The people spoke Saturday on condition of anonymity because no announcement had been made.
While negotiations moved slowly, there was little doubt that the Yankees captain would remain in pinstripes. The deal is worth an average of $15 million to $17 million annually, is subject to a physical and contains deferred money, one of the people said. It also is subject to final agreement on contract language.
Coming off a $189 million, 10-year contract, the five-time World Series champion initially had been offered a $45 million, three-year deal. After a Nov. 8 meeting, talks came to a standstill as the sides expressed frustration with each other. But talks resumed Tuesday with a meeting in Tampa, Fla., and the sides negotiated over the rest of the week until they reached the agreement.
New York has a roster filled with veteran players, many in their 30s with high-paying long-term deals topped by the record $275 million, 10-year contract running through 2017 for 35-year-old third baseman Alex Rodriguez.
Unlike A-Rod, who admitted using steroids before his time with the Yankees, Jeter has been a model citizen since coming up to the Yankees in 1995 and winning the AL Rookie of the Year award the following season. He helped lead the team to World Series titles in 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2009, setting a standard admired and envied throughout baseball.
A Yankees icon beloved by fans and the very symbol of the pinstripes, Jeter wanted to be a Yankee for his entire career in the mold of Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle.
Jeter's 2010 season made the contract situation more complicated. Despite winning his fifth Gold Glove and becoming the oldest AL shortstop to win the award, he showed less range. And he declined at the plate to a .270 average with 10 homers, down from a .334 average and 18 homers the previous season. While his RBIs increased by one to 67, his on-base percentage fell from .406 to .340 and his slugging average dropped from .465 to .370.
New York also has been working to finalize a $30 million, two-year agreement with closer Mariano Rivera, which also contains deferred money. The Yankees also are awaiting a decision by left-hander Andy Pettitte, who told the team he was leaning toward retirement.
After settling with Jeter and Rivera, the Yankees will next turn their attention to the pursuit of left-hander Cliff Lee. Negotiations for the 2008 AL Cy Young Award winner, who is wanted back by the Texas Rangers, figure to intensify when the winter meetings start Monday in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.