Potential Suitors For Derek Jeter

Let’s indulge ourselves for a minute and play a game. Imagine, if you can, that Derek Jeter is not going to re-sign with the Yankees this winter. As hard as that is to do, let’s try to figure out which teams would have interest in Mr. November if the Yankees let him walk.

I’ll spare you the details on Jeter, since we’re all familiar with his track record, but here are the essentials. He is hitting .280/.343/.394 this year with 12 steals in 16 attempts. The four-time Gold Glover restored his defensive reputation last year, when he posted an above-average UZR/150, but UZR doesn’t like Jeter’s defense so far in 2010.

Jeter, perhaps the most marketable player in baseball, figures to reach 3,000 hits at some point in 2011. He’s also as durable as it gets; he averaged 152 games from 1996-2009 and is on pace to play just as many times this season.

There's absolutely no reason to expect Jeter to leave the Yankees, but here’s a look at the teams that would have interest in Jeter if the Yankees do not re-sign him. For the purposes of this piece, we’ll assume that Jeter wants to play shortstop, not left field or third base. 

The Rays (Jason Bartlett, Reid Brignac, Sean Rodriguez), Red Sox (Marco Scutaro), Blue Jays (Yunel Escobar), Indians (Asdrubal Cabrera), White Sox (Alexei Ramirez), Angels (Erick Aybar), Rangers (Elvis Andrus), Phillies (Jimmy Rollins), Mets (Jose Reyes), Marlins (Hanley Ramirez), Brewers (Alcides Escobar), Cubs (Starlin Castro), Dodgers (Rafael Furcal), Diamondbacks (Stephen Drew) and Rockies (Troy Tulowitzki) all have shortstops under team control for 2011.

Christian Colon, the Royals’ first-round selection in this year’s draft (fourth-overall) may move from short to second eventually, but the Royals still don’t seem like a fit for Jeter. Neither do the Pirates and Astros, who aren’t in win-now mode.

Again, it's virtually impossible to imagine Jeter signing anywhere but the Bronx, so this piece is mostly for fun. But if he wanted to test the free agent market, Jeter would be able to choose from a number of legitimate suitors.


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117 Comments on "Potential Suitors For Derek Jeter"


5 years 22 days ago

I’m interested to see what kind of contract he will get, as he has become an average shortstop. I’m sure the Yankees will overpay him as necessary.

$1519287
5 years 21 days ago

He’s 6th among MLB shortstops in WAR, FWIW. The stat doesn’t tell us everything, but it suggests he’s above average by a lot.

– BNS

Guest
5 years 21 days ago

He’s still probably in the top 5 SS, but in two years or so, he’ll probably be average or a lot closer to average… not to many good SS in the league, it’s weird…

5 years 21 days ago

It suggests that, but doesn’t prove it. He may be above average as a shortstop, but that’s simply because of his offense. His defense is average at best IMO…and will only further deteriorate (quickly).

Guest
5 years 21 days ago

IMO you’re wrong, so… there it is, no need to use stats.

PS
i imagine you got really mad when ‘jetes’ made that play tonight against the KC Royals, a ball hit deep to shortstop, Derek caught it running towards third, jumped, fired and got the runner out. Yeah, in your opinion that’s an average play LMAO.

5 years 21 days ago

Not to mention that there are easily more than 6 shortstops I’d rather having going forward than Jeter.

myname_989
5 years 21 days ago

How many of which will actually be available after this season, that you can sign in free agency? Jeter will be the best available short stop this year. You can agree on that, yes?

alxn
5 years 21 days ago

He’s actually 8th among shortstops in WAR, right behind Stephen Drew and Cliff Pennington, and that is mostly because he has played significantly more than most other shortstops. He’s 12th in .wOBA and 17th in UZR/150 this year among shortstops.

In other words, yes, he has been an average shortstop this year.

BaseballFanatic0707
5 years 21 days ago

I have no idea where you are getting your numbers from, because when I go look those numbers up, among shortstops, he is 4th in .wOBA and 6th in WAR.

melonis_rex
5 years 21 days ago

6th among shortstops who have the PAs to qualify for a batting title, 8th among all shortstops.

BaseballFanatic0707
5 years 21 days ago

Yeah, I used those numbers, too. I got 6th in WAR and 4th in .wOBA among all SS.

Edit: now 5th in wOBA. Uribe qualified for the position last night.

5 years 22 days ago

It’s a shame that he’s such a Yankee legend because I really don’t want this guy on my team next year, or for that matter the next 3 or 4 years. The guy is totally finished.

BaseballFanatic0707
5 years 21 days ago

Slighty Above Average? Yes. Done? Hardly. He still has a chance to make it to 3.0 WAR this season I think, but he’s already above replacement level. People who are finished don’t produce more than 1 WAR, at most.

5 years 21 days ago

Since his hot April (in which he didn’t walk like, at all), Jeter is hitting .267/.340/.362. He is going to be making $20M+ a year for 3-5 years and he will not be getting any better. This is not some defensive wiz making league minimum. He is AWFUL.

melonis_rex
5 years 21 days ago

Exactly.

Sure, he’s 1st ballot HOF, but he’s aging now and he’s not going to get any better with age. And frankly, the AL East is all about constantly making adjustments and improvements and being strong 1-9.

Jeter’s the worst player in the Yankees’ starting lineup. Easy.

5 years 21 days ago

Apparently you have not heard of Lance Berkman.

And no he isn’t. .280 batting average is awful? Nope.
And you shouldn’t expect Jeter to hit the ball out of the ball park alot.
Sure he is having his worst year, with some solid numbers.
I think it’s his contract situation that needs to be solved.

BaseballFanatic0707
5 years 21 days ago

That line is right around average. We know he’s going to be overpaid. But he is not awful. You seem to be equating awful to overpaid. There is a difference.

johnsilver
5 years 21 days ago

Can go around the NYY team and about 1/2 are grossly over paid, Jeter will just be a continuation after this year, they just can’t help themselves and cut ties when they should. Jeter isn’tabout to give them some kind of home team discount then the Yanks flaunt that cash around, or they bid against themselves on players.

BaseballFanatic0707
5 years 21 days ago

Are you implying the Yankees should just cut ties with Jeter? Considering how, in most important advanced statistical categories in terms of offense, Jeter is in the top 5 in those categories (I’d post a link but it takes a bajillions years to get through. Just go to fangraphs, go to leaders, go to advanced, and have fun).

His bat is still productive. We know his defense is lacklaster (though a -2.5 UZR this year is really not that bad at all.)

johnsilver
5 years 21 days ago

For 20m again? in a heartbeat, but everyone knows they won’t, hence the post above about bidding against themselves. nobody else would even offer him 2/3, maybe 1/2 that amount, but watch the NYY give him 3-4 years at 20 after this season.

BaseballFanatic0707
5 years 21 days ago

I know they will. But, unless he started demanding A-Rod money, there is absolutely no reason why the Yankees should just cut ties with him.

4 years 8 months ago

yO CHECK TIS OUT EVERYBODY SEEMS TO FORGET HES BEEN THE MAN FOR YEARS why is everybody hating on him nobody bitched about rodriguez doing drugs and getting 230 mill. jeter has brought 5 ws rings to ny the way the yankees throw out mills give him what he wants

jrsjrsjrs
5 years 21 days ago

Totally finished? As MLBTRCommentModerator stated, he’s 6th among SS in WAR, FWIW, and only Ramirez, Furcal, and Tulo have been more productive than him at the plate this year. I don’t see him lasting 4 years, but he can certainly be productive for the next 2-3.

jwsox
5 years 21 days ago

dont forget alexi ramirez, he is batting .290 with a .322 obp and a .430 slg…with a 10 uzr and a 2.9 war he has been very good this year

Triteon
5 years 22 days ago

Here’s a situation where the Cardinals could be tempted but wouldn’t make a move, not unless DeWitt opened de-wallet. Pujols first, all others later.

motiger68
5 years 21 days ago

The Cardinals wouldn’t be able to afford Jeter because of not re-signing Pujols and Holliday’s big contract. I guess we can keep on dreaming though.

5 years 20 days ago

The Cards will spend more than that keeping Poo Holes…in steroids!

Triteon
5 years 20 days ago

You should ask your parents permission before going online.

francoeursux
5 years 22 days ago

You didn’t mention the Braves, though I doubt they’d want him.

Tigers might appeal to Jeter since he’s from Michigan.

$1519287
5 years 21 days ago

I said the Braves could decline A-Gon’s option or pick it up and trade him.

– BNS

Guest
5 years 21 days ago

He’s not leaving NY

CitizenSnips
5 years 21 days ago

Whatever the contract would look like it most certainly won’t be close to those absurd $20 million/year estimates being thrown around.

yanks224
5 years 21 days ago

He’s stayin w the new York yanks

Triteon
5 years 21 days ago

Ahem…Yankees fans seemed confused by hypotheticals and italics.

icedrake523
5 years 21 days ago

You’re confusing them even further with those big words.

Gumby65
5 years 21 days ago

Potential suitors for Derek Jeter should be plural like potential states for the relocation of the Grand Canyon.

Ian_Smell
5 years 21 days ago

Pirates. No doubt.

gocrazy
5 years 21 days ago

I’ve already promised my brother that if Jeter signs with the Pirates I will order a jersey and wear it everyday.

Ian_Smell
5 years 21 days ago

I would personally pay for that jersey if that happened.

5 years 21 days ago

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA… Oh that was a hoot.

Oh wait, you’re serious?

bjsguess
5 years 21 days ago

Quick typo – The Angels have Aybar signed – not the Rangers. Most people will realize that but just thought I would point it out.

FxFrenikk
5 years 21 days ago

Considering he will, barring any injuries, reach his 3,000th hit next season, there is no way the Yanks will let him walk.

johnsilver
5 years 21 days ago

Bingo there.. There lies the principle reason why even if some team was foolish enough to offer say..25M for some crazy reason the NYY would offer 30M.. Just because no NYY has ever had 3000 hits and they want to hang Jeter up as their poster boy in that regard also.

Yanks still going to sign the guy LT at around 20m, but they want him to reach 3000 hits all with the yanks, cause he would be the 1st and would pay any amount to reach it. No slight intended, it is quite some feat since many great all with one team outstanding hitters NEVER did it including Williams (Ted), Gehrig, Mantle and in some ways the PR could be worth it eventually down the road for the team.

AmericanMovieFan
5 years 21 days ago

Jeter seems like a classy guy. I don’t think he has the ego to actually believe he’s still worth $20 million per season and he’s made over $200 million in baseball alone, plus probably at least half as much through endorsements, etc. Anyway, I think he’ll sign for at least 2 years/$20 million to ensure he gets to 3,000 hits as a Yankee. It’ll most likely be something like 4 years/$50 million, however. Either way, he’ll get paid in ways us mere mortals only dream about- and he’ll remain a Yankee lifer.

jrsjrsjrs
5 years 21 days ago

It’s not up to him. The player’s union doesn’t allow players to offer to play for less money than they are “perceived” to be worth, as it affects the salaries for other FA’s.

Triteon
5 years 21 days ago

The player’s union discourages players to play for less, but can’t dictate actual salaries or offers accepted.

jrsjrsjrs
5 years 21 days ago

Yea, but no one has the balls to actually go against the union.

Triteon
5 years 21 days ago

How about two of the best in the game? Baseball Prospectus had a nice article last October on Halladay’s extension. And then there’s this excerpt from a Fangraphs article just last month on Josh Johnson (emphasis added):
“I’m excited,” Johnson said. “It sets up me and my family for life. One of the best parts is knowing where I’m going to be the next four years. I won’t have to hear about any trade rumors or anything like that. I’m happy to be in South Florida.”

Johnson was clearly motivated to avoid going year to year, valuing long term security and peace of mind so highly that he signed a contract that makes him one of the most underpaid players in the game, relative to his ability. The next time you hear someone say that players are just all about the money nowadays, remind them of Johnson and his contract. Just like the rest of us, players value a variety of things, and they make decisions on where to work based on a variety of reasons.

5 years 21 days ago

You know, it’s hard to put a value on a guy when he is the most recognizable global face of American baseball in the world. Yes, he is in a Yankee uniform and his contract will most likely be higher than his on field play suggests, but the man is being compensated for quite a bit more than that. Jeter and the Yankees have done well together, and the Yankees and Jeter both know it. Surprisingly, I disagree and say that he is still worth 20m a season with prestige being a major factor of consideration.

TheReturnOfMrBlanks
5 years 21 days ago

Saying Jeter is not a Yankee is like saying Jesus is not mentioned in the Bible

5 years 21 days ago

I remember reading somewhere that Jeter would get a 4 year, $100MM contract. Is this the case, or did that pass with the Boss?

5 years 21 days ago

Newark Bears?

East Coast Bias
5 years 21 days ago

That’s cold, bro.

5 years 21 days ago

You’re whole Mets team is a level lower than that, bro.

5 years 21 days ago

Why is everyone calling me “bro?”

TwinsVet
5 years 21 days ago

JJ is not a non-tender candidate. Look at his numbers since the break. The locals are very pleased with him.

5 years 21 days ago

I’m not pleased with him and that’s all that matters.

twins33
5 years 21 days ago

I was hoping someone else was in here saying that, because if not, I was going to.

Maybe I have had low expectations, but Hardy has been a great addition. He’s been on a hot streak for the last month or so too. His D is always there. He’s been injured a few times and that hasn’t helped him get his swing all the way back. I still think he has it. His presence definitely improves the team. And considering we gave up Gomez for Hardy, I definitely love having Hardy more.

I honestly hope we re-sign him for a few years, maybe three or so. He might come pretty cheap considering last year and this year haven’t been up to his 2007-2008 levels.

And to comment on the rest of the topic: Jeter is a Yankee and will always be a Yankee. Anything else is just wrong.

TwinsVet
5 years 21 days ago

Completely agree. I believe he has his last year of arb next year, and
projects for around $7m. I say they offer him $15/3yr or so. Gives him a
bit of security and the organization a bit of a discount.

$1529282
5 years 21 days ago

Amen. Hardy’s defense alone has been worth it. People gush about Punto’s defense here in Minnesota, but Hardy doesn’t get nearly enough credit. He’s been absolutely phenomenal with the glove and his bat is coming around now that his wrist is healthy.

Sure, he’s not hitting 20+ HR like he did a couple years ago in Milwaukee, but if he keeps this up he can finish the season with about a .740-.750 OPS, and with that glove, I’ll gladly take that, especially when there’s still 15-20 HR upside in his bat.

I wouldn’t non-tender J.J. Absolutely not. I’d love to see them hammer out a three-year, $15MM deal or so.

5 years 21 days ago

If Smith gives Punto another contract, I am selling all of my Twins stuff.

coolstorybro222
5 years 21 days ago

Ha ha. Like the idea that Jeter leaving the yankees is absurd enough, him going to any of those teams is even more absurd.

5 years 21 days ago

I won’t say he is ‘finished’ or ‘awful’ or anything like that but Jeter is actually tied for 8th (with rookie Starlin Castro) in WAR. WAR isn’t a stat that you should really need a minimum number of plate appearances since Furcal and Tulo are more valuable to their team than Jeter is despite missing significant time.

Jeter has value and extreme value if he plays like he did in 2009 but I wouldn’t bet on him repeating that performance. At best Jeter is a $10 million a year player (and that is still potentially hefty if his numbers don’t recover) but will get likely twice that. I can maybe see the Tigers since they have some money coming off the books but no one else is really serious

5 years 21 days ago

He might be worth $10 million per year for his production, but Jeter brings more value from a business perspective (merchandise sales, filling seats, etc…)

5 years 21 days ago

I do agree with that but if his numbers decline then it will end up a wash. Also the teams that need that the most O’s, Royals ect. aren’t going to be the teams that sign him (though I could see the O’s make a run just to thumb their noses at the Yanks). A team like the Cards or Tigers won’t see enough of a fan attendance jump to make it worth their while.

markjsunz
5 years 21 days ago

He is going to retire a lifetime Yankee. The Yankees have had some great shortstops thru out there history. Jeter is the best. He is a well spoken handsome gentleman who represents not only the yankees, but he is also a great steward of New York.It is rare to see a player play with the same team thruout his career. When Jackie Robinson retired he had been traded to the new york Giants. A classless act by the Dodgers. Jeter will know when to hang em up.

5 years 21 days ago

“He is a well spoken handsome gentleman ” …Pause

markjsunz
5 years 20 days ago

What is your problem?