If Jeter is as concerned with his leagcy and image as I think he is, he will eventually sign for something close to the offer the Yankees gave him. The NY media and fans are beginning to swing to the side of the Yankees as they really start to grasp what exactly Jeter is asking for. The Yankees are offering Jeter 3 years @ $45 million. That would make him the highest paid shortstop in baseball at 37. If he switches positions, his value drops, and his contract looks even more ridiculous.
If Jeter retires, which I agree would be the only other thing he would do (because again, nobody else is offering him 3/45) he would not be looked at as the victim. He would come across as a greedy SOB who was asking for more than he was worth and wouldn't take a contract that was probably 150% the market value. The Yankees would trade for another SS, or sign Juan Uribe, win 95 games, and continue to have awesome attendance numbers and merchandise sales. The kid who wants to buy a Jeter jersey gets a Cano, Sabathia, or Lee jersey instead. If they continue to spend the money necessary to get the best players (whether its homegrown or not) they will win games, with or without him. It happened with Bernie, and it happened with Damon. And when this same scenario happened with Mattingly, he retired, the Yankees got a better 1B, and made the playoffs. The Yankees are still the Yankees without Derek Jeter.