The big talk around MLB is how “long” the negotiations between Derek Jeter and the Yankees have taken so far. With reports indicating that the two sides are up to $80 million and a couple contract years apart in their thinking, a resolution may not be coming any time soon.
Now, while I don’t necessarily think that Jeter will (or should) sign with another team, apparently the Yankess are so confident that their offer is a fair one, that they’ve told the captain to test the market if he so desires. That got me to thinking. Would my Chicago Cubs sign this guy?
If this were anywhere around 1992, I would say “Yes” immediately. But, we’re looking at nearly 20 years later and this kid’s production has dropped off some, and he’s getting pretty long in the tooth (even if he can still get the sexiest woman alive). What I’m saying is Jeter is not the future. We already have someone who’s supposed to be our future.
Starlin Castro. The 20 year-old hotshot shortstop. Assuming he can get his defensive liabilities toned down, and can keep his bat about as good as it was this season, then shortstop is good for us.
I read one report that listed the Cubs as a possible suitor for Jeter, but one of the limitations was Castro playing short in the foreseeable future. It said that Jeter would most likely have to swallow his pride and move to third. Two problems with that. We have Aramis Ramirez at 3B next year thanks to his player option. Also, Castro doesn’t have to play short next year. It’s not like second base is going to give us much next year.
From what I’ve seen, Castro, although the future for the Cubs, is really just keeping SS warm for Hak-Ju Lee. Once that prospect is ready for the bigs, Castro’s moving to second anyway, giving us the best middle-infield the universe has ever seen. In theory. H-JL isn’t going to be ready next year, so that’s not an issue for signing Jeter.
No, the real issue is the money. Dolla’ dolla’ bills y’all. The Cubs are looking to cut payroll for the upcoming season, and going after an aging vet won’t accomplish that goal. It would, however bring more people to Wrigley and sell more jerseys, which may entice the Ricketts family to open up their wallets. If they know the signing will ultimately bring in more money than it costs, especially in a year when the Cubs aren’t expected to contend… I don’t think it’s a bad idea. The issue then becomes the years for Jeter. If we aren’t getting him as a rental, then we shouldn’t do it.
If he’s willing to go 1 or 2 years, then go for it. However, from what we’re all hearing, he wouldn’t do that. So, it looks like the Cubs will be Jeter-less in 2011.
Do you think your team would sign Jeter if given the opportunity? More importantly, do you think they should?