Yankees playing tough with Jeter?

The New York Post reporting today that the negotiations with the Yankees and Derek Jeter are not going nearly as smoothly as both sides would like you to believe, which should come as no surprise to anyone who knows the recent history of the organization and can read between the lines of GM- and owner-speak.

Hal Steinbrenner is using lines like, "I'm running a business here,'' not once, but twice in the same day on two different radio shows. Brian Cashman is saying things like "The deal has to make sense for both sides.'' Those are pointed statements meant to convey the reality that the Yankees are not going to roll over at the sight of Jeter's baseball card.

And last week, when a source told me the Yankees would "overpay'' for Jeter, he didn't mean they were happy about it. Sources tell me the Yankees aren't so concerned with how much they pay Jeter per year, but the want him to take a three-year deal knowing his last day as a shortstop could be as close as a year away. Late Tuesday night, a person who has been close to the Steinbrenners for years told me, "This thing should have been settled by now, only Jeter's ego is getting in the way.''

This is what Hal meant when he said last week that things "could get messy.'' It's possible that they already are.

Here's the link to the Post story: http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/yankees/when_money_talks_99ZzthiRA5WFqPjz6b3VTK