Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Future of Derek Jeter

With the sad news that Jeter has re-injured his surgically repaired ankle Yankees fans (and non-fans) everywhere are writing off the Yankees for the remainder of the season. Sure, Derek Jeter is the heart and soul of the Yankees and sure, Jeter is clutch; we must realize that Derek Jeter is not immortal. The shortstop is going to be 39 years old in June, and the Yankees have an adequate contingency plan. Eduardo Nunez is a serviceable shortstop who has improved his game defensively this year, although we are still waiting for his bat to come alive. Nunez is getting the chance to prove to the Yankees brass that he is the Yankees future starting shortstop. He doesn't need to think that he is "replacing" Derek Jeter, a slam dunk first ballot Hall of Famer, but he needs to do what got him to the Major Leagues on that balmy summer day in 2010.

Derek Jeter's ankle will be a roaming issue for the remainder of the year, as he will rehab the crack in his ankle selfishly. Jeter needs to think more so about his future as the core of the Yankees rather than speeding up his recovery time just to get back to the Yankees by July 19th, the first game after the All-Star Break. If full recovery means coming back on September first, so be it. The Yankees need Derek back at 100% in order for him to feel comfortable and for the Yankees to be confident in their aging star.
Jeter has a player option for next year that stands at $9.5 million, which he is almost certainly going to take after missing most of 2013. A healthy and productive Derek Jeter in 2014 means the Yankees will be able to hand out another contract to their shortstop in future years. However, Jeter must remember that he will be a 40 year old playing a physically demanding position on the field, a position of youngsters. A 40 year old shortstop on the decline with diminished range in the field is not something the Yankees need. So, before getting into any contract talks beyond 2014, let's see how Jeter plays out his remaining deal.

I do know one thing, and that is that Derek Jeter will not end his career the way he did last year against the Tigers in the ALCS. Jeter has something to prove and I have full confidence that he will surprise many people upon his return to the Major Leagues.

No comments:

Post a Comment