After five years with the Miami Marlins, Derek Jeter announced Monday he would be mutually parting with the organization, citing a difference in vision moving forward. Despite a playoff berth (and series victory!) during the shortened 2020, the Marlins have been among the worst-performing teams in all of Major League Baseball during Jeter’s tenure, but that was hardly all his doing.
The Marlins very clearly had an initiative to break up their All-Star core of Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, JT Realmuto and Marcell Ozuna for financial purposes … despite the fact they reside in a very winnable NL East.
Jeter oversaw that teardown after joining the team after the 2017 regular season, and it began with the Giancarlo Stanton trade to the New York Yankees in December of that year. Though many would argue with the Marlins’ return in said deals, Jeter’s influence saw a substantial growth in the prospect department.
From 2018-2021, the Marlins drafted Connor Scott, JJ Bleday, Max Meyer, Kahlil Watson and Joe Mack, four of whom (with the exception of Scott, who was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates) reside in the organization’s top 10 prospect rankings, according to MLB.com.
There’s also no denying the acquisitions of Sixto Sanchez, Sandy Alcantara, Garrett Cooper, Pablo Lopez, Jazz Chisholm, and others have played a role in turning the franchise around.
One could reference the Marlins’ 218-327 record over that span, but it also helps to note that the organization had one of the league’s four lowest payrolls from 2019-2021 and were 23rd back in 2018. They haven’t supplemented the young talent with any spending, which is more indicative of ownership keeping the reins tight than it is of the front office’s decision making.
You can read Jeter’s full statement below, as well as in The Players’ Tribune.
It’s time for the Yankees to bring Derek Jeter home after his Marlins departure.
ESPN’s Buster Olney followed up with this tidbit, which might have played a role in the relationship ending:
Anyway, more importantly, this is an opportunity for the Yankees to bring Jeter home. They’ve hired many previous players to roles in the front office and the same should go for the best shortstop in franchise history. Jeter’s influence and championship pedigree will undoubtedly help the Bombers, who have been mired in mediocrity and disappointment ever since 2010.
Though a potential role for Jeter might be tough to determine since the Yankees’ hierarchy has largely remained the same for two decades, with general manager Brian Cashman and president Randy Levine both in their positions since at least the year 2000.
Jeter’s feel for the game and experience as a star who knows what it takes for an MLB roster to achieve greatness are exactly the kind of characteristics that appear to be lacking among the team’s executives. Previous players have come and gone as special assistants, but Jeter’s influence will likely be much different than anyone in recent years who walked through the doors at Yankee Stadium.
Who knows, maybe this was always part of the plan …
It couldn’t be more fitting for the Yankees to bring back a franchise icon during what feels like a do-or-die 2022 campaign and not too long after Jeter was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. This fanbase and organization needs a momentous move to experience a renaissance.
Jeter was an instrumental figure in ending the Yankees’ previous World Series drought, which lasted 17 years (1979-1995). He’s also the last to experience the 2009 championship — already 13 years ago. There’s a clear opportunity to right the ship, and there might not be a better one in the next 10 years.