5 Reasons The New York Yankees Should Not Resign Derek Jeter
This is a day most New York Yankees fans never thought they’d see: The day team ownership would have to seriously consider whether or not the it was worthwhile for them to resign All-Star, All-Pro, All-Everything shortstop Derek Jeter, who has been the heart and soul of the New York Yankees since he started with the team back in 1995.
Play for another team? That never seemed like an option. Not when George Steinbrenner was at the helm. Not when you consider that Derek Jeter’s name will go down in history with the likes of Mickey Mantle, Lou Gehrig and, yes, Babe Ruth. But that time could be coming soon. With Jeter up for free agency this offseason, there’s a real chance he might not be back in pinstripes next season. Here, we talk a look at the 5 reasons that might not be a bad thing—assuming they can’t get him to give them the hometown discount this offseason.
1. Derek Jeter is not the productive shortstop he once was for the Yankees.
Quietly, almost underneath the radar, DJ has turned into the weak link on a team filled with superstar players. Forget all the #2 jerseys you see at Yankee Stadium these days and think about this: When is the last time Derek Jeter did something really special for the Yankees? These days, a walk-off home run or a key hit is more likely to come from Mark Teixeira or Robinson Cano or, hell, even Marcus Thames than Jeter. Can Jeter still play? Sure, he can. But he’s no longer the superstar that he once was. Maybe in the fans’ eyes, but certainly not on the field.
2. Jeter is going to cost the team an arm, a leg and another leg if he resigns
As we just pointed out, the problem with Derek Jeter at this stage of his career isn’t that he can’t play. Because he can. Frankly, we’d still cringe if we saw him on-deck in a big playoff game. But Jeter’s agent is already saying that his value cannot be overstated. He wants to collect a salary comparable to that of teammate Alex Rodriguez right now—and that’s way too high of a price tag for a player who, let’s face it, is coming up on the end of his career.
3. The team is having trouble finding another leader in the clubhouse.
The #1 problem with the Yankees during their playoff chase this year? They had no leadership. It used to come from Jeter. He’d be the calming voice that would help get the team through anything. But because he hasn’t been producing much in the last two years, he hasn’t been able to assume that role. And because no one wants to step on DJ’s toes, none of his teammates have stepped up and assumed the role, either. As a result, the team doesn’t have a definitive leader. And all the money in the world can’t buy one of those in the offseason.
4. No other shortstops in the Yankees’ system are getting the chance to play.
If DJ was on his way out? The Yankees would have no problem throwing another shortstop into their lineup from time to time to get some experience. But if he’s planning on using his leverage to sign a five or six-year deal with the team? Well, let’s just say he’s going to be on the field everyday for what they’re paying him. By taking a smaller contract or not resigning, the Yankees could develop the next Derek Jeter to play shortstop. We know, we know. BLASPHEMY! But, guess what? It’s gotta start someday.
5. Two words: Brett Favre.
As painful as it was for Green Bay Packers fans to see Favre leave their franchise before the end of his career, look how much it’s helped them. They have one of the top QBs in the league now in Aaron Rodgers and a team surrounding him that believes in him. Favre, on the other hand, is now with the Minnesota Vikings, trying to play out every…single…snap that he’s got left in his old body. He’s no longer as productive as he once was, but because of the deal the Vikings gave him and all the time and effort they’ve invested in him, they basically have to keep letting him start until he’s finished with the team. Sign DJ for another long-term contract, Yanks, and you could watch this same thing play out shortly. Is that really what you want?