On his way out of the Orlando’s Waldorf Astoria this morning, Hal Steinbrenner shed no new light on the Yankees ongoing talks with Derek Jeter or any other free agent.
“I would like be relaxing Christmas Eve,” he said. “But it will take as long as it takes. The important thing is we don’t make it personal because we have a lot of respect for one another, and we keep talking. That’s the deal. We have to keep talking. And we will.”
In the past 24 to 48 hours, a handful of reports have surfaced that suggest the Yankees are very close to making their initial offer to Jeter’s camp, and that the thing most dividing the two sides might be years, not money.
Steinbrenner refused to comment beyond saying he’s happy with the “tenor” of these negotiations.
“This is a business negotiation,” he said. “None of us want to make it personal, because it’s not personal. Both sides have a lot of respect for one another. My family has a lot of respect for Derek, and I believe it’s a mutual thing. It’s been a good history. We’re going to do our best to keep it by the book.”
There is nothing new to report, Steinbrenner said, on Mariano Rivera, who has certainly taken a back seat to Jeter in terms of public curiosity.
“These are two great Yankees,” Steinbrenner said. “We realize that. It makes it a bit different, but as I said two days ago, the process is still the same.”