Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Yankees will pay Jeter despite his struggles

There's no need to worry about Derek Jeter's finances. He will be paid handsomely this offseason despite his baffling offensive struggles.

It's shocking to look at the stats page and see Jeter only hitting .266 with a .332 on-base percentage, well below his .314 and .385 career numbers. But he has scored 92 runs so he is making the most of his fewer opportunities on base.

In past years, when Jeter entered a prolonged slump, we usually found out later it was because of some injury that we didn't know about at the time because Jeter refuses to sit or even acknowledge that he is hurt. While I have no doubt he's playing a little banged up this year too, I wonder whether the slump is attributable to his age, whether at 36 Jeter has entered a period in his baseball career where he simply shouldn't be playing shortstop every day. It's a little hard to make that argument when his defense has been so good recently, highlighted by a 52-game errorless streak (with some help from fellow Gold Glover Mark Teixeira). But the human body was not meant for the pain associated with playing 160+ baseball games every year, especially at age 36.

Assuming he is still the New York Yankees manager next year, Joe Girardi will have to be firm with his shortstop and sit him down once a week, no matter how much he protests. Or maybe Jeter will have to be the designated hitter twice a week. Whatever he decides, Girardi is going to have to figure out a way to get Jeter some rest.

But first Jeter and Brian Cashman will discuss the Yankee Captain's worth. Despite the general manager's love of numbers, I don't think he's going to low ball Jeter based on this season. I fully expect him to offer Jeter $20-$25 million over three or four years, perhaps with the caveat that Jeter has to start a transition to the outfield.

As long as the offer is fair, Jeter will accept. It would take a real insulting offer from the Yankees for Jeter to bail on his dream of ending his career in pinstripes.

No comments:

Post a Comment