Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The End of Derek Jeter?


The 2013 season was a very difficult one for the New York Yankees and it wasn’t just because they failed to make the playoffs for only the second time in about twenty years. They had to say goodbye to two Yankee icons, Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte. The only remaining member of the “Core Four” is Derek Jeter. However, it is likely that 2014 will be Jeter’s last.

Derek Jeter has been a staple in the Yankees lineup for so many years so it’s hard to imagine a lineup without his name near the top. Unfortunately, 2013 gave us a  harsh reality of  what is soon to come. First off,  let’s take a quick look back at Jeter’s 2013 season.

After breaking his ankle in Game 1  of the A.L.C.S. in 2012, Jeter vowed to be back by 2013′s Opening Day. However, while rehabbing, he suffered a crack in the same area and would be out until the All-Star Break. He returned on July 11th, only to land back on the disabled list after just one game with a quadriceps strain. He returned again on July 28th but by August 5th, he was gone again. This time with a calf strain. Jeter would briefly return in early September but after feeling discomfort in his ankle. He would be moved to the disabled list for the third time on September 11th, thus ending his season.

Jeter would miss 145 games in 2013 which is by far his worst season physically. Between 1996-2012, Jeter only missed 184 games which means he would play an average of 151 games per season during that span. Another red flag is his age. Jeter will turn 40 in June and when you add that in with his constant injury issues of 2013, it is clear that age has caught up to him. His body just can’t handle the daily grind of a baseball season anymore. The Yankees know this very well and gave a pretty obvious sign that points to this upcoming season being the final year of Derek Jeter’s Hall of Fame career.

Derek Jeter had a player option that would pay him $9.5 million for 2014. Based off his 2013 season, this would be a complete no brainer for Jeter. Many people believed that Jeter would easily accept his option after the 2013 season he had. Shockingly, the Yankees and Jeter renegotiated and came to an agreement on a 1-year $12 million deal.

The Yankees have made the $189 million payroll threshold such a priority, it was a surprise to see him get this contract, even if he is Derek Jeter. When you read between the lines, the Yankees obviously didn’t offer him this contract based on performance, they offered it to him as a thank you for all the great years. We have been witnessing Derek Jeter’s downfall and the Yankees know this. They also know there will likely be no coming back from this. You won’t hear this from the Yankees and you definitely won’t hear this from Derek Jeter. However, enjoy every second of Derek Jeter’s playing time in 2014 because we will probably not see it again.

Tags: AL East Andy Pettitte Derek Jeter Featured Mariano Rivera New York Yankees News Popular

  • BrooklynPaulie

    Jeter’s option was actually a player option so he was going to exercise it. By agreeing not to exercise it and then signing his current one year deal, the team actually lowered their luxury tax liability. The AAV on his previous contract (including the final year player option) was higher than the new one year contract he just signed. Giving the additional money to Jeter had more to do with the organization’s bottom line than respect for the player…although it helped them avoid the PR nightmare of his previous contract negotiations.

    • Shawn Maguire

      Great pick up! It was a player option, you are correct. However, Major League Baseball informed the Yankees that changes to the latest labor agreement will not allow a Luxury Tax break for this new deal for Jeter. Thanks for Reading!

      • roylevine

        what changes are you talking about in the CBA?

  • Corethree

    Must be a slow day at the old sports desk huh?? Whatever Jeter did or didn’t do in 2013 has nothing to do with 2014. The end.

    • Shawn Maguire

      What happened in 2013 has everything to do with 2014 when you are a forty year old shortstop whose body clearly can’t handle the season anymore. As much as no one wants to, it is time to face the music. Of course Jeter can maybe bounce back but he is 40 and did not just have one injury problem in 2013, he had multiple unrelated injuries. His body is breaking down.

      • roylevine

        All of his injuries were related to his fracture at the end of the 2012 season

      • roylevine

        he went into 2013 without any offseason lower body work. Jeter has been working intensively during offseasons on his lower body since around 2009, when his range began to slip. He was on the field in 2013 unable to plant his legs. Either he is now well or he is not. You are just entering into idle speculation as to what he can do in 2014, based on a continuum of 2013. When the Yankees are going into 2014 with Brian Roberts and Kelly Johnson at 2B and 3B, whose to say that Jeter at SS is not better than either of those choices. There are a lot of teams that would field Jeter at SS in 2014. The cramps and pulls and second fracture are indicative of wanting to get back onto the field too soon in 2013 without real offseason work.

        • Shawn Maguire

          Honestly, you make a great point and I do hope your right. At forty though, I can only imagine what the wear and tear must do to his body. Even when he says he is healthy, he usually is not and tried to play through pain as you and I both know. If he does remain on the field in 2014 which hopefully will be the case, I just cannot see his numbers comparing to typical Derek Jeter numbers. It is a long way back from where he is and was in 2013 and although I hope he does make it back as the same Jeter, I think at this point it is either he will not stay healthy or he does and his number see a decline. You do make very good points though.

  • JoeDaBeast

    Just waiting for the retirement announcement so that he can get the same type of farewell that Mariano Rivera received.

    • roylevine

      I was pretty tired of the Mariano retirement by September. Contrast his retirement with that of Andy Pettitte. I preferred the latter. Some days it seemed that Steiner Sports was running the endless gala.

      • JoeDaBeast

        Then you’re definitely not a fan of Mo. Each team showing their appreciation of a man playing the game the right way, fittingly the last player to wear #42 in remembrance of Jackie Robinson.

        • roylevine

          I am as much a fan of MO as the next guy. I just got tired of the adjulation.

          • JoeDaBeast

            And I’m sure he was too, especially seeing the Cheshire Cat grin on his face when most got used to his stoic look. Check out what Mo did behind the scenes at every town he went to on the YES Network show “Being Mo”

          • roylevine

            Joe, this went well beyond the retirements of Mattingly, Guidry, Mantle, Ford. Just a bigger than life excess the Yankees like to make everything now. This is why they have a contract with ARod for $6M as he passes, Mays, 700 milestone, and then Bond. Remember how they hyped Jeter’s 3,000th hit? Every time I look at the plaque of George Steinbrenner in monument park, dwarfing that of Mantle, I just want to barf.

          • JoeDaBeast

            I guess you fail to realize that the “Yankees way” of doing things is the measuring stick that the rest of the league tries to achieve. The bonuses offered to ARod is called an INCENTIVE. If he comes close to those milestones, do you have any idea how much revenue the team will make off of it? $6M will be a drop in the bucket compared to that. It is called a business decision. And if he is suspended for the 211 games, he will not make those milestones and the Yankees keep that money. And George’s monument SHOULD be larger than Mantle’s due to all of the work that George did in the Metro area AND Florida that is NOT publicized. For such an “in your face” type of person in the press, he was like that only about the team and the sport of baseball. There was tons of things he did behind the scenes that many have no clue about.

          • roylevine

            I fail to realize a lot of things that you realize, Joe. Almost everything. There is no market now for ARod’s milestones. Maybe you want a mass-produced plaque commemorating ARod, passing Mays, 700 HRs, Ruth or Bond. Is there anyone else? Steinbrenner was suspended from baseball twice. First for illegal campaign contributions. Then for undermining David Winfield’s foundation. Mantle was the greatest ballplayer for around eight years. Steinbrenner, fielded a team that outspent anyone and could not reach the postseason from 1982 through 1994. Look it up. It was only when he let people like Gene Michaels and Gabe Paul run the team that they turned the corner. Steinbrenner lived long enough to see some adulation and success, but he had a long and miserable path to that point. Anyway, that plaque that dwarfs Jacob Ruppert, popes, Mantle, Ford, etc does not speak to “behind the scenes.” Joe, you disappoint me.

          • JoeDaBeast

            Your failure to realize the things I do is your cross to bear, not mine, and your disappointment would really hurt me if I really cared what you thought.

          • roylevine

            “Fail to realize” is a comment that you made first. George Steinbrenner was a very flawed figure. Not to say that Mantle was not. I am well aware of Steinbrenner’s good deeds. What do you think if the new stadium?

          • JoeDaBeast

            We are all flawed my friend and I never said that George was a saint. I’m ashamed to admit that I have yet to enter the new stadium. Growing up in Queens, I attended more games at Shea than the Bronx.

  • roylevine

    Shawn, in all fairness, in 2012, Jeter played in 159 games and led the league in plate appearances. He had a total WAR of 3.0, which balanced great offense with his usual poor defense (based on range). If he has the same type of year in 2014 as 2013, he should be back. Also, it was well reported that the Yankees restructure of his 2014 strategy helped their luxury tax numbers, even though at $12M, he was receiving more than his $9M+ option. Apparently not picking up the option helped with AAV numbers.

    • Shawn Maguire

      I agree to an extent but the big question was how will Jeter’s body respond after a major injury like that ending his 2012 and his body did not respond well. It continued to fall apart throughout the season. Sure, maybe Jeter will be healthy in 2014 but if you think he is ever going to hit .315 with 15 homers and 70 RBIs again, you’re crazy. Also it does not help their luxury tax, I tried to post a link that explains it but it will not post but look into it on google and you will see what I mean

  • Shawn Maguire

    Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to read the article whether you agree with it or not, I really really appreciate it. Go Yankees!

  • JanBiddeford

    Shawn, in fairness to you – I’ve never read any of your pieces prior to this. Much like RG3 – in Derek Jeter we witnessed an athlete that wanted to be on the field when his mates – Rivera and Pettite played their last games. Jeter’s injury needed to take 6-9 months to fully heel – and he nor the Yankees acted responsibly.

    I don;t know where you come up with the idea his body is gone – all of his injuries were related to his trying to compensate for his ankle.

    Likewise if you’re a fan where is the evidence that his skills set is gone. We’re not talking abt an A-Rod who can’t really make contact anymore – I’d still sign Jeter as a backup SS and who better to get on base in a key spot?

    • Shawn Maguire

      I don’t think his skill set is completely gone, by I think we will see diminished numbers. Not .250 bad but maybe .275 or .280 and for a guy who doesn’t hit homeruns and can’t steal bases anymore, that’s a big deal but as for who would you want up in a key situation, you are right with Jeter. Obviously no one more clutch.