Jeter wants to remain a Yankee

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We all know what Derek Jeter means to the Yankees and their fans, but with the shortstop's contract running out at the end of the season, is this going to be the last time he plays in the famous pinstripes?

Not according to Jeter who eased the Yankees’ fans concerns by saying he wants to remain a Yankee forever.

"I've said from Day One, this is the only organization I've ever wanted to play for, and that's still true today," Jeter said Wednesday before the team's first full-squad meeting.

"I was a Yankees fan growing up. This is where I want to be. I've never envisioned myself playing anywhere else, and hopefully I don't have to," he added.

Although he may not want to leave, it will not be his decision. Being a free agent this coming off-season if the Yankees decide they do not want to keep the 35-year-old, he will  have no other choice but to look elsewhere for a playing job - that or he can retire.

Jeter is entering the final season of a $189 million, 10-year deal and while he is refusing to talk about his contract situation any more, he admits he wants to continue playing baseball as long as he is still helping his team.

"To be honest with you, I never put limitations on how long I can play. I want to play as long as I can, as long as I'm having fun, as long as I can be productive, this organization prides itself on winning and putting a competitive team on the field. As long as I can help out, that's as long as I want to play,” Jeter said.

If the Yankees captain has a season like he did in 2009 when he hit .334 with 18 homers and 66 RBIs, he can be sure of a contract extension. And along with Mariano Rivera who is also a free agent at the end of the season, New York could see two of its greatest ever players leave in 2010. Chances are however both will receive one final contract.

"Let's put it this way, I think from the fans' perspective they can count on those guys being here a lot longer than I'm going to be here. I think they're very secure.

I don't think there's any sweat off any of these guys' backs. They've been Yankees for life, and that's what we intend to see happen. But again, you start those conversions at a different time and place that you feel is more appropriate," general manager Brian Cashman said.



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