How long until the games start?

I got into this yesterday, and a great deal more last season. What I wrote on November 14, 2008, in my “Varitek’s a proxy for Jeter” posting (please keep in mind the date and how we had no idea that Derek’s defensive renaissance was on the way):

Fact: Jeter’s 10 year, $180 million contract expires after the 2010 season. Next year is 2009, believe it or not. Two years. That’s it. Then what? Anyone can see that he’s no longer a very good defender and some may think I am too kind when I call him “capable” right now. But that’s not going to improve as Jeter enters his late 30’s. Will Jeter move to 1B? What if Teix (or other more adept/powerful player) is entrenched there? Will he slide to 2B? Outfield? Willingly or will it be kicking and screaming?

What if Jeter (and agent Casey Close) pull what Varitek/Boras are trying to do to the Sox: Sell the intangibles and disregard the facts? What if Jeter, at age 37 (during 2011), decides that playing SS is more important than any other factor? How will the Yanks react?


Nearly all of the great SS’s, particularly the bigger ones, eventually moved from SS to yield to a younger, more athletic body. Ripken, Yount, Ernie Banks to name just three. Yount moved from SS at age 29, when he was still young enough to make the all star team as a CF. Ripken waited until age 36. Banks moved to 1B at age 31. Hell, ARod moved from SS to 3B, yielding to Jeter, in 2004 at age 28.


For Jeter to approach 4k hits, using an easy average of 200 hits per year (career average: 206), he’d need to play at least another seven years. That’s five years after his contract expires. And, uh oh, using his average hits/year, Jeter will be thisclose to the immortalizing 3,000 by the time 2010 concludes. Can you see Jeter/Close walking into Hank & Hal and saying: “Jeter needs 85 hits to reach 3,000. Want him to do it in some other uniform in some other city?” Talk about pressure.

Going back a year and a half leads to reading some funny things we thought we knew at the time; namely that Jeter was no longer capable of playing an even adequate shortstop.  But now, after his scintillating 2009 season, who’s to doubt Jeter’s pride and ability, particularly when hears the murmurs?

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7 thoughts on “How long until the games start?

  1. Great article/pics! The comparison with 'tek is understandable due to both being captains, well respected by their peers & known clutch players.  Varitek & Boras played the money game during a huge decline in performance, similar to Damon (i know 24 HR's tied his career high & he was post season clutch) whereas he was paid for CF and is now questionable in any position less PH/DH.

    Jeter is a different beast, he did go to the well and renegioate back in the day after Arod's sick contract (part 1) because he had leverage.  I don't view 2B as an option because you need the same range in either MIF'er positions regardless and his gun is unlikely to go Damon (Damon was always below avg).  Old school said to go outfield during decline (Catchers, SS, etc), but if his fast-twitch muscles don't decline and he reacts well in close range why can't he be the first 41 year old SS to bat .285 and reach 3,700 + career hits and his 10th ring (only him & yogi).  Which brings up DJ rule #1….It's All About The Rings!!!  He will get like a 5/100 M$ pre honeymoon contract, will resign & stay focused on DJ rule #1.  Don't ya think?


    I'm committed to this site.  Keep it up!


  2. HIM is as old school as old school gets, but HIM also understands metrics and the need to understand what you are looking at.  HIM also has seen some special ones come up that needed no metrics.  In a very few cases metrics were not needed even later in their careers…just the eye and feel for special talent (Rose, Seaver, Puholz, Junior, Ryan and Mauer).  #2 should be untouchable from the Yanks perspective.  Only bad can happen if he is elsewhere.  You could replace his talents but not him…he is one of the special ones…no analysis required…just enough money (what he thinks is enough).

  3. Is HIM really Ricky Henderson talking about himself in the third person? 

    A little strange to follow HIM but he is basically correct (except for saying Junior is an exception in older years & Mauer is what 27?)  Anyhow DJ is staying for more rings and he likely will  field the six position for another 3-5 years.  His defense was below when he came up, a bunch of average for the majority, but steller for the most recent years (only 8-9 E's is very impressive for 150+ games).  Ramson was to be stud with the glove and was way bad & Pena didn't stay around the bigs for those late inning replacements that we heard would happen with DJ, BECAUSE he was unbelievable with the glove and batted, by far, ABOVE ANY OTHER SS!  Who would they get?  Arod is not a given to go back (only a year younger than DJ, has fielded a lesser range position for years, & hip issues would be a concern), plus he hasn't won any gold gloves at third, has he?

  4. Jeter will be way overpaid, relative to what another team would offer.  Heck, the Yanks tried to overpay Damon.  They offered 2/14, and he's going to eventually sign at only 1/5 or so.

    IMHO if Jeter didn't sign with theYanks, he'd be evaluated as a non-shortstop and offered maybe 3/30.  Maybe a bit more, since he'd be a fan draw, at least at the beginning.  I can't see another team giving him more than 3 years or more than $40 million for a total contract.

    By comparison, writers I respect are guessing that the Yanks might offer as much as 4/100.   I love Jeter, but I'm hoping the Yanks can keep him without further damaging their ability to a field top team.  They're stuck with ARod's ridiculous contract.  I hope they don't wind up burdened with two ridiculous contracts.

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