Face of the Franchise is a bit of an arbitrary thing, however, it does impact things like value of players when they sign contracts. For the New York Yankees, since the late 1990′s through right now, the face of the franchise has been Derek Jeter. He’s the captain, and hes got the rings to back it up. Jeter’s time is coming to end, maybe even after this season, so who could take that spot?
Well, it was supposed to be Robinson Cano, but he took his talents to the land of rain, coffee and the Seahawks. The Yankees don’t have that elite prospect coming up who could be that guy. They don’t have a Mike Trout, or a Bryce Harper on their roster. So who could be that guy?
Enter newly signed Masahiro Tanaka. Granted he isn’t a home grown guy like Jeter or Mickey Mantle, but he could be the next man up. Of course, we have to see if he lives up to the contract he was just given. If he isn’t any good, this conversation goes out the window. The thing is though, if he does live up to it, he’s one of the few guys who’s young and would be an extremely elite player.
CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira are getting older and aren’t as good as they once were. Alex Rodriguez? Forget it. Jacoby Ellsbury just became a Yankee, but he’s not the kind of player like Jeter or Miguel Cabrera who are the first guy you think of when you think of a specific team.
Tanaka can be that guy and with the addition of a baseball crazed country of Japan rooting for him, he could be even more highly thought of than just the face of the Yankees. But hey, no pressure kid.