2010 that he’d rather have Troy Tulowitzki playing shortstop for the team, according to S.L. Price’s story in this week’s issue of Sports Illustrated. Cashman told SI last month that he and Jeter, then age 36, sat down for a face-to-face meeting in 2010 during a dispute over the terms of the shortstop’s next contract.

Obviously last night Troy Tulowitzki signed with the Yankees to be our stop-gap shortstop until Didi returns from Tommy John. In short it’s as much of a low risk high reward move that you can make considering he’s coming for the league minimum of around $550k. The signing brought up this old SI story from a few years ago about the final years of Jeter in pinstripes. The Captain’s contract was up and he was looking for a new deal in 2010. Jeter wanted to be paid like a Yankees shortstop, ignoring his age and declining numbers. Cashman wasn’t having it. They sat down face to face and their relationship never recovered after that conversation.

“Who would you rather have playing shortstop this year than me?” Jeter asked Cashman.

“Do you really want me to answer that?” Cashman replied. Jeter told him to go ahead, and he listed Tulowitzki, then the Rockies’ shortstop who was in the midst of his first All-Star campaign. “We’re not paying extra money for popularity,” he added, “We’re paying for performance.”

“Sometimes honesty hurts,” Cashman told SI. “But if you’re being paid to do the job, do the job. You have to honor the job description; if not, you’re a fraud or stealing money. You can’t fake your way doing this. You either do it or you don’t.”

Man oh man would I have loved to be a fly on the wall for that meeting. We all know Jetes for being humble and a great leader, but the guy had a big ego no doubt. It’s kind of hard to imagine Jeter ever saying the words “who would you rather have playing shortstop this year than me?” but behind the scenes he knew he was a walking legend in New York. He felt like his career had earned him one final big pay day, but the Cash Man wasn’t having it. Cashman basically dared him to go to free agency and get more than what they were offering. Jeter went on to sign a three year deal worth $51 million which was definitely cheaper than he wanted. In the end, Cash was right. Tulo compiled a 24.1 WAR in those years while Jeter mustered a 4.9. Yikes. I mean we all loved Jeter, he’s my favorite athlete ever and I cried like a baby after his last game, but his final years as a player were nothing great, aside from 2012 when he finished 7th in MVP voting. The truth hurts sometimes and that conversation with Cashman shattered their relationship forever.

That quote about being a fraud and stealing money is something I hope he said that straight to Sonny Gray’s face after the 2018 season. The Yankees spend a lot of money, but if you fuck them over you get Cash’s wrath. Love that guy and how open and honest he always is. Now go sign Machado.