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Derek Jeter thinks he’ll be OK next year. Will the Yankees agree?

Oct 17, 2013, 2:38 PM EDT

Derek Jeter Getty Images

Bryan Hoch of MLB.com has a Derek Jeter story today, the upshot of which is Jeter thinking that the real reason he couldn’t get healthy and up to speed in 2013 was because he was unable to pursue his usual offseason conditioning routine due to his broken leg last year.  He thinks, however, he’ll be back to normal next spring. Joe Girardi makes some noises to that effect too.

This is gonna be one of the most interesting things to watch all winter: do the Yankees believe that too? Do they go in with Jeter and a no-hit defensive caddy like Brendan Ryan or do they go out and get an everyday shortstop to replace Jeter, leaving him to DH duties?

I don’t think this will be as big as, say, Jeter’s last free agent negotiations in terms of drama and ego massaging and all of that, but it could be a pretty big deal anyway.

  1. randomdigits - Oct 17, 2013 at 3:00 PM

    I think that, at the end of the day, Jeter will regret not retiring with Rivera and Pettitte.

    Would have been a fabulous story with the three of them going out together.

    • brewcrewfan54 - Oct 18, 2013 at 1:46 AM

      That makes for a great story but a pro athletes’ career is a pretty small window of life and nobody should decide that but the person themselves.

  2. jgreiner9 - Oct 17, 2013 at 3:11 PM

    It wouldn’t have been a fabulous story because he wouldn’t have been on the field with them doing so. He’d still be on the DL. That’s part of the reason Rivera didn’t retire last year. He didn’t want to go out on an injury. I would believe Jeter would feel the same way.

    • pipkin42 - Oct 17, 2013 at 3:57 PM

      Also, I get that Jeter is already a wealthy man, but most people are not in the habit of leaving $8 million (is that really all they’re paying him next year?) on the table.

  3. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Oct 17, 2013 at 3:25 PM

    The way his career has gone, I would not be entirely surprised if he somehow hits .330 in 2014. Some people are kissed by fortune. Fortune sent him a gift basket.

    • Francisco (FC) - Oct 17, 2013 at 4:12 PM

      Concerning what we know of gift baskets, it’s impossible not to infer what Fortune does to him BEFORE sending the gift basket.

      • drewzducks - Oct 17, 2013 at 7:22 PM

        I’m sure Fortune, Destiny and Hope, amongst others have received a parting gift.

  4. greymares - Oct 17, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    F-I-N-I- S-H-E-D

  5. sdelmonte - Oct 17, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    They really should get someone who would make a good everyday SS. Someone young and fairly cheap but talented might be a good idea, even if Jeter stays healthy. Just not sure who that would be or how they acquire him in a trade if needed.

    But it would be dumb to assume a player that age coming off such a miserable year will be able to play a demanding position all the time. And if he surprises everyone, they might have an understudy for him to train for a retirement that isn’t far away now.

    • paperlions - Oct 17, 2013 at 4:18 PM

      Ah, yes. They should just stop by the “young and fairly cheap but talented SS store”. There aren’t even 30 MLB quality SSs in MLB organizations right now, much less some extraneous cheap and talented ones laying around to just pick up.

      • 18thstreet - Oct 17, 2013 at 5:11 PM

        Why do the Yankees need someone cheap? They’re the Yankees. Money is no consideration for them. (And, if we believe they actually care about getting under the soft salary cap, the A-Rod suspension, along with the expiration of the Granderson, Rivera, Pettitte, Hughes, and Youkilis contracts will take care of it. They have plenty of money. They should only be looking at talent, not cost.

        Really, I think they should sign Drew away from the Red Sox. Drew can also play third if Jeter’s able to play short. I don’t think Brendan Ryan is a viable option. Even Seattle couldn’t tolerate that bat.

  6. pisano - Oct 17, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    Jeter has been a great Yankee, and most Yankee fans hope he doesn’t embarrass himself, but given his age, he should really give serious thought to retiring, it appears to be about that time.

  7. unclemosesgreen - Oct 17, 2013 at 3:52 PM

    DOOM!

  8. dan1111 - Oct 17, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    Deter might be a useful player at short next season, while he almost certainly won’t be a useful DH.

    I think they would be better off strengthening other parts of the offense (and, probably, finding a fill-in for A-Rod). This will be easier than finding a good-hitting shortstop, and if the rest of the lineup is in decent shape, using a utility infielder at short as a fallback plan won’t hurt them that much.

    • 18thstreet - Oct 17, 2013 at 5:16 PM

      The last time the Yankees looked for a fill-in for A-Rod, they signed Youkilis. Better luck next time.

      Via MLBTradeRumors, here’s the list of free agent third basemen, with what I assume is their age in parenthesis:

      Yuniesky Betancourt (32)
      Wilson Betemit (32) – $3.2MM vesting option
      Jamey Carroll (40)
      Eric Chavez (36)
      Mark DeRosa (39) – $750K club option with a $25K buyout
      Jerry Hairston Jr. (38)
      Brandon Inge (37)
      Casey McGehee (31)
      Placido Polanco (38)
      Mark Reynolds (30)
      Juan Uribe (34)
      Kevin Youkilis (35)
      Michael Young (37)

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 17, 2013 at 10:35 PM

        Didn’t Polanco sign a contract?

      • jwbiii - Oct 18, 2013 at 12:34 AM

        No, it was Greg Dobbs that the Marlins threw some money at.

  9. aceshigh11 - Oct 17, 2013 at 4:15 PM

    The man has lived a charmed life. Almost EVERYTHING has gone perfectly for him.

    Rookie of the Year.

    Five World Series rings.

    Over 3,000 hits…the 3,000th of which was a home run (of course).

    Impeccable personal conduct, great parents, great attitude, near-universal respect…LOTS of hot chicks.

    We should all be so lucky. If anyone deserves ONE LAST chance to go out on a high note, it’s this guy. If he falls on his face due to age and injuries, hey…he’s really got nothing left to prove.

    A LOT of all-time greats stuck around a little too long and posted poor numbers to end their careers. He certainly wouldn’t be alone if it happened to him.

    • brewcrewfan54 - Oct 18, 2013 at 1:50 AM

      Best comment on the thread.

  10. louhudson23 - Oct 17, 2013 at 4:17 PM

    The least of their problems is Jeter. At best he leads the team to unexpected success,at worst ,he has a bad year in the midst of a regrouping effort….plenty of other holes to fill,without worrying about finding a SS.

  11. raysfan1 - Oct 17, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    Last year after his injury, I commented that the rosy predictions of him coming back by opening day were a pipe dream and that it was likely he would have a poor season. Next year, however, I think people will be surprised at how well he does. He’s a player on decline, and he’s never had great range defensively, but .280/.350/.380 would not surprise me at all. He’s my way-too-early pick for 2014 comeback player of the year.

  12. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Oct 17, 2013 at 5:25 PM

    I think Jhonny Peralta would be a good signing for the Yankees. He could cover for ARod and Jeter, since they are both big question marks, and maybe won’t cost a ton. Maybe with a defensive caddy.

  13. schreibdave - Oct 17, 2013 at 6:37 PM

    Hate to say it, but DJ is lucky that Eduardo Scissorhands hasn’t panned out the way he was supposed to.

  14. drelms - Oct 18, 2013 at 12:39 AM

    I’m sure I can speak for many Red Sox fans when I sincerely say we hope to see Mr. Jeter back at shortstop for the Yankees next year.

    Til we meet again my friend be well.

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