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, ESPN.com'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.


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64 Comments on "Derek Jeter’s Position"


Dexter_Morgan
5 years 4 months 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.

5 years 4 months ago

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 4 months 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 4 months 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 4 months 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 4 months 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 4 months ago

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

0bsessions
5 years 4 months 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 4 months 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 1 month 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…

iains
5 years 4 months ago

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

Dexter_Morgan
5 years 4 months ago

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

bobbybaseball
5 years 4 months 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.

griffister
5 years 4 months 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.

TwinsVet
5 years 4 months 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.

$2495648
5 years 4 months 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.

5 years 4 months ago

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 4 months 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 4 months 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 4 months 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

Guest
5 years 4 months 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 4 months ago

That would actually be funny to see.

strikethree
5 years 4 months ago

Let him pitch while we’re at it.

jwsox
5 years 4 months 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 4 months ago

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

Guest
5 years 4 months ago

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

empathizerightonyourbehind
5 years 4 months ago

hey buster, i’ve got a question.

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

that is news!

RichMahogany
5 years 4 months 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.

Yankees10
5 years 4 months ago

Cano isnt going anywhere.

$1529282
5 years 4 months 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 4 months 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.

Rich_in_NJ
5 years 4 months ago

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

TimotheusATL
5 years 4 months 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?

bk7127
5 years 4 months ago

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

NL_East_Rivalry
5 years 4 months ago

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

mattinglyfan
5 years 4 months 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 4 months 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 4 months 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.

bjsguess
5 years 4 months 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.

mattchu12
5 years 4 months 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.