Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Too early for Reyes for Jeter talk

Derek Jeter has only been on the disabled list for about 24 hours and already people want to replace him with Jose Reyes.

Sure, Reyes is having a career year while Jeter is definitely not. But these folks want to ignore the fact that this career resurgence for Reyes is happening during his walk year and that there have long been questions about his work ethic (unlike Jeter whose work ethic has never been questioned, except once by George Steinbrenner, who was looking to pick a fight).

Reyes meanwhile has spent much of his career on the disabled list. The supposedly ancient Jeter is making his first stay on the list since 2003, when his shoulder was dislocated in that horrific collision at third base on Opening Day. The obvious comeback is that Reyes seems to be in the best shape of his career, but I wonder how long that will continue after he signs a lucrative, multi-year deal.

Never mind that the New York Yankees would then have a $17 million back-up shortstop in Jeter and that they will have to pay him that money for another two years, with his $8 million option after that, on top of whatever they would have to pay for Reyes’ services. Sure, the Yankees can afford it. But what do they do with Jeter when he gets back? Do you think he’s going to be happy being forced to suddenly become a full-time designated hitter, a move that will only add to the chaos when the Yankees sit or release Jorge Posada for Jeter to take that stop? They’re not going to have him start playing the outfield in the middle of the baseball season. Seriously, what’s the answer for Jeter if he’s not the shortstop this season? Not so surprisingly, the Reyes advocates do not have an answer for that one.

Will the Yankees have to replace Jeter at shortstop? Absolutely, perhaps as early as next year. As Ian O’Connor’s biography makes clear, Jeter understands that he will probably not be able to play shortstop into his late 30s, but he will have to have a say in when he gives up the only job he ever wanted (a right Jeter has earned) rather than being forced to the bench. To suggest that the Yankees should take advantage of Jeter’s injury to give his job to Reyes, or even Eduardo Nunez, is premature at best and really insulting and disrespectful to Jeter.

No comments:

Post a Comment