• Wild Thought: Forgetting Derek Jeter

    Posted by on July 15th, 2010 · Comments (23)

    Here’s a wild thought to pass some of the time today. But, before you can have the thought, it requires some forgetting.

    First, forget everything that Derek Jeter has ever done in his Yankees career. Forget the great plays, clutch moments, all his team records and those World Series rings. Also, forget that he’s closing in on 3,000 career hits. Forget that he’s the Captain of the team. Heck, forget that his name is “Derek Jeter.” Instead, think of him as being named “Simon Bosco.”

    And, when you think of Simon Bosco, think of him as being a 36-year old shortstop with questionable range who is currently having the worst offensive season in his career – across the board in terms of batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. Oh, and he’s in the last year of his contract.

    Further, when you think of Simon Bosco, and all the aforementioned stuff, consider that you have a 23-year old shortstop named Eduardo Nunez playing in Triple-A behind him. And, note that Nunez is batting over .300 this season after posting a batting average of .322 in Double-A, playing half his games in a pitcher’s park, last year.

    Now, you’re the G.M. of Simon Bosco’s team. What are you going to do in terms of dealing with Simon Bosco’s free agency at season end, all things considered?

    It’s an interesting wild thought, isn’t it? If “Derek Jeter” weren’t “Derek Jeter” and had the resume that he does have, and if we were talking about a 36-year old declining shortstop named “Simon Bosco” being pushed by a prospect in the minors, I think most teams would go with the younger kid next year, no? How about you?

    Comments on Wild Thought: Forgetting Derek Jeter

    1. MJ Recanati
      July 15th, 2010 | 9:48 am

      I know I sure would and so would the Red Sox, who are dispassionate about their star players and end up making smart decisions on them more often than not.

      But there’s really no point having this discussion. I highly doubt the Yanks have the balls to go toe to toe with Jeter and tell him that he can come back for 2Y/$30M and play SS less often or go find another team to play for.

    2. clintfsu813
      July 15th, 2010 | 10:09 am

      Yea, we can have wild thoughts all day, but this is the Yankees. We kiss ass to veteran stars..always have always will. And it damn sure aint about to change with Jeter.

    3. GDH
      July 15th, 2010 | 10:31 am

      Position will be important and will be a part of the discussion if he wants more than 2 yrs. It has to be. Between Posada, Alex and Jeter, you have three DH’s in a couple years, because that’s the only spot they’ll be able to play. Posada will be an even tougher decision after next year, as his D is already gone. After next year he basically becomes a bench player and a backup catcher.

    4. MJ Recanati
      July 15th, 2010 | 10:50 am

      @ GDH:
      I don’t think Posada will be a tough decision at all. Either he retires or he plays elsewhere. I can’t see any scenario where the Yanks bring him back on more than a 1Y/$5M contract to be a full-time DH (assuming he can even hit at that point).

    5. July 15th, 2010 | 11:07 am

      Yeah, I agree, Posada’s current contract with the Yankees is his last contract with the team. If he adapted to becoming a DH, and excelled at it, I could see him coming back as a DH and back-up catcher. But, as others have noted, with A-Rod and Jeter, you need to keep the DH slot open for one of them in the near future.

    6. clintfsu813
      July 15th, 2010 | 11:14 am

      @ Steve Lombardi:
      Totally agree on Sado too. I hope he doesnt try and linger on a little too long like Bernie did.

    7. JeremyM
      July 15th, 2010 | 11:32 am

      I don’t envy Cashman right now, because like you guys said, Posada will not have a place on this team and it’s going to be hard to let him go. As far as Jeter, truth be told they probably should move on as well, but it’s not going to happen.

    8. KPOcala
      July 15th, 2010 | 12:27 pm

      Let’s not forget that George is gone now. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Yankees offer a series of one year, mutual optioned contracts to Jeter. IMHO, ownership is a bit colder than many Yankee fans want to believe…

    9. Raf
      July 15th, 2010 | 12:33 pm

      It depends on what plans the Yanks have. If Montero or Romine is ready next year, then Posada walks. If not, then he’ll be around for another 1-2 years. I doubt that Jeter or Rodriguez will fall off that quickly defensively that they’d need to become a full time DH. Stranger things have happened, tho’

    10. Evan3457
      July 15th, 2010 | 12:51 pm

      1. Posada can come back as the next Bernie Williams. They’ll offer him a 1-year deal for limited money/limited role, just as a hedge against Cervelli/Romine/Montero. Then Posada will have to decide if he wants that, or if he’s willing and able to get a deal more suitable to his wishes elsewhere.

      2. Mo will be re-signed, as long as he makes it through the season healthy, and if he wants to come back.

      3. Jeter will be offered a high salary short term deal. Nunez will come up late this season and he’ll apprentice next season with an eye toward taking over in 2012. Jeter will then be in the Bernie/Posada position by 2012, unless he a) makes a big recovery this year, or b) he has a big comeback year next season.

      4. If the Yanks win it all again, Pettitte calls it a career. If the Yanks sign Lee, they probably can’t afford Andy again, but maybe they’ll backload the deal for 1 year, as they did with CC.

      ==========================================
      If Simon Bosco didn’t have the resume Derek Jeter has, including an MVP level season last season, he wouldn’t be the starting shortstop for the Yankees at age 36.

    11. July 15th, 2010 | 12:55 pm

      How sick would it be if Posada pulls a Mike Scioscia – and when he’s done playing he goes and manages the Mets and turns them into a winner?

    12. Raf
      July 15th, 2010 | 1:18 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      How sick would it be if Posada pulls a Mike Scioscia – and when he’s done playing he goes and manages the Mets and turns them into a winner?

      How cool would it be if he did it as a player-coach/player-manager?

    13. MJ Recanati
      July 15th, 2010 | 1:49 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      If Simon Bosco didn’t have the resume Derek Jeter has, including an MVP level season last season, he wouldn’t be the starting shortstop for the Yankees at age 36.

      All the more reason why the Yanks should not be blinded by what Jeter was or meant to the team and focus instead only on what he can do now. The answer in 2010 is “not that much.”

      Granted, he’s being judged against his lofty standards but the fact remains that 2008 and 2010 look pretty similar and I’d rather not pay through the nose to find out in 2011 that he’s just about cooked as a hitter and as a fielder.

    14. MJ Recanati
      July 15th, 2010 | 1:51 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      How sick would it be if Posada pulls a Mike Scioscia – and when he’s done playing he goes and manages the Mets and turns them into a winner?

      If that’s what happens, so be it. But, frankly, how could Posada turn the Mets into winners if they didn’t have the players capable of winning in the first place.

      Separately, has Posada expressed an interest in managing? Who’s to say that if he wants to manage, he doesn’t get his first shot in the FSL, managing the Tampa Yanks?

    15. July 15th, 2010 | 2:13 pm

      I’ve always felt that Posada has that Lou Piniella fire inside of him that will make him want to manage someday. Will he be willing to put in time in the minors? Doubt that. And, I could see him wanting to stay in this area – with all he and his wife have going on…hence the interest in the Mets job, if offered. I would see Omar wanting him – but, maybe not the Wilpns after hiring another ex Yankee in Randolph. Now, if the Wilpons are forced to sell…and some Yankees fan or some with Yankees ties buys the team, then it would only enhance the chances of Posada ending up as their MGR.

    16. GDH
      July 15th, 2010 | 2:41 pm

      If Posada is done after next season, then it would make sense for Nunez to back up both positions (SS and 3rd) if he’s capable, until one falls off first – probably Jeter, but who knows? Health could very easily direct the course of events with players who are in their late 30s. I’ll be very disappointed if they give Derek more than two years, three at the most, like they did with Mo.

    17. Scout
      July 15th, 2010 | 2:56 pm

      Back to Jeter. What a cold group the commentators here are, after all Jeter has meant to this franchise. You know what? I’m with you all, 100% Winning requires a willingness to put sentiment aside — or, in this case, to express it in the form of a lucrative lifetime post-playing contract, to keep Jeter as a longterm member of the family.

      Unfortunately, however, senior Yankee management (above Cashman) has already intimated that it wants another deal for Jeter. If that is so, expect a foolish long-term deal that will tie the team to a player with diminishing skills and will also eat up payroll while we have to listen to Cashman bemoan the budget constraints that keep him from pursuing a top free agent or decent bench strength.

    18. Raf
      July 15th, 2010 | 3:35 pm

      Scout wrote:

      If that is so, expect a foolish long-term deal that will tie the team to a player with diminishing skills and will also eat up payroll while we have to listen to Cashman bemoan the budget constraints that keep him from pursuing a top free agent or decent bench strength.

      Personally, I think that Cashman was blowing smoke when he was talking about budget constraints. Not saying that there isn’t a budget, but I think that unless the player in question is a bonafide game breaker (like a Cliff Lee), the organization isn’t going to take a chance.

    19. MJ Recanati
      July 15th, 2010 | 3:36 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Now, if the Wilpons are forced to sell…and some Yankees fan or some with Yankees ties buys the team, then it would only enhance the chances of Posada ending up as their MGR.

      Perhaps, but don’t rule out the sentiments of Mets fans who would want to hire Wally Backman, HoJo, Mookie or any of the other ex-coaches/current MiLB coaches with actual links to the team. After all, isn’t that how it’s done in baseball? A team hires its alums — Stottlemyre, Guidry, Eiland, Girardi, Mattingly, Randolph…

    20. July 15th, 2010 | 7:14 pm

      There are 3,000 reasons why I think Jeter will return next season. It’s the old saying, it’s good for business, and not just Yankee business, Jeter’s post baseball career business.

      That said, everyone needs to be reasonable. Jeter will be an old 36 at the start of next season, a very dangerous age for someone who plays short. Jeter is going to have to willing to sign a one year contract with a club option for a second year. Maybe a deal that would include some consulting in his post playing career. Jeter is also going to have to be willing to work in spring training in the outfield. Maybe he could share leftfield on a platoon basis with Granderson. He could DH, and two or three time a week play short, kind of a farewell tour to the position.

      I realize I may be daydreaming here, Jeter may ask for a three or four year deal, if that happens the Yankees may have to say goodbye.

    21. KPOcala
      July 15th, 2010 | 7:37 pm

      @ Scout:

      IMHO, the management that currently runs the team will let the ledger decide on Jeter’s (or anyones’) contract. I.e. don’t look for anyone to collect “charity money” to play for the Yankees….Those days are gone.

    22. YankeeDoodle25
      July 16th, 2010 | 4:34 pm

      Joseph Maloney wrote:

      There are 3,000 reasons why I think Jeter will return next season. It’s the old saying, it’s good for business, and not just Yankee business, Jeter’s post baseball career business.
      That said, everyone needs to be reasonable. Jeter will be an old 36 at the start of next season, a very dangerous age for someone who plays short. Jeter is going to have to willing to sign a one year contract with a club option for a second year.

      I agree, Jeter’s main value to the Yankees in future years will be measured in “Yankee Milestones.” If he doesn’t agree to move to the outfield at some point, he will move on to another team (Tampa? Hey, they retired Wade Boggs’ number, didn’t they?). This is not exactly unprecedented; Willie Mays as a Met, Babe Ruth as a Boston Brave and Jackie Robinson as a Giant (even though he retired instead) – each was identified with his club in much the same fashion as Jeter, but business is business.

    23. July 20th, 2010 | 5:43 pm

      From Buster Olney today at his blog:

      Derek Jeter is hitting .271, and he’s not concerned. His history tells you he’ll bounce back. But if Jeter doesn’t — if he finishes the year with an on-base percentage in the .340 range — his negotiations with the Yankees will be interesting, because undoubtedly there will be internal discussions raising this question: If the player’s name wasn’t Jeter, what would you offer a 36-year-old shortstop coming off a year in which he hit .271?

      …If the player’s name wasn’t Jeter, what would you offer a 36-year-old shortstop coming off a year in which he hit .271?…

      Gee, that rings a bell. ;-)

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