Steinbrenner: Jeter Deal Must Work For Both Sides

Derek Jeter is almost certainly going to re-sign with the Yankees this offseason, but the Bronx Bombers aren't going to hand their shortstop a blank check. Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner told Michael Kay on 1050 ESPN that a deal between Jeter and the team would have to work for both sides (Click here to listen in). Steinbrenner says doesn't assume negotiations with the franchise icon will go smoothly.

“There’s always the possibility that things could get messy,” Steinbrenner said.

The Yankees don't expect talks to get ugly and they have been in contact with Jeter's representatives because they want to reach a deal.

“We absolutely want him back. We absolutely want [free agent closer Mariano Rivera] back. They’re career Yankees,” Steinbrenner said. “But having said that, we’re running a business here. So if there’s a deal to be done, it’s going to be a deal that both sides are happy with.”

Steinbrenner said the team's payroll will remain at a similar level in 2011. The Yankees entered the 2010 season with a payroll over $200MM, so they will presumably have the means to offer Cliff Lee, Jeter and Rivera generous deals.