Jeter and Rivera are future Hall of Famers who have played together on the Yankees since late 1995, when Jeter came up for good and joined Rivera, who had joined the team earlier in the season. Girardi played for the Yankees from 1996-99 and was a member of three championship teams in those four seasons. He succeeded Joe Torre as manager in 2008, and last year the Yankees won the World Series again under his guidance.
Jeter is nearing the end of a 10-year, $189 million deal he signed in 2001; Rivera is finishing a three-year, $45 million pact he signed before the 2008 season, and Girardi is closing a three-year contract that pays him $2.5 million per year.
Steinbrenner took over as managing general partner after the 2008 season when his father, George, essentially retired from the day-to-day club operations. Hal Steinbrenner said he had a conversation with Girardi about his future with the organization.
"Quite frankly, I had a talk with him," Steinbrenner said. "I said, 'Joe, this is something you can't take personally. It's something I've never done. It's something I don't believe in, and I don't believe in making exceptions. But I can't imagine this team without you. So know that.' And he was fine with it. It is what is.
"I hope everybody is reasonable and we can work it out easily. But there's no doubt I want them here."
Jeter, an All-Star shortstop, and Rivera, an All-Star reliever, don't appear to be slowing down. Going into Thursday night's series closer against the Angels at Yankee Stadium on Jackie Robinson Day, Jeter, at 35, is batting .324 (12-for-34) with a homer and four RBIs. Having passed Lou Gehrig as the all-time club hits leader last September, he's marching inexorably toward 3,000 with 2,759 hits.
Rivera, 40, who is Major League Baseball's all-time leader in postseason saves (39) and All-Star saves (four), is 3-for-3 in save opportunities this season and hasn't allowed a run in four appearances. His 529 regular-season saves are second on the all-time list to Milwaukee's Trevor Hoffman, who is at 593.
The Yankees have a Major League-high payroll in excess of $200 million this season and have multimillion-dollar, long-term commitments to Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett. A four-year, $52.4 million contract owned by Jorge Posada expires after the 2011 season.
But that won't stop the Yankees from continuing to commit big dollars to Jeter, Rivera and Girardi. Asked if he might relax his policy come September and begin negotiations early, Steinbrenner said:
"I'd never say never about anything, but I can only say that right now it's not on my radar screen. The season is."