AL East Links: Jeter, Beckham, Orioles

Derek Jeter has been worth only 0.1 fWAR in his final season, and the Yankees‘ insistence on keeping him as the regular shortstop and in the No. 2 spot in the batting order is hurting the team, CBS Sports’ Mike Axisa writes.  Jeter is too proud and/or competitive to ask to be dropped in the lineup or take anything less than an everyday role, and the Yankees seem fine with the status quo given Jeter’s stature, Axisa opines.  The problem is that Jeter’s lack of production in a key lineup spot might cost the Yankees a playoff spot.

Here’s some more from around the AL East…

  • The Orioles have talked to multiple clubs about trading for an infielder, and they checked in on Gordon Beckham at some point before the White Sox dealt him to the Angels, MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko reports.  Since the Angels (who own the best record in baseball) claimed Beckham on waivers, that would mean the O’s had an initial chance to claim the second baseman themselves but chose to pass.
  • Also from Kubatko’s piece, he notes that the Orioles had a potential trade fall through once word got out about Manny Machado‘s season-ending knee surgery.  Presumably, the Machado news meant that the other team raised its asking price.  As Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported earlier this week, O’s officials were upset that Machado’s injury status became public, as it lowered their leverage in trade talks.
  • Allen Craig‘s career is profiled by WEEI.com’s Nick Canelas, detailing the Red Sox first baseman’s early days to how the Cardinals scouted and drafted him to his current status in Boston.
  • The Red Sox have a lot of decisions to make about their 2015 bullpen, and assistant GM Mike Hazen tells Jason Mastrodonato of MassLive.com that the team would be open to “spend more money on the back-end guy” if necessary.  Such a move could be needed if Koji Uehara isn’t re-signed.
  • The development of young pitchers like Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez, Daniel Norris and Drew Hutchison is a big reason why Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos will likely keep his job despite the Jays’ fade from contention, Sportsnet’s Jeff Blair writes.  Anthopoulos is also helped by the fact that modern organizations generally give their general managers at least enough time on the job to see what their drafting and player development plans can produce.


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63 Comments on "AL East Links: Jeter, Beckham, Orioles"


chicothekid
1 year 5 days ago

Mets are looking for takers on Flores. He’s a natural 3b which would allow Hardy to leave via FA and Machado to move to SS. He still has yet to prove he can function at this level, but he’s excelled at every level up til now and has no place in the future of the Mets. If the O’s are serious, I’m a little surprised they can’t work something out. His value isn’t going to be THAT high.

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 5 days ago

With Flores its a question of how low not how high his value is. He has been a sub-replacement level player in the MLB.

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 5 days ago

How dare Axisa suggest the Yankees disrupt Jeter’s retirement tour.

MB923
1 year 5 days ago

Ha. Well even Joe Girardi earlier in the year at the start of an April series against Boston, when he sat Jeter out all 3 games, said “I didn’t manage this season to give a guy a retirement tour”. Though clearly that’s not the case if he is going to continue to bat an inconsistent hitter 2nd.

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 5 days ago

Girardi is a fine manager and I think he may be under some pressure from the upper echelons of Yankee management to make this the year of the bronze bat, ugly cowboy boots and a ridiculous paddle board.

MB923
1 year 5 days ago

I’m not comparing the 2 players’ legacies and what they have done for the franchise, but if he did it with Posada, he can do it with Jeter. I really can’t see Jeter throwing a fit or being unclassy about him. Matter of fact I can actually see him respecting the Yankees decision to do it. Though it’s something that we won’t ever know.

chris hines
1 year 5 days ago

Maybe not in public but behind closed doors I imagine Jeter would throw a hissy fit if you tried to bench him permanently or drop him in the order. Then you’d get those camera shots in the dugout of him pouting and having that disgusted look on his face he gets when he feels he’s not being treated right.

MB923
1 year 5 days ago

Speaking of behind closed doors, maybe Jeter in the past has in fact said this to Girardi and/or Cashman. Not saying he has, but there’s a possibility. The media doesn’t tell us everything. Sometimes just ridiculous stories like LeBron James cupcakes or Michael Sam in the shower.

Scott Berlin
1 year 5 days ago

I wouldn’t be surprised if they think they might get more publicity and viewership, press and coverage as he climbs the lists like all time hits, him becoming the all time singles leader this season etc.. The more at bats and games he’s in the more chances he can climb those lists.

MB923
1 year 5 days ago

As bad as Jeter has been at SS, the other Yankee SS’s (while the sample size of course is MUCH smaller) have been worse.

Jeter sadly leads the team in wRC+ for SS at 76. There really is no better option to put there.

As far as batting him in the #2 spot, I agree. He should have been dropped awhile ago. It’s not his deicision in the end, it’s Girardi’s. He should drop him if he knows it will improve the lineup.

Scott Berlin
1 year 5 days ago

I agree, Drew’s bat is horrible this season. is batting line with the Yankees is worse then it was with the Sox. If we arguably had a better option at SS then we could insert them there but we don’t except for Prado but he can play any other position.

chris hines
1 year 5 days ago

Again I care much more about defense at SS than offense, especially when the choice on offense is either well below average or black hole bad. The fact that Jeter is hitting 2nd AND playing the field at all, let alone everyday is a gigantic joke.

chris hines
1 year 5 days ago

Except for the fact that the 76 wRC+ you cited has nothing to do with DEFENSE, which is where Jeter is really killing the team. Yeah he’s been god awful at the plate this year, he’s basically done. But in the field he was done a while ago and no one told the Yankees.

At this point the man has one step range to his left and two step range to his right, he has to be the worst defensive every day SS in all of baseball. You combine that with a wRC+ and he’s far from the best option the Yankees have at SS. I’d rather platoon Brendan Ryan and Stephen Drew, yeah they won’t hit but at least they can provide some kind of value somewhere on the field unlike the “Captain”.

MB923
1 year 5 days ago

Well his 0.1 WAR (which is stated above) leads the team for SS. No other SS on the Yankees has a positve WAR this season

For an offense that has been mediocre, why replace Bad with Very Bad?

Give me Drew or Ryan late in the game with the Yankees winning. Give me Jeter the rest of the game.

chris hines
1 year 5 days ago

So we’re using a 10th of a percentage in a flawed metric as gospel now? His offense is below average for the position and his defense is extremely well below average at the position, faced with that or two guys who can actually field the position I’ll take the fielding. I mean all 3 guys are black holes in the lineup, so why not go with some kind of value.

MB923
1 year 5 days ago

Replacing Jeter with Drew or Ryan is just a terrible idea. If it were Drew of 2013 you would have a point.

chris hines
1 year 5 days ago

It’s only a terrible move PR wise, Jeter is drain both on the offense and defense of this team so even if you replaced him with bad production nothing really changes.

However if you remove Jeter completely that means you get to hit Drew/Ryan 9th not 2nd, which means you would be taking away 1 or 2 ABs per game from someone well below league average with the bat and replacing it with a hot Prado or someone while adding value in the field. That’s a win.

Bertin Lefkovic
1 year 5 days ago

AMEN, Chris.

MB923
1 year 5 days ago

The very first thing I said was that Jeter shouldn’t bat 2nd.

chris hines
1 year 5 days ago

Well I replied to this but for some reason I guess it’s never going to be approved.

Point was Jeter still hits second at a well below average rate, replacing him with Ryan/Drew would drop all that non production from SS from 2nd in the order to 9th. That takes at least 1-2 ABs per game away from a terrible offensive player, while adding defensive value, and opening up those extra 1-2 ABs per game for someone who can actually hit at a respectable pace.

Bertin Lefkovic
1 year 5 days ago

Actually, I would reverse that logic, MB. I would platoon Drew or Ryan as the starting shortstop, use Jeter as a pinch hitter in a key spot where he has a better shot than either of the other two to come up with a clutch hit, and then have the other one finish the game at short.

Karkat
1 year 5 days ago

Sox should’ve traded Koji at the deadline while his value was at its peak. He’s looking old and tired on the mound lately.

James Wolf
1 year 5 days ago

Axisa is right on the mark with his assessment of Jeter/Yankees… I have loved watching Jeter since his rookie year but I am a Yankee fan first and foremost and have said all year that Captain groundball double play is hurting the team… he is always profiled as a team “first” but clearly he isn’t thinking about his team this year.

MB923
1 year 5 days ago

I wouldn’t say he Isn’t thinking about the team, but it’s not likely the first thing he thinks about.

chris hines
1 year 5 days ago

What a Captain.

MB923
1 year 5 days ago

Something 27 out of 30 teams Do Not have. And after this year it will be 29 of 30.

chris hines
1 year 5 days ago

Because it doesn’t mean anything? You just sew a “C” onto someone’s chest. It doesn’t add wins to your team and it doesn’t make someone a better leader or person by doing so. Nor does not being named Captain has some negative effect on someone who already is a great leader. It’s really more a publicity thing than anything else at this point.

MB923
1 year 5 days ago

I agree. I find the Captain role silly.

Infield Fly
1 year 5 days ago

Personally, I don’t care for the “captain” thing, and find it kind of annoying. Perhaps in some sports it does mean something or maybe it was useful somehow sometime in the past in pro baseball. However, the way it’s used, it seems to me that it’s just another gimmick for marketing & publicity purposes. In that sense it does seem to “work” in that people like to latch onto it and invoke it constantly.

Mike1L
1 year 5 days ago

Everyone knew Jeter wasn’t going to be able to perform at a high level this year. It might be a lot less of an issue if 4/5 of the rotation wasn’t sitting in doctors offices and the hitters (starting with Beltran and McCann) were productive. Personally, I think they should move Jeter down and rest him more, but to put the loss of a playoff slot only on his shoulders strikes me as the opinion of an author with an ax to grind.

GrumpyPuppy
1 year 5 days ago

Jeter has hit worse than Beltran, McCann and especially Gardner this season. I have no idea why Gardner isn’t batting second.

chris hines
1 year 5 days ago

Joe dislikes batting lefties back to back like that in the order, at the worst though he could keep Gardner and Ellsbury at 1 and 3 respectively and just insert Prado in the 2 hole while Jeter hits 6-8.

MB923
1 year 5 days ago

I’d be fine with that.

Douglas Rau
1 year 5 days ago

It’s not like anyone else in that line-up is tearing the cover off the ball. They’re not using Martin Prado in the heart of the line-up by choice. It’s because Beltran and McCann have been disappointments.

chris hines
1 year 5 days ago

Well considering he is hitting .275/.305/.484 since joining the Yankees I’d say he’s deserving of hitting somewhere in the 2-6 spot of our lineup regardless of the rest of them.

1 year 5 days ago

Jeter is A problem, but he’s hardly THE problem. The Yankees are lucky to even be in playoff contention at all with all their other problems.

MB923
1 year 5 days ago

Agreed. The offense has been inconsistent all year. August was Jeter’s worst month this year by far. He’s hitting .219 in August. All other month’s this year he hit .272 or above, but his highest OPS in any month was .670 back in May

Though I think it’s fair to say it has been a bit of bad luck for him in August. His BABIP is .235

April-May-June-July his BABIP was .344-.314-.293-.346

chris hines
1 year 5 days ago

low BABIP doesn’t equal bad luck, it can suggest bad luck but it can also suggest someone isn’t making any kind of hard contact… Which Jeter isn’t.

Jeter’s ground ball percentage in August is 72.1%, with a line drive percentage of 17.4%, a BB% of 2.0% and a GB/FB ratio of almost 7-1.That is in no way “bad luck” it’s just the fact that he no longer makes any kind of real contact and when he does it’s almost always on the ground.

Mike1L
1 year 5 days ago

That the Yankees are in it at all is a testament to Bud’s desire to have parity and sell more tickets. There are a bare handful of good teams, and there’s always the second wild card spot.

1 year 5 days ago

What does Selig have to do with the Yankees?

Mike1L
1 year 5 days ago

The Yankees shouldn’t be in contention. They’ve been doing it with smoke and mirrors, but the extra wild card (Bud’s doing) keeps them in the game. I doubt Selig was thinking of big market teams when he put in the second WC slot, but the implications of making it easier to make the playoffs raises all boats. The Yankees are 6 games above .500 with thirty to play. And 9 games behind Oakland, currently in the 1st WC lead. We wouldn’t be having the Jeter discussion without the second WC, because a minor change in the lineup would have meant nothing.

MB923
1 year 5 days ago

If the Yankees miss the playoffs this year, it will be back to back years and 2 out of the 3 years the 2nd WC spot has existed. And we know Boston is all but out so that would make it 2 out of 3 years for them too.

Adam
1 year 5 days ago

I’m not a big fan of Selig, and I didn’t like the 2nd WC when they first brought it up; but it really is proving to be a good thing. Thanks to the 2nd WC you now have a reason for the 1st WC to play to win the division (avoiding the play in game). In the past you’d have the Angels and the A’s trying to coast into the play offs. Now you have them fighting hard to win the division, making key moves at the deadline, and giving the games some additional importance because making it by winning your division now matters more than making it as a wild card. The same goes for Detroit and KC and Milwaukee and St. Louis. The races now are for the division, not just to make the playoffs.

Mike1L
1 year 5 days ago

I’m more of a traditionalist. I don’t like the second WC for that reason, but I also don’t like it because it creates a false sense of contention in some teams and prevents them from doing the roster moves they really should think about doing. And, In a 162 game season, I’d like the seasonal performance to count more.

Bertin Lefkovic
1 year 5 days ago

It is about time that Jeter is finally getting his fair share of criticism. When a team’s offense has underperformed as badly as the Yankees’ offense has this season and their pitching has played as far over its head as it has, I would take my chances on either Drew or Ryan at shortstop and Prado at 2B (and in the #2 position in the lineup) just so that I can put the best defensive unit on the field possible.

The best way to use Jeter at this point in his career is to have him pinch-hit in clutch situations during the 6th-9th innings, despite the fact that this is when he has been at his worst. I think that if Jeter can accept this role and focus all of his energies on these situations, the Yankees would actually be able to get more out of him than having him play entire games and underperform.

Obviously, everybody else has to do their part as well, but this is the only change that the Yankees can make to their current team that might actually have a positive impact on the team’s performance.

1 year 5 days ago

Jeter is their best option at SS. Drew and Ryan are not upgrades and are not worth the media circus that would follow Jeter’s benching.

Mike1L
1 year 5 days ago

I agree with this. I’m shocked at Drew’s collapse as a viable starting option. Even with the time off, I would have thought at some point he would have put together even a career-norm run.

Adam
1 year 5 days ago

Even considering his late start to the season, he’s gotten enough games under his belt by now to have started to do something. Other players have had to start the season injured and get going mid-year and have done it. Clemons made a habit of taking half a year off late in his career. Factor in the how others who played all season are wearing down and things do not look good for Mr. Drew’s pursuit of a new contract. What does anyone think; will he be able to get a major league contract from someone or will he have to settle for a minor league deal with an invite to spring training?

Mike1L
1 year 5 days ago

A notable absence of criticism on Drew’s usage from Boras. Wonder if he’s not keeping quiet because he thinks the Yankee are among the few teams that might sign Drew to a one year pillow.

Adam
1 year 5 days ago

I think he’ll wait to criticize his usage until after the season is over. He needs to create the illusion that Drew could have been his old self if only he’d gotten used more. The reality is that he hasn’t shown any signs of improvement as the season has gone along, so if he starts talking now and they actually do play him more he probably still won’t put up any better numbers than he already has done. Since that leaves Boras without his number one excuse for this years numbers, he can’t risk criticizing until its too late to prove or disprove the theory.

The only way I see the Yankees making him a one year offer is if they miss out on the probably half dozen options at short they’d rather have than Drew. Even in that case he’s not going to get much of a pillow, because you just can’t justify paying him much for this kind of performance.

chris hines
1 year 5 days ago

I wouldn’t call it a habit, Roger did it the one time I can recall and wasn’t very good. He got hurt in 2006 I believe not took half a year off.

chris hines
1 year 5 days ago

Actually no he isn’t since he can’t actually field the position anymore, when routine two step plays are being lauded on Yankee broadcast as great clutch defensive plays you know it’s gotten bad.

The man can’t make more than two steps to either side and actually field a ball, at best he should be DH’ing 3 times a week, resting once, and playing SS once. That’s all he can handle at this point and the one day is really more out of respect for what he was more than any real belief he could even be competent on that one day.

chris hines
1 year 5 days ago

And in more good news Tanaka being sent back to NY with his entire throwing arm in pain…

MB923
1 year 5 days ago

No elbow pain thankfully

chris hines
1 year 5 days ago

I read it as there is elbow pain it’s just not confined to the elbow, but if your entire arm hurts and your elbow is apart of your arm I imagine that it is included.

Mike1L
1 year 5 days ago

I thought your dislike was confined to Jeter? Why would you be taking such satisfaction in an injury to a player, any player?

chris hines
1 year 5 days ago

What are you talking about? Where did I take joy in anything in any of these conversations?

I said that if someone tells me their whole arm hurts I’m going to assume they have also included their elbow in that statement since it’s part of the arm. However I’ve seen many people saying some version of “thank god his arm elbow isn’t sore”, when that’s not how I read that report at all.

I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.

Adam
1 year 5 days ago

Apparently Mike1L took “in more good news” to literally mean you think its good news Tanaka sounds like he’s done for the year at best and possibly headed for surgery and rehab. It seems he didn’t get the sarcasm in your statement.

chris hines
1 year 5 days ago

Well then that’s silly considering there was no good news regarding the Yankees in this story to begin with so their couldn’t be “more good news” only “good news”.

Mike1L
1 year 5 days ago

Obviously I misread your comment as in keeping with the general negativity you expressed in at least a dozen others. Apologies for misinterpreting.

chris hines
1 year 5 days ago

So I assume you are counting any form of statistical knock against Jeter as “negative” instead of realistically looking at a 40 year old SS who is providing no actual value to the team, yet refuses to help mitigate that in anyway after being described as team first his entire career. So yeah I’m negative in that way I guess.

I also decried the notion of a “Captaincy” having any actual value to a team, player, or fanbase but that seems to be generally agreed with so it’s not really negative as just casting a light on a archaic practice that probably has no use in a era of 200+ million dollar contracts.

However this isn’t exactly the most cheery story in the world for Yankee fans so I’m not sure how you’d click on the comment section and expect a bunch of optimism on the last month of Jeter’s clearly failed season.

Mike1L
1 year 5 days ago

You can do me a favor by taking a victory lap and assuming you’ve won the argument.

Mike1L
1 year 5 days ago

Like I said, Chris. Take a lap and enjoy it.