An era in the Bronx is ending. Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada have retired and Derek Jeter has made 2014 his last year. The Core Four Dynasty will soon be over and is sure to bring a tear to those who wear pinstripes over their hearts. The Yankees will be tasked with filling a hole at shortstop that one of baseball’s greatest stars is set to vacate. Yankee Stadium will truly have a different air to it with Jeter no longer on the field. So who could possibly replace a living legend. Maybe someone who used to make his home across town?
Jose Reyes was talking to members of the media before a Spring Training game against the Yankees when someone suggested that he could possibly be Jeter’s successor at shortstop in the Bronx. Reyes, laughed off the question saying “I’ve got four years left of my contract, bro!”. Reyes praised Jeter calling him his “idol” and saying “I’m glad to share the same field with him when I played there in New York, share the same city with Jeter. He’s a role model.”
If I were Jose Reyes I wouldn’t be laughing off the notion of becoming a Yankee just yet. After eight above average seasons with the New York Mets Reyes signed away to the Miami Marlins on a 6-year $106 million dollar deal before the 2012 season. He played well before being traded to the Toronto Blue Jays after only one season with the Marlins.
His contract does not include a no-trade and has already been dealt way once. Despite the blockbuster trade with the Marlins last year the Blue Jays had a terrible season and Reyes was injured for a large portion of the year (he played only 93 games). Toronto finished dead last in the American League East and may be regretting trading away some big prospects for a lot of high priced contracts. If the Blue Jays have another year like 2013 they could be looking to start from scratch and dealing Reyes could bring them some needed reinforcements. You can be sure they’ll be talking to a variety of teams and that includes the Yankees.
Reyes can laugh off all the questions he wants but the truth is that in one year’s time he could find himself in pinstripes. The Yankees do have other options though. Next off season’s free agent class brings a very talented group of shortstops with it including Hanley Ramirez (Dodgers), J.J. Hardy (Orioles), Jed Lowrie (Athletics), and Asdrubal Cabrera (Indians) among others. The Yankees have also been linked to shortstops Troy Tulowitzki (Rockies), Didi Gregorius (Diamondbacks), and even Elvis Andrus (Rangers) in trade rumors.
So the Yankees have a lot of options and they could go a lot of ways to fill the void that Jeter will leave. The belief around baseball is that the Yankees will end up with one of those guys. It’s the Yankees after all. Will Jose Reyes be a Yankee in 2015? Anything is possible so no one should be laughing just yet.