Derek Jeter’s Position

Derek Jeter was an above-average defensive shortstop last year, but he turns 36 in June and he plays a demanding position, so the Yankees have to be prepared to react in case Jeter's defense deteriorates. To find out how the Yankees might proceed,'s Buster Olney polled scouts, talent evaluators and a former GM on Jeter's future. Here are some highlights:

  • One talent evaluator believes the Yankees would be willing to talk about trading Robinson Cano. This would create an opening at second base, which would allow Jeter to move to the right side of the infield.
  • Jeter could be an average first baseman in the opinion of one scout, but Mark Teixeira has first base covered for the Yankees.
  • Another scout believe Jeter will end up in left field. He may not have the speed to play center, but could probably handle left.
  • Former Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi doesn't see Jeter switching positions for now and can imagine him playing shortstop for another five years.

Does it matter yet? Jeter still plays shortstop well and he's not going anywhere now. But he's entering a contract year and his future position will presumably have an impact on the contract talks that take place between the Yankees and Jeter's agent, Casey Close, have after the season.

64 Responses to Derek Jeter’s Position Leave a Reply

  1. Dexter_Morgan 5 years ago

    Yeah, trading one the best 2nd baseman in baseball in his prime is a good idea. All for the sake of extending Jeter’s career a few years. What makes you think Brian Cashman would do that? Well.. he wouldn’t.

    • Exactly what I was thinking. I would like to know what “talent evaluator” that is and who is continuing provide him with his job.

    • bravesphanatik 5 years ago

      cano is on the verge of becoming THE best 2B in the game… and they would trade him so they could move an old jeter in his place??? that is such a dumb statement, that i truly cant believe it came out of that guy’s mouth. i can only pray that scout doesnt work for the braves organization…

      he probably works for the mets now that i think about it.

      • Guest 5 years ago

        There was a time, about 2 years ago… where if the yankees would have thrown in a someone like Melky… they could have had Kemp.
        (stupid hindsight)

      • baseball33 5 years ago

        I’m going to say that Robinson Cano has the potentail to be the greatest Yankee second baseman of all time. Better than Joe Gordon or Toni Lazzeri.

    • 0bsessions 5 years ago

      It makes about as much sense as signing the best shortstop in the MLB and then throwing him to third so Jeter can continue playing league average to slightly worse shortstop.

      • martyman24 5 years ago

        Isn’t that what they did when they signed A-Rod?????

        • 0bsessions 5 years ago

          Fwoosh! That was the joke.

          I think now would be a good time to point out I have no problem with Jeter. I’m noticing I’ve had some relatively disparaging remarks towards him on here the last couple days and I have no issue with him OR his play. I respect him and definitely think he’s got a good shot at the Hall (I wouldn’t call him a first balloter, but there are people less deserving in there).

          That said, he is, carrer-wise, no better than a league average shortstop on defense. I don’t think the Yanks will necessarily trade Cano, but stranger things have happened. A-Rod was known as the best shortstop not named Ripken of the last couple decades. That didn’t stop the Yanks from sliding him so as not to disrespecrt “the captain.”

          I feel he SHOULD be moved from SS at some point, but I’m of the mind he likely won’t. Not because of any respect issue at this point, but because of lack of manueverability in their system. They don’t really have an heir apparent for shortstop in their farm system and there’s really not much of anything coming available on the market before he’s likely to retire.

          Beyond that, trading Cano to move him to second would just be idiotic and moving A-Rod to short is unlikely. He’s quite possibly lost a bit of range with the hip surgery last season and may be no better than Jeter at the position come the point Jeter needs to move. Beyond that, the Yankees already have too many people that could potentially be relegated to DH duty a few years down the line (We’re talking A-Rod here).

          • baseball33 5 years ago

            By the time Jeter is done (barring injury) he will have 3,000 hits plus and you think he is not a sure thing first ballot hall of famer. Really

          • theyankeefanatic 5 years ago

            i don’t know why everybody thinks Jeter should be the short stop for the yankees past this year…and i hope the Yankees don’t think like that…the Yankees can make a trade in the off season for a short stop…if they don’t give up too much this year in any trades for pitching…they could trade for Hanely Ramirez in the off season…and if they just sign jeter for one year he could get his 3,000 hits as a yankee as a short stop and they could go after Jose Reyes at the end of the 20011 season…but i hope that Jeter is not given more than a 2 year deal at best…

  2. iains 5 years ago

    Hmm.. and this is why the Jays canned JP…

    • Dexter_Morgan 5 years ago

      Jeter’s performance last season likely gave him least 2 more seasons at shortstop.

  3. bobbybaseball 5 years ago

    My opinion is that the Yankees have won with a defensively over-rated Jeter at shortstop before so why move him unless he gets hurt or really slows down in the field? Plus, it seems he actually played better there last season despite his age, which is unusual, so maybe there’s no reason to expect a huge decline at this point.

  4. griffister 5 years ago

    Jeter to 1st base, oh, but Tex is there. Riveting stuff!! Talking about Cano hardly means a trade. These are professional evaluators? And they get paid? Wow.

  5. TwinsVet 5 years ago

    No player is above the game. If Jeter’s performance starts to deteriorate, fans will quickly warm to the notion of moving him.

    Does anyone really believe the fans would be willing to watch Boston pass them in the standings, so long as Jeter is still the shortstop? No, they want the best product on the field.

    They were merciless on ARod when he struggled. Jeter will get more of a grace period, but everyone from the Steinbrenners to Girardi to the fans want to win. And if it becomes clear that moving Jeter of out SS is needed to do that, there won’t be much of an issue.

  6. $2495648 5 years ago

    Last spring it was written that no team had ever won a world series with a shortstop that was 35 or older but now we can throw that one out. Jeter is a future HOF.

  7. Unless he really falls off the table, don’t move him. They don’t have anyone better in the organization, so it doesn’t make sense. In 2 seasons just switch Cano and Derek. Cano came up as a 3b so he has a good arm. Or if you don’t want to do that, rotate the entire infield (i’m not sure how serious I am about that). Jeter to 2nd, Arod to SS, Cano to 3rd it’s unlikely but they could do it.

    • redsandyanksfan 5 years ago

      I was also thinking about cano as a shortstop but i dont think he would do that good , at third i really think he could but if everybody is complaining about Jeters age to be a shortstop,But when your wanting A-Rod who is only 1 year younger than him playing shortstop agian and is coming off a hip surgrey when jeter hasn’t had any big injuries? I dont think thats smart nor do i think it happens maybe the Cano and Jeter switch but

      • jwsox 5 years ago

        cano has very very good range and a strong arm he could do very well at SS, i dont think arod would be all that better at SS anymore than jeter is considering his age, and recent injuries

        • redsandyanksfan 5 years ago

          Well your right cano has great range and i would like to maybe spot start him when jeter takes a day off or something, , And that what i was saying A-rod cant be that much better he is only a year younger and and has hip problems

  8. Guest 5 years ago

    I’m crazy but, a total infield change for fun would be nice to see, just for kicks!

    Jeter to First, Tex to Third and A-Rod to Short again!

    • switchhitingjesus 5 years ago

      That would actually be funny to see.

    • strikethree 5 years ago

      Let him pitch while we’re at it.

    • jwsox 5 years ago

      tex has played 3rd before he played 15 games for the rangers and made 7 errors so thats just not going to happen

      • Guest 5 years ago

        You do realize Tex was drafted as a 3rdbasemen, right?

  9. Guest 5 years ago

    This is the first time I’ve ever agreed with J.P. Ricciardi.

  10. empathizerightonyourbehind 5 years ago

    hey buster, i’ve got a question.

    why don’t they just trade jeter for pujols? problem solved.

    that is news!

  11. RichMahogany 5 years ago

    I’m glad everyone seems to have the same reaction to the idea of trading Cano to free up 2B for Jeter: it’s insane. I’ll also point out that the Yankees don’t have any quality SS prospects. If Jeter moved to 2B, his replacement would be Ramiro Pena, the team’s current utility infielder. That doesn’t inspire me to trade one of the team’s few players who does not have an obscene contract.

    There’s absolutely no reason to worry about Jeter’s position right now. He is still a very good SS. If he hits a wall this season, his next contract will reflect that.

  12. Yankees10 5 years ago

    Cano isnt going anywhere.

  13. $1529282 5 years ago

    Whatever “talent evaluator” thinks the Yankees are moving Cano must be delusional. But hey, the I’m sure the Twins will gladly take Robinson Cano if the Yankees are ever foolish enough to move him. I say go for it Cashman! …Please?

    • thegrayrace 5 years ago

      Last off-season the Yankees were reportedly looking to move Cano for Kemp. The Dodgers wisely declined. Cano’s a good player, but I wouldn’t consider him untouchable. If he could be moved in a deal for someone like Troy Tulowitzki or Hanley Ramírez to take over at SS, opening a spot for Jeter at 2B in the process, it wouldn’t be unthinkable.

  14. Rich_in_NJ 5 years ago

    I disagree with Ricciardi, but at least he put his name to it. I don’t put much stock in anonymous quotes.

  15. TimotheusATL 5 years ago

    I’m beginning to wonder if all these anonymous talent evaluators worked for Ricciardi. Or perhaps they’re employed by a certain Kansas City team?

  16. bk7127 5 years ago

    Cano to SS on 3 years, and Jeter to 2nd could be a possiblity

  17. NL_East_Rivalry 5 years ago

    Could Cano and Jeter not trade places. I thought I heard something about him being able to play SS.

  18. mattinglyfan 5 years ago

    I just don’t think Jeter will ever move from shortstop. It would backfire horribly. The guy has played shortstop his entire life, and all of a sudden he is going to have to learn a new position? If you put him in Left Field, it kills the offense and defense there, plus whoever gets put at shortstop I guarantee won’t hit as well as Jeter has at that spot. I think as long as Jeter hits and puts the work in to stay average to above-average defensively the Yankees will keep him there.

    • j6takish 5 years ago

      Ripken learned a new position pretty late into his career, I mean SS to 3b isn’t reinventing the wheel but you get the idea

      • mattinglyfan 5 years ago

        Yeah but every infield position is filled. Trading Cano just to have Jeter at second base is dumb. The outfield is flexible, but Jeter could struggle defensively there, and his bat doesn’t profile as a corner outfielder.

  19. bjsguess 5 years ago

    Jeter went from really bad, to average, to above average (over the past 3 years – according to UZR/150). So long as the numbers support it he stays at SS. Now, if his fielding reverts to either 2005 or 2007 levels then the conversation needs to take place. Until then – he stays at SS – no questions asked.

  20. mattchu12 5 years ago

    My vote is to swap Robinson Cano and Jeter. Let Cano play shortstop with his good range and strong arm, he won’t win any Gold Gloves, but as much as I love Cap, he didn’t really deserve to win any either and we were plenty happy with him all the same.

    Jeter will play a strong second base and Cano will play a solid shortstop at the very least.

  21. disgustedcubfan 5 years ago

    I think Jeter has too much respect for himself, the Yankee organization and the N.Y. fans to desperately cling on for a few extra years.
    Putting himself in a position where the Yankees have to cut him or trade him would be horrible for everyone.
    He won’t jeopardize his standing as one of the all-time great Yankees by over staying his welcome.
    He’s smart enough and classy enough to leave on his own terms when the time comes.

  22. Macfan1 5 years ago

    This is the stupidest thing I’ve heard in my life.

    What is more feasible and have more credibility is for the the Yankees to move Jeter to LF if he was to become “oh so horrific at SS.”

    The Yankees aren’t trading a .300 hitting, 25 HR, second baseman, whose power continues to improve and he was among the league leaders in doubles and hits.

    This is what happens when these guys run out of Arod stories.

  23. jwsox 5 years ago

    lets not forget in the next few years there will be some very very good SS guys on the free agent market

  24. AnnvilleHammer 5 years ago

    I’m with the people who say Jeter is the Yankee’s shortstop until he retires or simply can’t play the position anymore and I have a feeling the first will happen before the second.

  25. markjsunz 5 years ago

    Who cares what the likes of Buster Olney and his fellow rumor mongers have to say. The Yankess have the greatest infield in the history of baseball, and it can be argued that Robinson cano is the best second baseman in the game. Texeria when all is said and done will be up there as one of the greatest switch hitters if not the greatest to play the game. He might surpass Mantle and Eddie Murray. Jeter is on his way to 3000 hits and AROD while tainted with steroid usage will end his career be it again with steroid usage with some of the greatest numbers ever . If anything maybe the Yankees can have a super sub who is strong on defense maybe come in the game the last few innings for Jeter and maybe make a spot start here and there to keep jeter fresh.

    • Twins45 5 years ago

      Wow. Keep sipping that kool-aid…

      • Yankees420 5 years ago

        You have to admitt it’s a pretty damn good infield, I don’t think Cano is the best 2B in the league, but definitely top 5 and I’d argue top 3, Jeter while old and average on defense is still a top 5 SS, I can’t think of another 3B that can put up A-Rod’s numbers, and Teix plays a position that’s known for power, poor defense and lots of strikeouts, well he gives you power, gold glove defense, and isn’t a K machine, so while I can’t say it’s the greatest in the history of baseball, I can say it’s the best current infield in the game.

      • markjsunz 5 years ago

        What is your point?

      • markjsunz 5 years ago

        Look up the stats.
        Rodriguez will finish his career with at least 600 home runs, Jeter will have his 3000 hits , Cano has some of the best numbers at his position and of course there is texeria who is going to have Mantle and eddie Murray like numbers as a switch hitter. I am not a yankees fan but as a baseball fan I invite you to find a better infield in the history of baseball. So the only Kool Aid anyone is drinking is the kool aid the billionaire owner of the twins is feeding you.But at least they did resign Mauer.

  26. markjsunz 5 years ago

    Some of the statements about jeters defense and his arm suprise me. Like a bunch of Hienas ripping the flesh off of the bones. There are not many ball players who dive into the stands to catch fly balls. While you may use some new age numerical numbering system to conclude that Jeter is just at best an average shortstop I say because of the heart and soul he puts into the game he is well above average.

  27. You guys know that UZR data needs to be compiled over 3 years right?

  28. Huh? Jeter has a very good arm, he just didn’t have good range. He’s done better at positioning himself the last couple years and his range seemingly has improved a little bit but there has never been question about his good throwing arm.

  29. jwsox 5 years ago

    what are you talking about jeter has a very good arm not one of the best in the game, but for sure in the top half….

  30. 0bsessions 5 years ago

    Like how the Yanks skimped on Posada and Rivera due to their accelerated age?

  31. BaseballFan0707 5 years ago

    I’m going to assume you were joking.

    And if you weren’t, then I am going to proceed to ridicule you.

    As 0bsessions said below, hell if the Yanks care about age. They see that a player is still producing at a very high level? Here’s your contract.

  32. markjsunz 5 years ago

    You mean maybe he will play somewhere else as a non premium player like say the Mets who will celebrate his 3000th. hit. Jeter is the face of the Yankees and I am sure the Steinbrenner family would like him to retire as a yankee. Another nice Payday is in store for Jeter.

  33. He does have a strong arm, maybe not the strongest, but he could be in the outfield and have a better arm then most players. After watching Damon throw the ball for years i’ll take Jeter’s arm.

  34. redsandyanksfan 5 years ago

    Jeter has a Above Average arm , im not getting what your getting your points about how he has a weak arm cause he does not now granted he doesnt have a ichiro arm or anything spectualar but to say he has a weak arm is flat out stupid and i think he would be a decent left fielder, way better than Alfonso and Bill hall

  35. BaseballFan0707 5 years ago

    Jeter does have a decent infield arm, but you guys are missing what he’s saying.

    Decent infield arm isn’t good enough for the outfield, because that translates to a Damon noodle arm. Coupled with average speed (his SBs are a result of smart baserunning, not so much speed, but that’s common knowledge), it wouldn’t be all that pretty to see him in the outfield.

  36. jwsox 5 years ago

    no you dont….what are you talking about having the best arm there are only like 3 out fielders who have great arms 1 is ichiro, 2 is vlad(not even an out fielder any more) and 3 is rick ankiel….what are you talking about need the best arm…90% of position changes from infield to out field is based off of need, they need to keep jeter in the line up and he really wont be able to play SS anymore, DH will more than likely be taken over by arod sooner than later…You dont need a cannon arm, look at damon, pierre, pods, swisher, cameron, elsbury, the list oges on and on of guys without cannon arms…jeters arm would be fine in left….and have you seen how big left field is in NY stadium its small….thus allowing him to play there also left field is where teams put their out fielder with weak arms because people will rarely run on left fielders becuase of how close they are to the play at 3rd and the plate..

    there are not that many cannon arms in the game so stop with that

  37. jwsox 5 years ago

    please list these cannon arms you speak of

  38. xcal1br 5 years ago


    You clearly have a rather tenuous grasp on the basics of the game of baseball if you truly believe an outfielder’s arm defines his ability in the field. I can count on one hand the number of times an outfielder’s throwing arm has won or lost a game in a season, let alone on a day-to-day basis. Yes, a strong throwing arm is a plus for an outfielder, but it is not something that should be used to evaluate an outfielder’s defensive ability. All outfielders need to have good to great range, above average speed and good hands (i.e.: they must not drop more than five per cent of the pop flies they attempt to handle). Ninety-five per cent of the throws an outfielder makes in a game are soft lobs, merely returning the ball to the closest infielder.

    So, in closing, your logic is flawed and you need to watch more baseball.

  39. jwsox 5 years ago

    and yes we all know the out field is farther away from any base but thats what cut off men are for…and again jeters arm is not that bad, have you ever watched a yankees game that was not on espn? the guy had a pretty solid arm

  40. xcal1br 5 years ago

    I completely agree with all your points. Had you made them earlier I would not have felt the need to comment at all. Your original posts were one-dimensional and rude to jwsox. You spoke to him as though he were some remedial English student, which clearly he is not.
    Your new evaluation of Jeter’s abilities is spot on. My issue was with your assumption that because he had a weak throwing arm, he would be a weak outfielder, which is not a legitimate justification.

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