The Yankees Free Agent Attraction Debate Verdict

December 21, 2010

Read the opposing arguments from Loyal Homer and Babe Ruthless.

There are many different prophecies of those things that will signal the end times – falling skies, boiling seas, broken seals, death riding on a pale horse, dogs and cats living together, MASS HYSTERIA!

The Yankees failing to sign any of their top free agent targets did not make the list, though, so all you fans of the Bronx Bombers can rest easy tonight. Michael Stipe will not be singing his anthem song.

It is true that the Yankees were dealt a very difficult sucker-punch in the ego region as they were turned down (or perhaps not even considered) by both Cliff Lee and Carl Crawford, but as Babe Ruthless points out in his winning argument, this should not be taken at anything more than face value.

Because of unique circumstances, the New York Yankees were not the preferred destination for two baseball players. Nothing more, nothing less.

Don’t get me wrong. Loyal Homer is absolutely correct in stating that everyone (including us) expected the Yankees to land at least one big fish. The fact that they failed to do so this year raises questions about the allure the Yankees actually possess. But I just do not believe that you can allow the admittedly surprising decisions of two athletes to serve as a generalization of shifting tides in Major League Baseball.

There are two “usual” reasons that drive a free agent toward choosing one team over another – money, or the promise of a championship. Realistically speaking, are the New York Yankees lacking in either of those arenas?

As far as money is concerned, the Yankees have proven that they are still the standard bearers. They offered Cliff Lee a far more lucrative deal than the Phillies did, but as Babe Ruthless highlights, it became evident that money was not the most important factor in Cliff Lee weighing his options. Meanwhile, in terms of championship contention the Yankees still remain a favorite every year for the post-season. They are only one year removed from a World Series championship, and last year entered the ALCS as favorites to once again represent their League in the World Series.

The reasons why Crawford and Lee chose to play elsewhere this year are certainly intriguing, and I would recommend that Brian Cashman head back to the drawing board to analyze exactly where they went wrong. The business manager in me believes that there is ALWAYS room for improvement, and this could serve as a critical learning opportunity for a team that perhaps allowed arrogance to make them lazy in their pursuit of people who they REALLY wanted. But there is absolutely no reason to believe that it signifies a shift in the free agent mindset.

For any top-tier baseball free agent with a desire to earn a RIDICULOUS salary while at the same time contending ANNUALLY for a championship, the New York Yankees will continue to play the role of the alpha male.

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The Yankees Free Agent Attraction Debate

December 20, 2010

Read the opposing arguments from Loyal Homer and Babe Ruthless.

Allow me to apologize on behalf of all of us here at The Sports Debates for breaking the first rule of clichés.

That’s right – we assumed. And you all know what happens when someone assumes…

So, what is it that we assumed? Well, we assumed that the Yankees would get AT LEAST Carl Crawford or Cliff Lee in free agency this off-season, if not both of them.

As it turns out, we were wrong.

With Carl Crawford now playing in Fenway, and Cliff Lee returning to the city of brotherly love, the Yankees are for the first time in a long time watching their truckloads of money come back to the Bronx with their deliveries refused.

This very shocking turn of free agency events begs a new and unexpected question: Are the post-George Steinbrenner Yankees still the main destination point for free agents in baseball?

Yankees’ money used to mean something in baseball, but this year the top free agents left millions of that money on the table to play elsewhere. Loyal Homer believes that this is a sign that market tides are shifting in baseball and free agents are looking for more than just chasing the Yankee dollar. Babe Ruthless, however, feels this off-season was an anomaly and that the Yankees are still the premier destination point for free agents.

Before we begin, though, I want to offer a bit of advice to both our debaters. Unlike Cliff Lee and Carl Crawford, I CAN be bought for a truckload of money.

Begin…

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The Yankees Free Agent Attraction Debate… Money Doesn’t Buy Free Agents Anymore

December 20, 2010

Read the opposing argument from Babe Ruthless.

‘Tis the season to be jolly!!! Unfortunately, I’m not sure how jolly it is from a baseball standpoint for New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman. First, Carl Crawford decided to take his talents to Beamtown, and then last week, Cliff Lee, long rumored to be destined for the Bronx (I even wrote about the need for Lee last month) decided to return to the city of Brotherly Love to pitch for the Phillies. This is quite the change from yesteryear, when the Yankees seemingly had no trouble whatsoever getting any free agent they wanted. That was then, this is now. Cashman is supposed to play Santa this time of year, and right now, Santa isn’t delivering.

Bleacher Fan is asking the Babe and myself if New York is no longer the main destination for free agents, and I would have to say that it really isn’t the main destination.

The school of thought used to be, “Well if the Yankees want him, they’ll get him.” We all thought that was possibly the case while watching Lee pitch this post-season. We’ve let these types of thoughts enter our minds because as we often say, “they’re the Yankees.” They have the biggest wallets. They have the biggest fan base. They have the most history. They have the pinstripes. Well, this off-season, they have the most egg on their face.

Why, is a good question here. With Lee, the Yankees went to seven years in contract value for a pitcher that is currently 32 years old. Various reports had Lee bypassing close to $30M to pitch in Philadelphia rather than in New York. That really is astonishing if you think about it. Perhaps playing for the Yankees doesn’t have the same allure that is used to. I’m sure Babe Ruthless and other diehard Yankees fans truly don’t believe that, but it could be on the verge of being true. Part of the reason the Yankees are so polarizing is because the average fan feels like they try to buy the World Series. I’ve said that numerous times over the years with all of their high profile free agent signings of guys like Alex Rodriguez, Mark Texiera, C.C. Sabathia, Jason Giambi, etc. If they don’t get all the high profile guys anymore (and they didn’t this off-season), and have to settle for guys like Russell Martin and an older Mark Prior, then maybe they truly are losing a little bit of steam.

And then there’s the incident that was rumored to have happened in the ALCS this past off-season at Yankee Stadium involving Lee’s wife, Kristen. She was harassed repeatedly at Yankee Stadium, with beer tossed in her direction and obscenities shouted at her throughout much of the night. Now, fans will be fans, and that’s all well and good and part of it. But to treat a player’s wife like that is unacceptable, and that kind of behavior can’t sit well with ANY player. Now, both Lee and his wife downplayed the incident last week and said it had no bearing on his decision to not sign with the Yankees. I just have a hard time believing that the issues from this past post-season never entered into the picture.

The bottom line is that the Yankees have lost their grip as THE main destination for free agent. It’s no longer a given that the Yankees’ organization will get every marquee free agent it wants. This off-season has proven that, and Babe Ruthless, I hate to tell you buddy, but it’s not going to get any better for you anytime soon!
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The Who Should the Yankees Sign Debate Verdict

November 8, 2010

Read the opposing arguments from Bleacher Fan and Loyal Homer.

While the post-season celebration in the City by the Bay may finally start cooling off, the old Hot Stove is just heating up. Mere days removed from the San Francisco Giants World Series championship, some 29 other teams are already thinking about how to unseat the Giants during the 2011 season.

With huge contracts and blockbuster deals in the works, the baseball landscape as we know it could be in for a major overall. The actions in the days to come serves as a crucial indicator for the upcoming season as teams make statements about their willingness to compete or rebuild by being buyers or sellers on the off-season market. It is during this pivotal time that championship contenders are made. This is a very exciting time for a baseball obsessed seam-heads like myself, but especially so for Yankees’ fans in particular.

The Yanks are already making waves with high profile drama about the anxiety ridden task of finding an appropriate deal for the Yankees captain, Derek Jeter. But the Bombers will not be content to just sit on their laurels and re-sign core players. This season is about reloading. Now, deciding which free agents and players on the trading block are worth the asking price, and which players are the next overpaid (yeah I’m talking to you Javier Vasquez and Carl Pavano), is the necessity of the time.

There has been much speculation that the Yankees will make a run at acquiring Cliff Lee and Carl Crawford. While the Yankees have the economic resources to sign both players (not to mention pay off a good portion of the national deficit while they are at it), today’s debate explores the hypothetical scenario of: If the Yankees could only sign one person between free agent pitcher Cliff Lee and free agent outfielder Carl Crawford, who should the team sign?

Bleacher Fan provided what can be aptly called a thorough argument for the Yankees to sign free agent left fielder Carl Crawford. His main premise hinged on the fact that while the addition of Lee would be nice, it was not necessary. I have to admit that I wasn’t completely convinced that the need for another top tier pitcher would be entirely superfluous, but his description of the advantages of adding Crawford to the Yankees’ lineup were undeniable.

The Yankees have clearly been moving towards a more all around athletic club. This ascension of players, like Brett Gardner and Curtis Granderson, are proof enough of that, and Crawford fits that mold perfectly. He brings the speed of the former with the power of the latter. Not to mention the best fielding in the AL. It is tough to argue with the attractiveness of adding a player like that, but Loyal Homer was more than willing to give it a try.

Loyal Homer made a strong case for the New York Yankees to acquire free agent pitching phenom Cliff Lee. As is often the case in Yankee Universe, the team has become enamored with a player that has dominating success against the Yankees. As Loyal Homer adeptly points out, Lee nearly single handedly eliminated the Yankees from the playoffs, and if that doesn’t qualify as success against a given team then I don’t know what does. This has no doubt made him an all the more attractive option for the Bombers. Add to that the fact that the Yankees made a huge push for Lee and failed to land him before the trade deadline, and we are talking about team wants Lee more than Brett Favre wants attention.

Aside from C.C. Sabathia, the Yankees’ rotation is about as stable as a Milton Bradley meltdown. Phil Hughes and A.J. Burnett are both hot and cold pitchers that cannot be counted on during the post-season. As Loyal Homer’s observes, Andy Pettite’s Brett Favre-esque “will he or won’t he” retirement melodrama only serves to further undermine the stability of the rotation. So it’s clear that acquiring Lee would be a great first step in shoring up a beleaguered rotation, not to mention providing them with a great one-two punch in the post-season.

What ultimately determined the outcome of this debate was a statement Loyal Homer made about what might have been if the Yankees acquired Lee in July, rather than see him slip to the Rangers.

We all know that scenario actually played out – with Texas beating the Yankees in six games and going on to their first World Series in franchise history – but Loyal Homer’s hypothetical scenario got me thinking about how the 2010 post-season would have played out with Lee in pinstripes. The Yankees probably would still have beaten the Twins, and would probably handled a Lee-less Rangers rotation with relative ease. But would the World Series have proven any better for the Yankees than it did for the Rangers?

I have to believe it would not.

Lee proved less effective in the World Series, and that was with a much hotter offense than the Yankees displayed this October. Although Lee’s presence would undeniably make the Yankees a better team, there is no proof that it would have made the Yankees into World Series champs. In fact, the evidence points to the contrary. Crawford, on the other hand, packs more potential. Based off of the numbers that Bleacher Fan presented, it seems likely that Crawford’s potent bat behind Derek Jeter would certainly prove more effective. It could even have a trickledown effect providing relief to the rest of the lineup by bumping a bigger bat like Nick Swisher further back in the order and removing questionable DHs like Marcus Thames altogether. While Crawford isn’t a sure thing (because really, who is besides Mariano Rivera) he has more potential upside given his track record. That’s why I’m awarding this debate win to the Bleacher Fan. While I don’t have a fat contract offer for you, you have my congratulations and another notch in the victory column.

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The Who Should the Yankees Sign Debate

November 8, 2010

Read the opposing arguments from Bleacher Fan and Loyal Homer.

Anyone familiar with baseball knows that for the New York Yankees, their season does not even begin until October. Other clubs may desperately seek to make the playoffs or even have a winning record. But for the Yankees, each season that does not result in a World Series championship is, by, definition a failure.

Although the Yankees made it to the ALCS and posted 2010’s ,third best record 95 wins and 67 losses – only bettered by the Philadelphia Phillies (97-65) and the Tampa Bay Rays (96-66) – it will be counted a failure because the Yankees did not accomplish what they set out to do. Now Brian Cashman and company will set out to make a plan to bring home the next title, perhaps without the decade long wait this time.

Today, however, The Sports Debates enter the realm of the fantastic as we explore a hypothetical scenario – what if the New York Yankees had a limited supply of money?

As ludicrous as that proposition may be, it is somewhat plausible considering the Yankees enter a new era with different Steinbrenners at the helm. So what should the Yankees do if they only have the funds to sign one big name player this off-season? Which bring us to the debate at hand: If the Yankees can only sign one person between pitcher Cliff Lee and outfielder Carl Crawford, who should they sign?

Obviously the Yankees have a penchant for chasing guys who get in their way in the post-season (see Jason Giambi, Carl Pavano, and Randy Johnson). Likewise, we all know that pitching wins championships and Cliff Lee is unquestionably an ace. But this debate is no open and shut case. It was not New York’s pitching that looked the most vulnerable this past post-season, rather the lack of punch in the offense. The Texas Rangers outscored the usually potent, but suddenly anemic, Yankees offense in the ALCS. Adding the speed, quality glove, and capable bat of Crawford could also be exactly what the Yankees need in 2011.

It is up to Loyal Homer to make an argument that proves Cliff Lee is the more important target this off-season while Bleacher Fan will make a case that Carl Crawford should capture the hot stove attention of the Bronx Bombers.

As an obvious Yankees fanatic, I can hardly wait to hear these arguments. Gentlemen, let’s “Play Ball!”

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The Who Should the Yankees Sign Debate… Cliff Lee is a Luxury, Carl Crawford is a Necessity

November 8, 2010

Read the opposing argument from Loyal Homer.

I can absolutely see the attraction that Cliff Lee holds as a free agent, and from the New York Yankees’ perspective, Cliff Lee is basically the reason their season ended in October rather than November. To be able to add a pitcher like Lee to the Yankees rotation would absolutely be a major plus, but if Brian Cashman and the Yankees organization are afforded the ability to only sign one free agent this off-season, then Carl Crawford should be the primary target.

This is a simple question of need versus want for the Bronx Bombers.

Do they NEED another pitching ace? In short – no.

C.C. Sabathia remains one of the frontrunners to win the AL Cy Young Award AGAIN for his performance in 2010. He was the only 20-game winner in the American League this past season, and at a pricey $25M per season, he is the undeniable anchor of the Yankees’ pitching rotation.

If the Yankees were to sign Lee, he would become a luxurious complement to Sabathia, but he would neither supplant nor replace Sabathia as the top pitcher in the Yanks’ rotation. As much as the Yankees may enjoy opening up the check book, I don’t think they NEED to pay upwards of $150M for a number-two pitcher.

Now, left field in New York is a different story.

Brett Gardner had a decent season in left, but this is an area where they could absolutely use an upgrade. Enter, Carl Crawford.

At the plate, Crawford is exponentially more productive than Gardner. In 2010, his average was 30 points higher, and he racked up 52 more hits, 14 more home runs, and 43 more RBI than did Gardner.

Just imagine Crawford at the plate in pinstripes, batting behind, say, Derek Jeter (who I am confident the Yankees will re-sign). Yankee Stadium is a home run paradise for left-handed hitters, which should inflate Crawford’s home run total, and Jeter will give Crawford many more RBI opportunities than Jason Bartlett, Tampa’s leadoff hitter. As for those at-bats where Crawford doesn’t go yard, his base-running ability will be another huge boost for the Yankees, who have hitters like Mark Teixeira, Nick Swisher, Alex Rodriguez, or Robinson Cano to move him around the bases.

The best lineup in baseball just got better. Oh yeah, did I mention that Crawford provides an upgrade in the field as well?

Gardner may have only committed one error in the field for the Yankees last season, but Crawford’s speed, range, and athleticism make him a much better defensive left fielder, especially when paired with Curtis Granderson in center field.

Crawford, who is in line for his first career Gold Glove award this season, led all left fielders with a range factor of 2.24, and his 306 put-outs were second only to Juan Pierre (307) of the Chicago White Sox.

The addition of Carl Crawford to the New York Yankees further solidifies their positioning as the best lineup in baseball, and elevates their outfield into the ranks of being the best defensive trio in the league.

Any way you look at it, Carl Crawford IMPROVES the Yankees, while Cliff Lee only COMPLEMENTS them.

If Hal Steinbrenner signs only one free agent this off-season, it had better be Carl Crawford!

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The Who Should the Yankees Sign Debate… A Glaring Need For Lee

November 8, 2010

Read the opposing argument from Bleacher Fan.

It’s no secret that the New York Yankees are going to attempt to make a big splash after failing to even make the World Series in 2010. Obvious weaknesses were shown on this season’s team and that’s why they made a big push in July to acquire pitcher Cliff Lee. They knew back then holes existed in the pitching rotation. Those holes didn’t go anywhere in the closing months of the regular season. Facing Lee in the ALCS against the Rangers was a painful reminder of what could have been for the 2010 Yankees. The Yankees saw firsthand how dominant Lee could be, and with problems still remaining in the starting rotation, I believe signing Cliff Lee should be a higher priority than signing Carl Crawford.

The Yankees have one of the top pitchers in baseball in C.C. Sabathia, who happens to be a former teammate of Lee’s from their days in Cleveland. Sabathia very well could be named the American League Cy Young winner later this month. But that’s where the stability ends in the Yankee rotation.

On the surface, it looks like the number two spot in the rotation is nailed down with Phil Hughes. After all, Hughes did win 18 games this past season. But he struggled somewhat in the second half of the season and after the All-Star break was just 7-6 with an ERA of 4.90. In the post-season he totally blew up with an ERA of 6.32, and he took two losses in the ALCS loss to the Rangers. Andy Pettitte, a stalwart of all of these dominant Yankees teams, has finally (maybe) let that retirement age catch up to him. He’s entering the off-season unsure of whether or not he will be pitching next year (haven’t we heard this before with him? Haven’t we heard this before in another sport?). And A.J. Burnett? My goodness, where do we begin? His two years since signing that ridiculous contract have been a huge disappointment to say the least, especially this season. A 10-15 record with an ERA of 5.26 will get you skipped over in the rotation in the first round of the playoffs every time, and that’s what happened to Mr. Burnett. In his one start in the ALCS, he took the loss by giving up five runs in six innings, though I admittedly thought his line looked worse than he actually pitched. Still, this is unacceptable for what he is getting paid. And Javier Vazquez? Does the word “bust” come to mind? The bottom line is that this rotation desperately needs Cliff Lee.

What all of Major League Baseball saw this post-season was the domination by the San Francisco Giants and their starting rotation. Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, and Madison Bumgarner gave everyone a blueprint to follow on how to win a championship. By combining Lee with Sabathia, general manager Brian Cashman knows he would have two front line starters that would make the Yankees extremely difficult to beat in a short series, regardless of what the rest of his rotation looks like. As Cashman said after being eliminated by the Rangers, “It’s always pitching. Pitching is the key to the kingdom, which is why you try to collect as much of it as you can.”

Cashman obviously agrees with me because apparently the Yankees have apparently already contacted Lee’s agent. They need Lee much more than they need Carl Crawford. Pitching wins championships. The Giants just proved that, and that’s where the Yankees want to be.

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The Resigning Derek Jeter Debate Verdict

October 26, 2010

Read the opposing arguments from Loyal Homer and Babe Ruthless.

Although I don’t live in New York, I can only imagine that the wind tunnel of New York sports talk radio is directing its gale-force winds directly at Yankee Stadium and the Yankees’ brain trust. New York sports fans are famously outspoken, and in my experience, Yankees fans take that to heights beyond the fans of other NYC-area franchises. We decided, though, we’d help out Brian Cashman and make his decision for him. So, Mr. Cashman, read our decision for you and feel free to send our tiny consulting fee whenever it’s appropriate. Thanks… and now to the verdict.

Loyal Homer made a very compelling statistical argument that Jeter is certainly not the player he was at the beginning of his 10-year contract. Indeed, he may not be the same player he was just last season. He also, at least in my mind, successfully parried the point made by many Jeter aficionados that he is well worth the money and a lengthy contract because he could eventually become a DH for the Yankees. Loyal Homer points out that Jeter’s declining statistics may not portend the kind of offense the Yankees would like to see out of the DH spot when Jeter gives up his spot at shortstop.

Where Loyal Homer began to lose me, however, was when he stated that financial considerations may enter into the equation for the Yankees. While I could see the two parties squabbling over the length of the contract and things of that nature, I cannot imagine the Yankees playing the “Hey Derek, we don’t have the money” card. Even facing an off-season with some moves to be made, I cannot imagine the money machine that is the New York Yankees and YES Network running out and forcing the club to kick Mr. November to the curb.

After wiping the slobber off my copy of Babe Ruthless’ argument I began to examine some of the points he made. He writes, “Derek Jeter is worth every penny the Yankees shell out for him and more.” While I don’t disagree that he was, I’m not convinced that he is. Loyal Homer brought some statistical analysis to the table that seemed, in my mind, to be superior to Babe Ruthless’ breathless opinion. Later in his post, Babe refuted a semi-scientific fielding effectiveness study by implying the originators of the study brought some undisclosed bias to the table. While I’m not saying that’s impossible, I needed more than Babe’s opinion to counteract the statistics brought to the table by Loyal Homer.

When Babe Ruthless started talking about Jeter’s legendary status, however, I began to tilt my verdict in his favor. While I am not sure that Jeter’s legend is quite as bright outside New York as it is inside New York, there is no doubt that he is one of the greatest Yankees of all time. More importantly, the Yankees deal in legends – it is the backbone of the organization. They are rightly regarded as the greatest franchise in baseball and, simply put, they are not going to kick a guy to the curb who is going to have a plaque in Monument Park. While there may be some public sniping, I truly believe the Yankees will do what it takes to put Jeter in pinstripes for the rest of his career – and they should.

While I would regard Babe’s victory here as more of a scorecard win than a knockout, a W is a W and an L is an L. Congrats, Babe, and watch in the mail for your victory prize – three free therapy sessions with 30 Rock’s Dr. Leo Spaceman to cure the man crush you have on Derek Jeter. Enjoy!

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The Resigning Derek Jeter Debate

October 25, 2010

Read the opposing arguments from Loyal Homer and Babe Ruthless.

It will be an interesting offseason for Yankees’ fans. While I’m sure many of them are currently weeping and gnashing teeth at their ALCS exit and spotty bullpen, a potentially more significant decision looms on the horizon for the Bronx Bombers.

The face of the franchise, Derek Jeter, just completed the final year of a 10-year, $189M contract. General manager Brian Cashman and the boys will be doing a lot of soul-searching over this off-season to find the right contract to keep Jeter in pinstripes without damaging the franchise’s financial ability to acquire more high-priced talent.

Thankfully, we at the Sports Debates are here to help the Yankees’ front office. We will debate the question of whether or not Jeter deserves a similar contract to his last one, a contract that pays tribute to his consistent on-field production as well as his stature as one of the greatest Yankees of all time, or a smaller contract tied to the fact that he is a 36-year-old playing a position often reserved for younger ballplayers.

Babe Ruthless will be arguing that Jeter deserves another big contract because of everything he has given and continues to give the Yankees franchise. Loyal Homer will argue that Jeter deserves a smaller contract due to his age and some aspects of his play. May the best man win!

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The Resigning Derek Jeter Debate… Time to Move on From the Jeter Era

October 25, 2010

Read the opposing argument from Babe Ruthless.

Much to the dismay of Fox executives (but to the delight of a lot of fans), the New York Yankees were eliminated by the Texas Rangers Friday night in the ALCS. That quick dismissal brought to the forefront a lot of questions that many Yankees fans have been debating amongst themselves all season long.

Today, we’re tackling that big elephant in the room that has been hovering pretty much all season. What to do with Yankees captain and franchise face Derek Jeter, whose ten year, $189M contract has just expired? The Yankees organization has an extremely difficult and sensitive decision to make regarding the face of the Yankees. But in the interests of putting the best team on the field, the team must move on and cut ties with Derek Jeter.

No one, least of all me, is diminishing what Jeter has accomplished in his time in pinstripes. He’s a first ballot Hall of Famer and when history looks back on this era of the Yankees, #2 will be the number that is remembered first. Heck, looking back at the steroid era, he’s one of the “clean” faces of baseball during that time, he of the Velcro-strap gloves. But let’s look at what’s happened in 2010, his contract year.

He finished the regular season hitting .270 with 10 home runs and 67 RBI. No, those numbers don’t belong to Marco Scutaro. They belong to Derek Jeter. Keep in mind that Jeter plays 81 games a season in the boom box known as Yankee Stadium. His slugging percentage of .370 was near the bottom of the team for much of the season. Both the average and the slugging percentage were easily the lowest of his career as a starter. Is that what you want from your leadoff hitter? Is that what you want to throw big time dollars at?

It should also be noted that Jeter is 36-years old, which makes him the oldest starting shortstop in baseball. He still has a solid glove, as he made only six errors this season, but you have to wonder how long his body will hold up to play such a physically demanding position. Will his legs allow him to cover the ground and be the shortstop that we’ve grown up seeing since he broke in as a rookie in 1996? Or will he be forced to move into a DH position two to three years down the road and play out the string in a designated hitter with the Yankees… or some other team? Is he the guy you really want as a designated hitter? In theory, you’d like to have your designated hitter to be a big popper. Jeter doesn’t fit that description.

While I know the word “budget” rarely enters the equation when discussing the Yankees, the Yankees did prove in the 2010 ALCS that they have some holes on the team. With the exception of basically one inning they were thoroughly dominated for much of the series. The bats were quieted as the team only hit .201 in the ALCS. Money will be obligated to go get another hitter, surely. And you can bet they are going to throw BIG time money at Cliff Lee. At some point, even the Yankees have to draw a line in the sand and say enough is enough.

No one is dismissing what Jeter is accomplishing, least of all me. But in this “win at all costs era,” the cost is Jeter’s time in the Bronx. It’s time to go.

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