• 2014: The Derek Jeter Nightmare Season?

    Posted by on December 29th, 2013 · Comments (8)

    Everyone thinks that, potentially, the Alex Rodriguez situation could be a major headache in Yankeeland next season – at least at the start of the year. But, what about the Derek Jeter situation?

    The Yankees captain will be 40-years old next summer. The last time he was an above average fielding shortstop was 2009. And, that was a bit of a fluke – since he was below average in the ten seasons before that year. Last season, he was limited to 17 games as he could not completely rehab from an injury that he suffered five months before the start of the season. Oh, and, he will be in the last year of his contract in 2014.

    The only way Jeter has a soft landing next season is if he comes out of the chute and is playing well both in the field and at the plate.

    Now, it’s not impossible. There have been guys who have hit .280 and slugged .400 or better in their “Age 40″ seasons in the last 30 years or so. And, if Jeter can reach those levels, given his past performance and stature in Yankees history, I am sure that all concerned parties – meaning the team, media and fans – will give him a buddy pass on not having “Jeterian” numbers at the plate. Of course, the fielding thing, especially with his recent injury, is a whole ‘nother matter.

    But, what if Jeter is batting a buck-ninety, as he did last year on the season, come May 1st? How long will the Yankees be patient with him? How long will they bat him near the top of the line-up? If they are not patient with him, given Jeter’s pride, how will that go down? Further, if he’s still not playing well by June 30th, how long will the team and/or Jeter let it go? If he’s not contributing to the team, or, worse, if he is hurting the team, how long do you keep him on the roster – especially when you consider his age and contract situation?

    The biggest thing here is that Derek Jeter is a Yankees legend. And, everyone wants to see his career end in an acceptable fashion. Yet, will it? Or, will the whole thing just become an ugly situation for the franchise and the icon in 2014? It’s not outside of the possible outcomes, all things considered, is it? Related, is there any way possible that, if Jeter’s season is terrible come the summer, that he pulls a Mike Schmidt and just retires a few months into the season? What do you think?

    Comments on 2014: The Derek Jeter Nightmare Season?

    1. redbug
      December 30th, 2013 | 9:01 am

      If Jeter is healthy but hitting poorly, say the .190 you cited, in June, he’ll take himself out. He has high expectations.

      But, I think he’ll be closer to .300 than .200. In 2012, he had more hits than anyone in baseball. Citing last yr’s #’s isn’t fair as he was injured.

    2. baseballbob
      December 30th, 2013 | 10:11 am

      It might be a more difficult call if he’s just mediocre, say like in 2008, .270 with little power, since Brendan Ryan or Nunez might not be able to hit much better.

    3. December 30th, 2013 | 10:16 am

      I want Jeter to go out like Mariano did last year…and how Cal Ripken did in 2001. Derek deserves to go out in that manner. He’s earned it. He’s been a solid citizen and a great performer. Baseball has benefited from him.

      But, I really don’t know if it’s going to happen that way.

      Then again, Ripken hit .239 in his last season and got 500 ABs. And, he was the same age that Jeter will be in 2014.

    4. December 30th, 2013 | 10:23 am

      I do wonder if Jeter’s year in 2014 will be like Barry Larkin’s last season? I think that would be OK with all concerned parties.

    5. Greg H.
      December 30th, 2013 | 3:16 pm

      redbug wrote:

      But, I think he’ll be closer to .300 than .200. In 2012, he had more hits than anyone in baseball.

      Agreed if healthy. I would guess its .265 – .290.

    6. McMillan
      December 31st, 2013 | 8:16 am

      Jeter was drafted and signed by Gene Michael in 1992 and began his H.O.F. career with the great Michael teams of 1996-2001… and who does Cashman have prepared to replace Jeter when he retires at the age of 40-41 in 2014-15?

    7. Kamieniecki
      December 31st, 2013 | 8:31 am

      McMillan wrote:

      Jeter was drafted and signed by Gene Michael in 1992 and began his H.O.F. career with the great Michael teams of 1996-2001… and who does Cashman have prepared to replace Jeter when he retires at the age of 40-41 in 2014-15?

      @ McMillan:
      Free agents are always available to replace any player at any position in every free agent market; that’s how Brian Cashman successfully replaced players from those great Yankee teams, or Andy Pettitte with Carl Pavano, Jorge Posada with a .200-hitting catchers from 2010-2013, etc…

    8. McMillan
      December 31st, 2013 | 8:47 am

      Kamieniecki wrote:

      … that’s how Brian Cashman successfully replaced players from those great Yankee teams, or Andy Pettitte with Carl Pavano, Jorge Posada with a .200-hitting catchers from 2010-2013, etc…

      And Cano with Omar Infante.

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