It’s impossible to feel bad for the New York Yankees, who find themselves down 0-2 in the ALCS and headed to Detroit without Derek Jeter, who will remain behind to receive treatment on his broken ankle. They are, after all, the Yankees. And while nobody loves to enjoy the Yankees suffering more than me, there’s no joy in watching one of the top half dozen shortstops in baseball history helped off the field in obvious agony.  I don’t feel good about this either, but I’ve grudgingly matured enough to come to grips with the fact that, while Jeter may be overrated in some circles, he’s still fantastic. And it’s always much more fun when he’s on the field for the Bombers.

Now, the loss of Jeter is probably not going to hurt the Yankees much this postseason. With the rest of the club’s offense, with the exception of Raul Ibanez, deciding to take October off, Jeter would have often been a one-man show. Moreover, the chances of Jayson Nix having a hot couple weeks and performing better than Jeter would have is not insignificant, especially since The Captain was playing through a bum ankle before it broke. And in the playoffs, where a couple of hits can be incredibly important, Nix’s timing could end up being better than Jeter’s. As for defense, I’m not sure any of us really know if Nix is going to be a better defender than Jeter, who was back to being pretty subpar defensively this year, but he probably won’t be that much worse.

But as the Yankees continue to pinch hit for Alex Rodriguez, and as the pressure on both the team and the former slugger grows in the offseason, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Jeter’s injury provided the cover the Yankees need to move him off of short, dump Rodriguez on whoever will make them pay the least amount of the money left on A-Rod’s contract, and seek alternatives at short for 2013.

And on the surface, at least, that makes all kinds of sense. Jeter, as we’ve covered, is not a good defensive player, and moving to a less demanding position can only help him. Especially since he’ll undobutedly have at least some reduced range because of the ankle (and the fact that he’ll be 39). It also removes a significant headache and embarrassment for the club, and presumably Rodriguez wouldn’t mind getting out of New York and finishing his career somewhere where he’s only despised for his PED use and questionable photo spreads.

The problem, of course, is that this kind of deal would be highly unprecedented. A-Rod’s owed $114 million over the next five seasons, with bonuses built in for reaching historic statistical milestones. So the Yankees would have to include a crazy amount of money, more than the payroll of at least half the teams in Major League Baseball to convince anybody to take him. And that’s even before we get into the question of what kind of performance we can expect from A-Rod going forward, given his diminished batspeed in the postseason and his rapidly dwindling offensive performance, which has seen his wOBA, OPS+, Total Average, or whatever advanced hitting stat you want to use decrease every year since 2007. They don’t figure to get (much) better going forward, and neither does his defense, given that he’s already 37 years old.

So there are obstacles to the deal. Perhaps more than any other deal has ever had before. But the Yankees have good reason now to be motivated, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see Jeter declared the Opening Day 3B one day after the Yankees trade for Jed Lowrie.

Comments (19)

  1. Crazy idea: A-Rod to the Dodgers for Crawford?

    The Dodgers, it seems, were stuck with having to take Crawford, and A-Rod gives them an option at 3B. They can then go out and re-sign Shane Victorino, where there seems to be mutual interest.

    The Yankees can move Jeter to third and use Crawford in the outfield to replace Swisher. Crawford’s bat should play well in Yankee Stadium, and holy crap outfield defense of Crawford/Granderson/Gardner.

    • not crazy.

      Problem is that neither Gardner nor Crawford have the arm for RF.

    • Worst article I’ve ever seen, who ever wrote this has no clue what he’s talking about

    • Crawford’s contract has a clause that said if he was traded, whatever team acquires him cannot trade him to the Yankees, funnily enough. I suppose he could waive, but…

    • Not a crazy idea. But would Jeter move positions? There’s been talk of switching him to the outfield for years now, and nothing’s ever come of it. Then again, I think everyone who follows baseball was beyond shocked when A-Rod willingly moved to third so the trade to the Yankees would go through.

      Also, A-Rod and Hollywood is such a perfect match it’s almost insane it hasn’t happened by now. The only question would be which one of the Kardashian sisters ends up destroying him.

  2. what are ANY OF US talking about!

  3. I’m not sure that a deal like that is entirely unprecedented. I know it is not exactly the same thing, but the Jays did manage to trade Vernon Wells…

    • Wells was significantly younger and had fewer years left and about 30-40 million dollars less. Plus Wells doesn’t have anywhere near the baggage that Arod carries.

      it’s as close as you can probably get for a comparison, but it’s still pretty far away.

      • I don’t think they are that far away. While Wells was a lot younger, I don’t think any legitimate analyst thought he was a bounce back candidate at the time of the trade. That is what made people think he was ‘untradeable’. He is younger, but I don’t know if his performance expectations should have been much better those for Arod right now.

        Also, Wells’ contract was back end loaded, so at the time of the trade there was 4 years and 86 mil remaining (minus 5 mil Tor payed to Ana). Compared to Arod right now with 5 yrs and 114 mil (plus incentive pay he may or may not get) and there is really not a whole lot of difference.

        Arod definitely has more baggage.

        But I wouldn’t think they are ‘pretty far away’.

  4. Hey, are we defenstrating Jeter?
    …reads article…
    Nevermind.

    • I actually thought this article would be about the ladies’ preferred method of leaving his house after he’s done with them…. with gift basket in hand of course.

      • I thought he played with home field advantage. That’s why you get to leave with a gift basket in a limo.

  5. Let’s not forget that A-rod is an enormous cry baby and pussy. I could see hime sulling his way into retirement if that fans get on him enough. He’s already made a few hundred million anyway. He’s not tough enough to take at bats for the next 5 years in front of that crowd in that city.

    • For $114 million, I could be booed every day from now to eternity and face an army of reporters summoned by Satan himself (which, ok, basically the same thing). So yeah, I think you’re ridiculous. If he retires, I would assume it’s simply because he cannot play any more and has too much pride to make himself a nuisance.

  6. Send A-Roid to the Cubs….. Then they have a new excuse for why they haven’t won a World Series in over 100 years

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