- Andrew Marchand, ESPNNewYork.com
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"I think it is comical that we are talking about it after I told you guys time and time again I can't picture myself playing anywhere else," Jeter said.
In a Q&A with ESPN.com's Rick Reilly, Jeter was asked, "Peyton Manning changed teams this season after 14 seasons with the one team. Could you see yourself doing that?"
Jeter responded, "Well, if I wanted to keep playing, yes. It's a business. People forget that."
Jeter's answer created a lot of buzz on the Internet and landed him on the front page of the New York Daily News.
"I'm going to tell you guys what went down," Jeter said. "I was asked about Peyton Manning going from Indianapolis to Denver. The question was in reference to if the organization doesn't want you around anymore, do you still want to play? You have no choice but to go to another team. I think it is common sense. But I'm glad you guys had fun with it."
Jeter, 38, entered Friday leading the majors in hits with 202. He was batting .323 on the season. He is in the second season of a three-year deal that includes a player option for 2014.
Jeter will make $17 million next year. In 2014, he can opt in and make $8-11.5 million (depending on incentives), or he can accept a $3 million buyout and test the market.
During negotiations with the Yankees before the 2011 season, Jeter and the front office clashed, with general manager Brian Cashman challenging the shortstop to test the market and see how he is valued throughout baseball. Jeter was coming off a career-worst .270 season in 2010.
At the news conference to announce his re-signing, Jeter said he was disappointed about the public nature of the talks.
Despite Jeter's success this season, the Yankees will be forced to weigh how much longer he will sustain his high level of play. They already have Alex Rodriguez, 37, signed for five more seasons after this one, which could create a very old left side of the infield.
A-Rod, for one, doesn't see Jeter going anywhere.
"That'll never happen," Rodriguez said of Jeter leaving. "I never see Derek playing in [another] uniform. I see him, forever, for the next 1,000 years in pinstripes. Even when he's 50 or 60, who knows, he'll still be helping out and being a leader to a captain to the Yankee franchise."
Jeter lamented the publicity that he caused during a pennant race. During the Q&A, Reilly gave Jeter the option to "miss," meaning pass, on any question he didn't like.
"It is a business," Jeter said, further explaining his answer. "There are two sides to a business. That was the reference. If I thought it was going to be a big deal, I would have said, 'Miss,' right?"
In the past, Jeter never had referenced, in any context, the possibility of playing elsewhere.
"I have been asked this question 100 times and I've told you guys the same thing," Jeter said.
On Friday, he repeated it again -- Jeter hopes to be a Yankee for life.