• Jeter & A-Rod On The Move?

    Posted by on November 29th, 2005 · Comments (10)

    From the Daily News:

    Joe Torre said in an interview with Reuters yesterday that the Bombers have considered the possibility of moving Derek Jeter or Alex Rodriguez to center field to fill the hole vacated by Bernie Williams.

    “We’ve thought about it,” Torre told the international wire service. “We just haven’t made a commitment to that. We haven’t broached it with the shortstops.”

    His use of the plural in that sentence is noteworthy, since A-Rod was once considered the best shortstop in the game but moved to third base to facilitate a trade from the Rangers to the Bronx, deferring to Jeter as the incumbent shortstop.

    Now, it’s possible that one or both could be moving again; Rodriguez could be shifted to center or, if Jeter became the center fielder, A-Rod could slide back over and take over shortstop. GM Brian Cashman didn’t return a phone call late last night, but Torre pointed out that such a move wouldn’t be unique.

    “That’s happened before, hasn’t it?” Torre told Reuters. “Bobby Murcer, Mickey Mantle. Hank Aaron came up as a second baseman. Robin Yount went to center field. It certainly is a consideration.”

    This is interesting. There’s always been suggestions in the public that Jeter should move to CF. But, I do have an issue with this suggestion – assuming that it requires A-Rod to move to short – and this is it:

    This move only makes sense if two things are a lock. The first thing is that we know for a fact that Jeter can play a very good CF. And, considering that he’s never done it – probably ever – how can we assume that it’s a lock that he can play a good CF? Secondly, if you move A-Rod off 3B, you better have another player who can slide in there and play good “D” and help with the stick. Do the Yankees have that other player? Is there one on the market? Again, no locks there either.

    Another factor in this is the assumption that most have that A-Rod is a Gold Glove SS. Well, yes, he won a Gold Glove at SS. But, how is his defense at SS, in reality? Personally, I think that A-Rod, as a SS, got some hype about his glove work – much like many accuse Jeter of receiving all these years. If I had to say “A-Rod with the glove at SS is like……..” I would say “Miggy Tejada.” He’s an above-average SS, defensively, who can make the occasional great play – – but, he’s not the best fielding SS in the league (or in the top group of great fielding shortstops).

    And, is that not what Jeter been the last few years? So, where’s the upgrade with A-Rod at SS?

    At the least, what this news does is that it puts Jeter on the hook. And, now, if he is asked to move to CF and declines, then there’s an answer as to why it never happened – because Jeter refused to move (and it’s not that he was never asked).

    Of course, now, that’s it – Jeter still hasn’t been asked. And, until that happens, this is still just a 5 on the 1 to 10 juicy news scale.

    And, don’t lose sight of the fact that this “news” comes on the same day that Delgado and Wagner are the news out of Mets camp. It all could just be some PR maneuvers too.

    Comments on Jeter & A-Rod On The Move?

    1. MJ
      November 29th, 2005 | 11:55 am

      I certainly hope that it was just a PR stunt on Delgado’s and Wagner’s big day in Flushing. That being said, I would hope that Joe Torre knows better than to stir the pot. That’s Big Stein’s job, not Saint Joe’s. It’s never good to talk about your star players in the press if you don’t mean what you say.

    2. Raf
      November 29th, 2005 | 11:59 am

      Jeter’s the captain. He knows the situation better than all of us. If he is capable of playing CF, he shouldn’t have to be asked to move.

    3. November 29th, 2005 | 12:20 pm

      How would Jeter know if he can play CF? He’d have to take 1000 chances after having gotten training with a scorer watching to begin to get an idea.

    4. Jason O.
      November 29th, 2005 | 12:23 pm

      I agree with MJ that moving one of the two to CF is likely not the reason for this announcement.

      This is clever tactic by Cashman to alter the negotiating environment in the CF free agent market.

    5. Raf
      November 29th, 2005 | 1:15 pm

      How would Jeter know if he can play CF? He’d have to take 1000 chances after having gotten training with a scorer watching to begin to get an idea.

      There have been many players who have switched from the infield to the outfield. Jeter wouldn’t be the first, nor would he be the last.

      If it takes 1000 flyballs to practice, then so be it. I’m sure the Yanks can find someone to hit pop flies to him. I’m sure they can hire someone to teach him the nuances of playing CF

      Jeter doesn’t have to be Willie Mays with the glove. Willie Wilson will do.

    6. November 29th, 2005 | 3:09 pm

      I’m one of the few who actually like this idea, but I like it with a qualification. I would not move A-Rod from third. Instead I would get a SS, like Furcal, or if we really want to get crazy, give Nomar a year’s contract to see if he can play. If not, move Jeter back no harm no foul, and put Crosby out in CF. In my heart of hearts, while I like this idea of Jeter in CF, I’m hoping the give Crosby the chance to be all that he can be. The guy hits .345 every Spring Traning. With Mattingly as his hitting coach maybe we can keep holes from forming in his swing.

    7. MJ
      November 29th, 2005 | 4:10 pm

      Totally and completely off subject, I know, but the mention of Donnie Baseball reminded me that a buddy of mine met Donnie two weeks ago in Evansville, IN. My buddy is now an assistant baseball coach at the U of Evansville and Donnie came by because his time had been won in a raffle. When my buddy told me, I thought, “Wow, Donnie really is that nice of a guy that he’d donate his time in a raffle and help young kids with their swings.” I continue to be amazed at how classy a guy Donnie is.

    8. Raf
      November 29th, 2005 | 4:52 pm

      I continue to be amazed at how classy a guy Donnie is.

      You shouldn’t be. Mattingly has been pretty consistent behaviorwise. Doesn’t make any waves, just does his job.

      Funny, all the time with the Yanks, I can’t think of any waves he made beside the “haircut incident.” lol

      But, yeah, Donnie has always been the quiet, classy type. Must be that Evansville, IN upbringing

    9. November 29th, 2005 | 10:26 pm

      FWIW, Donnie and Dale Berra got busted for taking a whiz in public, in a fountain, IIRC, in KC when they were young. It was newsie at the time and then quickly forgotten.

    10. MJ
      November 30th, 2005 | 7:57 am

      Having been to KC many times, I can’t say I blame them….

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