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.