Since the majority of us could really care less about the World Series, let’s talk about a topic that will be heavily analyzed and debated: Derek Jeter’s next contract.

I think we can all say with 99.9% certainty that he’ll be a Yankee in 2011 and beyond. But for how much and how long? Well, let’s take a deeper look at this controversial issue..

Jeter Claus

Brian Cashman has already coined Jeter and Mariano Rivera as ‘Legacy players’, which they are, so we know the deals will get done. That realization is probably the easy part in this manner. However, how many years and how much cash can we expect the Yankees to pay the 36-year-old shortstop? Well, performance-wise, Jeter was stinky in 2010.

After hitting .334 with 18 HRs and 30 stolen bases in 2009, Jeter regressed to arguably his worst season ever as a professional (.270, 10 HRs, 18 SBs). The most alarming statistic?

Over 67% of Jeter’s outs came via the ground-out, highest among American League players with over 500 at-bats.

Jeter’s WAR (Wins above replacement) fell from 7.1 in 2009 to 2.5 which basically means having Jeter in the Yankee lineup added two wins, compared to the average AL shortstop.

Defensively, Jeter posted an 8.0 UZR (universal zone rating) in 2009, but regressed significantly to -5.4 in 2010. Needless to say, Jeter was below-average defensively in 2010.

Statistics and numbers aside, Derek Jeter is one of the ten best Yankees of all-time. He has 2,925 career hits, making it almost certainty that he will reach 3,000 next season. Remember too, that no Yankee has ever reached 3,000 hits. In addition to this milestone, Jeter is the all-time post-season hits leader (185). He is also the current captain of the Yankees. It goes without saying that his intangible accolades out-weigh his disappointing 2010 season.

Before we dive into dollar and years, the Yankees need to make decision on what they want to do about Jeter and A-Rod. The left-side of the Yankee infield looked extremely slow and almost inept at times during the ALCS. Since Jorge Posada is still a Yankee for one more season, the Yankees cannot move Rodriguez to the DH position and will be forced to play him at third base again next year. Ideally, in 2012, the Yankees should use Rodriguez as the full-time DH and move Jeter to third base. Jeter’s limited range at shortstop cost the Yankees at times this year and will only continue to worsen. By moving Jeter to third base, he will still be able to play the infield and display his strong arm. I don’t think Jeter projects well as an outfielder and I don’t think the Yankees would want to embarrass him out there, either.

Contract Prediction: 3 Years, $60 million.

The Yankees will take care of the captain and will probably throw in some bonuses for achieving 3,000 hits and World Series championships. I’m sure there will be a mutual option for a fourth season laying around.

Do you agree with this contract?