Mar
10

2010 Season Preview: Can Jeter keep it up?

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It’s really not as easy as Derek Jeter makes it look. Last season, the Yankees became the first team in baseball history to win the World Series with a 35-year-old shortstop, though you wouldn’t have been able to tell Jeter was that old by his .344-.432-.563 postseason batting line. The Captain has spoiled us for more than a decade, though history tells us that the end may be coming sooner than we expect.

Since baseball’s expansion era began in 1961, just six players age-35 or older have managed to post better than a 100 OPS+ while playing at least 100 games at the shortstop position. The best individual season of that group came just last year, when Jeter hit .334-.406-.465 with a .390 wOBA (132 OPS+) in 150 games at the position. The next best season was Barry Larkin’s .338 wOBA/118 OPS+ campaign in 2000, when he played just 102 games, so you can see just how absurdly historic Jeter’s season was for an older shortstop. The historical data gets even grimmer when you look at shortstops age-36 or older, because just three players in the last half-century have managed to be above average offensively while playing the position for at least 100 games.

Those three players, like Jeter, are all either in the Hall of Fame or will be very soon. The careers of Ozzie Smith and Luis Aparicio are defined by their outstanding defense, and even though Larkin was the complete package of offense and defense, he battled injuries throughout his entire 19-year career that limited him to just seven seasons of 140 or more games played. Larkin’s age-36 season, that .338 wOBA/118 OPS+ one I mentioned in the last paragraph, was the last time he was an above average every day player. Roberto Alomar, another great all-around middle infielder, was a shell of himself by the time he was Jeter’s age. History clearly does not portend good things for the Yankees’ captain.

Older players are generally unable to provide the level of quickness and athleticism required at the shortstop position, yet amazingly Jeter has managed to improve his defense despite entering his mid-30′s. After bottoming out at -16.0 range runs in 2007 (-16.7 UZR), Jeter improved to -3.2 range runs in 2008 (-0.7 UZR) and +3.7 range runs in 2009 (+8.4 UZR). All of that progress was made after GM Brian Cashman told the Captain that he wanted him to improve his defense over dinner. Because they’re weighted over the last three season, Jeff Zimmerman’s age-adjusted UZR projections see Jeter regressing back down to a -2.0 UZR defender next season. It’s almost impossible to see Jeter repeating last year’s defensive excellence, though hopefully he doesn’t crash that hard.

Always a threat on the bases, Jeter’s a high percentage basestealer (85.7% success rate last year, 79.% last year) that’s good for anywhere from 10-30 steals per season. He’s been consistently worth about one run above average when you consider all aspects of baserunning (advancing on sacrifice flies, moving up on grounders, etc), so there’s no reason to suspect him to be any worse than that next year. Sure, he’ll probably lose a step or two, but running the bases is more about smarts than pure speed.

Moving ahead to offense, let’s see what the five freely available projection systems have in store for the Yanks’ captain. Remember to click for a larger view.

After posting a .390 wOBA for the fourth time in his career last season, the projections have Jeter dropping off to a .359 wOBA in 2010. While that doesn’t match the career low .343 wOBA he put up in 2008, it would be his second worst offensive output since 1998. While an 8% decline in offense is significant, keep in mind that only three non-Jeter shortstops bested a .359 wOBA in 2009. Jeter’s offensive production would continue to be very good for the position, but no longer elite.

Rounding it all up, we have the various projections calling for the Cap’n to put up a .359 wOBA in 660 plate appearances, -2.0 UZR on defense, and let’s call it another +1.0 run on the bases. The works out to 4.3 WAR, about a three win drop off from Jeter’s ungodly 2009 campaign. If he’s a +3.2 UZR defender (halfway between his 2009 mark his 2010 projection), then it bumps him up another half-win to 4.8 WAR. Given the historical suckiness of 36-year-old shortstops, the Yankees should be ecstatic if they get a four-plus win season in 2010.

Of course, the elephant in the room is Jeter’s expiring contract. History has shown that the Yankees should avoid doing anything but going year-to-year with Jeter from here on out, but that’s just not feasible. He’s the face of the franchise, and if he has the kind of season he’s projected to have in 2010, it’ll be near-impossible for the team to sign him on favorable terms. Either way, the contract is going to take both sides into uncharted territory regarding shortstops Jeter’s age.

Photo Credit: Rob Carr, AP

Categories : Players

126 Comments»

  1. Gardimentary says:

    “Can Jeter keep it up?”

    Yes

  2. Dela G says:

    i wish we could go year to year with him, but not a chance in hell he gets anything less than at least 4 years 80 mil

    • Gardimentary says:

      I’d bet he makes much more than that.
      He means so much to the Yankee brand.

      Really, he is the Yankee brand.

      • Rick in Boston says:

        I’ll disagree. The Yankee brand is the interlocking NY, the tradition behind 27 World Champions, the team of Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mantle, et al. Derek Jeter is just one part of the brand, not the be all end all of it.

        • Gardimentary says:

          I’m coming at it from a sales perspective. Not performance. What jersey are kids wearing? What jersey is everyone wearing?

          Guys like Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio and Mantle were the “the brand” before Jeter.

          Jeter represents everything that the Yankees are always trying to be. In a lot of ways, he is their modern day Joe D.

          • Jeremy says:

            People still buy Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio and Mantle merchandise today precisely because they are iconic figures. If Jeter has really made it to that level, people will continue to buy Jeter merchandise for many years to come, even if he retires tomorrow.

            You know what could tarnish Jeter’s image? If he signed a huge contract and then didn’t play well. The myth of Jeter says that he’s an unselfish player who puts the team first. How does this myth fare if he’s getting paid $20 million a year to spend time on the DL and bat .250 with no power and bad defense? Do you think Yankee fans won’t get tired of or upset with decline phase Jeter?

            I’m sure both the FO and Jeter know this. It’s in both their interests to make sure Jeter is well-compensated AND goes out on top. A blank check contract doesn’t accomplish those goals.

            • You know what could tarnish Jeter’s image? If he signed a huge contract and then didn’t play well.

              Nah, not really. He’s still golden regardless of how the next decade plays out.

              Seriously. Unless he pulls a Tiger Woods or an O.J. Simpson, nothing that Jeter does, from reupping to a fat, VernonWellsesque franchise-crippling contract of underperformance to leaving and signing elsewhere in a bitter failed negotiation would hurt the Jeter brand or the Yankee fan loyalty to that. I don’t even think that playing a few years for the Red Sox would hurt it; that’s how much collateral Jeter has in the bank.

              Oh, sure, people would bitch and moan for a while, but he’ll do some gladhanding, come back for Old Timer’s day, and all will be forgotten.

              • OldYanksFan says:

                I diagree. Bernie, while not Derek, was a pretty popular guy. As he rapidly declined, we all called for his retirement. Remember he made ONE million his last year? Ghost of Bernie? Hand-ringing after every single-to-center became a double? Closing our eyes when he had to throw the ball?

                If Jeter gets a huge contract and takes a nose dive in 2011, you and everyone here will be calling for Cashmans head.

                If he gets even worse in 2012, it will be a nightmare. Every announcer at every away game will be talking about the $20 million dollar man producing less then their $1.5m SS. The anti-Yankee press will have a field day.

                I’m not predicting Jeter will collapse. The Yankees can alway pay him or reward him after the fact, if they like. If we didn’t bring back JD for an extra $3m this year, what will $100m commitment to Jeter do to this team if he hits a wall?

                Pay him market value and big bonuses for achievements, so if he produces, he gets paid.

                I mean really… when did a $15m/yr salary become insulting???

                • If Jeter gets a huge contract and takes a nose dive in 2011, you and everyone here will be calling for Cashmans head.

                  I agree. You know who’s head they won’t be calling for, though?

                  Derek Jeter’s.

                • Jeremy says:

                  I disagree. Many Yankee fans will turn on ANY ACTIVE PLAYER who does not play well over a prolonged period, especially if that player has a relatively large contract. We saw that with Jeter in 2004.

                  If Jeter re-signs to a huge contract, plays like a league-average SS for most of it, and then has an injury plagued, generally crappy last year, then sure, his baseball collateral could leave his image essentially untarnished. But if he plays badly enough for long enough, he will get booed and his iconic image will take a hit.

                • Many Yankee fans will turn on ANY ACTIVE PLAYER who does not play well over a prolonged period, especially if that player has a relatively large contract. We saw that with Jeter in 2004.

                  We did? When the hell was this? Was I out of the country, or in a coma, when the Yankee fanbase “turned on Derek Jeter” in 2004?

                  Because I don’t remember that. At all. Derek Jeter is like Andy Dufresne. He can crawl through a river of shit and always come out clean on the other side.

                • Jeremy says:

                  Jeter was booed when he started the 2004 season in a long slump.

                  Although as this fan put it, the booing was not for Jeter, but for the slump itself.

                  http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05.....gewanted=1

                • Gardimentary says:

                  I think it’s a little deeper than the emperor’s clothes. Jeter has been one of the most consistent Yankees ever.

                  The fan base turns on guys who they feel prevent them winning in October.

                  Not Jeter. He is the opposite. Because we won so many in such a short period of time, the fan base, like any fan has, became spoiled.

                  Jeter has had mediocre to bad Octobers, but because there when they won, he can do no wrong. Neither can Jorge, Mariano and Andy.

                • bexarama says:

                  One thing I’ve noticed from Yankee fans: Jorge can do a lot of wrong. A LOT.

              • rbizzler says:

                Per your Tiger assertion: This is why Jeter is doing right by himself, and by extension the Yankees, his fans, his family, etc., by not settling down until he is ready.

                Right now, the worst thing that people can say about Jeet is that he is a playboy. I would not be surprised if the whole Tiger debacle has scared him to the point where he doesn’t get hitched until he retires. (not that any of this is my business)

                And I agree that he is safe from fan criticism as it is not like he wasn’t getting paid an ungodly sum over the last ten years. I mean, fans got on him during his 0-fer but most were willing to ignore/gloss over his deficiencies. I can envision the same thing happening with his new contract, with the only exception being that if he demands an exorbitant number of years and doesn’t produce at the end of his deal people will eventually get bitter.

            • Ed says:

              How does this myth fare if he’s getting paid $20 million a year to spend time on the DL and bat .250 with no power and bad defense? Do you think Yankee fans won’t get tired of or upset with decline phase Jeter?

              Remember Mattingly? Signed the largest contract in baseball, blew out his back, missed a bunch of time, and was a shadow of his former self for the remainder of his career.

              The fans still loved him. Ever see the applause he’d get at Old Timers day before he joined the coaching staff? They’d save his introduction for the near the end, right before Yogi.

      • Jeremy says:

        Jeter is a big part of the Yankee brand today because he’s still a great player. He’s not such a big part of the brand if he’s injured or playing badly. When Jeter enters his decline phase (which could be this season), both his performance and his image will take a hit. Paying $20 million a year for anyone who can’t play at a high level is a bad idea, even if that player is Jeter.

  3. Jeremy says:

    Re-signing Jeter is a foregone conclusion, and the timing of Jeter’s free agency is pretty good from the FO’s perspective.

    As this site has noted, BP projects a major decline from Jeter in 2010 (specifically, the biggest one-year decline, measured by WARP, of any player in baseball, bringing him down to about a 1.5 WARP player). If Jeter actually suffers that decline, he gets a big contract rather than a ludicrously big contract.

    If Jeter bucks the BP prediction and continues producing like a one-of-a-kind player, the Yankees pay him like one.

    Either way, the FO gets another year’s worth of information on Jeter before making a contract decision, and that information will be highly revealing due to Jeter’s age.

  4. OldYanksFan says:

    I would be thrilled if Jeter hit his projection. 800 OPS, 19 SBs, 13 HRs? Just peachy. We should not be spolied by 2009, and be hopeful that Derek doesn’t turn into GOB.

    And a top 3 SS of 30+ SSs is top 10%. That’s pretty close to elite.

    The key is Jeter’s impact on the Yankees future is based on a sane Brian Cashman. Whether it’s $50m or $60m or more, it’s crazy to offer more then 3 years. Frankly, 3 years is scary to me.

    I’ve seen Mantle retire, Murcer get traded and Munson get killed. Believe it or not, the Yankees will still be playing baseball, and winning, ADJ (after Derek Jeter). I love the guy, but love the Yankees more. I don’t want his contract to hurt the team. Frankly, between the ARod, CC, Teix (and to a less lesser extent AJ) contracts, we are already on thin ice come 2013 and beyond.

    5/$100m as some have suggested… (nay DEMANDED), could be a last straw to break the camel’s back.

    And lets face it. Jeter is going nowhere. He will retire a Yankee no matter what… and nobody would offer him more then 3/$45m as a FA.

  5. A.D. says:

    Problem with looking at Jeter’s demise relative to SS is there really are no comparables, most players have been forced to move off the position well before, or were never great bats. With Alomar it appears there could have been health issues that lead to his quick fall.

  6. (cracks open a tasty Pinstripe Blazing Copper Wheat™)

    • rbizzler says:

      Copper wheat? Never heard of even a homebrewer attempting one of those although I am sure that they have. If I do decide to make a wheat beer one day (not a big fan), I will be sure to give you props for the idea.

      Although a quick google does suggest the existence of such a brew, minus the ‘blazing’ part of course.

  7. dan l says:

    I would not give Jeter anything more then a 1 year deal with a recurring team option for not a penny more then 15 million. I want him to have his shot at 3000 hits with the Yankees and 3000 hits while playing shortstop as a Yankee.

    I still will be a Yankees fan long after Jeter is gone!

  8. king of fruitless hypotheticals says:

    with those PA’s in the projections above, were they counting his leading off for the 4 WS wins this year or not? cause there’s another 24 PAs, 19 AB, HR, 5 R, 4 RBI, 5 HBP.

  9. theyankeewarrior says:

    I think it’s tough to use projection systems for Jeter because what he has done to his body over the past few seasons is so unique. He has become quicker, faster, and stronger than he’s been since, well maybe ever.

    Projection systems use data from players his age, dating back to 19?? (don’t know this) but I do know it bases everything on past performance, which is good to look at, but to me Jeter seems to be breaking the mold.

    I know we’ve heard it a million times, but players today know how to take better care of their bodies. Jeet has the time, money (and now that he seems to be settling down) lifestyle that will help him rest his older legs while also keeping them in baseball shape.

    I can see DJ beginning his decline somewhere in 2010 or 11, but never really falling off a cliff. His “hit it the other way” technique will help him put up decent offensive numbers as he approaches 40 and although his power numbers will most certainly fall off, they were never that impressive anyway.

    He’s going to get over-paid. We all know that. But as long as he doesn’t fall into the same hole that I saw Alice tumble into in 3D, I think he will provide some above average offense and league average D at SS for another 3-4 seasons.

    /play this year out and give him 3/60′d

  10. Is it maybe a bit wrong that I hope Jeter struggles in 2010 so we can get a more favorable contract? Perhaps three years instead of five?

  11. YankeesJunkie says:

    Well Jeter has to be one of the greats at the shortstops position ever. The good thing for the Yankees is Jeter has a drive to win that is seen in very few players even more than the some of the greats and that is what has seperated Jeter from most players. Everyone knows that Jeter will be in great shape come in April and his hitting abilities should not disengrate as quickly as his fielding, but I can see Jeter putting up another all star year at SS this year.
    When it comes to contract I think a 3-60 million dollars or 4-75 million dollars slightly frontloaded contract is the way to go. That would keep him signed until 39 or 40, he would have broken the 3000 hit mark by then, and after that contract will the Yankees be able to re-evaluate the contract. Is Jeter worth 20 million dollars as a player, no, but Jeter is the captain of the Yankees and the face of the franchise so I will be suprised if he gets anything less than 18 million per year.

    • The good thing for the Yankees is Jeter has a drive to win that is seen in very few players even more than the some of the greats and that is what has seperated Jeter from most players.

      Sure… not really, though.

      • K.B.D. says:

        There are hundreds of players with a drive to win equal to Derek Jeter. In most cases they…

        A. Will never reach the majors because they’re not good enough.
        B. If they are major leaguers, they’re likely not nearly as good as Jeter (not because of work ethic, because of God given talent).
        C. Even if they ARE as good as Derek Jeter, they likely never get the opportunity to play in the same major market for the entire career.
        D. Even if they ARE a player like in C., chances are they never win five World Series and get mythicized as players who aren’t great because of ridiculous abilities, but because of their “drive to win.”

        Don’t get me wrong, Jeter wants to win. I wouldn’t say he wants it in a historical manner unbeknownst to anyone else in baseball.

        • That. Derek Jeter has an incredible, intense, and impressive drive to win…

          … just like virtually all of the all-time greats, the Hall of Famers, the quasi-Hall of Famers, the near Hall of Famers, the perennial All Stars, the occasional All Stars, the should-have-been-an-All Stars, the solidly-above average players, the merely good players, the useful utility players, the kinda crappy players, and the utterly shitty players in baseball history.

          They all wanted to win. They were all driven to win. We love Derek Jeter for his selflessness, passion for the game, and work ethic. It’s not unique, though; every single franchise in baseball has literally dozens of active players and hundreds of retired players who selflessly worked hard and drove to win every game.

    • OldYanksFan says:

      My friend… lay off the heroine. Jeter will hit #3000 in 2011, the first year of his contract (he’s 253 hits away now). If he doesn’t, you certainly don’t want him for another 3 years (@ $18m each?).

      And yes… regardless of what Jeter does, he will continue to be loved. But if he stops producing, it’s beter to love him in the booth, then on the field.

      • YankeesJunkie says:

        Yeah, I never said that he wouldn’t hit 3000 in 2011 because it will be hard for him not too. I am just saying they can re-evaluate the situation after his next contract.

      • mryankee says:

        I am with you. I have been advocatiing for Jeter to take a much lesser deal. Of course that will not happen as has been pointed out to me.

  12. mryankee says:

    I notice all these projections are kind of tame for the Yankees. Look at Pecota picking the Yankees third?

    • Sure, but that was the first draft. They revised it.

    • rbizzler says:

      Meh.

      Most of the projection systems do not like older players as they expect players to fit a pattern of historic decline (I know that sounds odd, but I hope you get my drift).

      There are always outliers though (see Yankees, 2009).

      • mryankee says:

        True but I have not seen many flattering type projections for the Yankees. You have some really good players who had great years and now a year later they will have a steep decline? I do not but that. There is something about the hype that a lot of these younger guys are getting and they have not done anything. Take Aroldis Chapman he threw two scorless innings and now he is a “phenom”? I think the Yankees should have signed him anyway as he would have been a nice replacement for some of the prospects they traded. However a phenom after two innings?

        • rbizzler says:

          I am not knocking you, but I think you need to separate the hyperbole about guys like Chapman with projections that are based on statistical models that use literally thousands of player seasons as a foundation.

          • mryankee says:

            It all goes back in my opinion to performance vs potential. I think the “experts” pick certain guys and fall in love with them and will project them to be in the hall of fame. Now if those players start to struggle there will be excuses and explanations made on behalf of that player. Look at Montero he is ranked under Heyaward iffensively(not by much) and yet defensively he is trashed. What is the comparison for a young cather. You have to be Mauer-Bench or Pudge Rodriguez to be considered a plus defender? Seems like Yankkes players and prospects are rated on a different plane.

            • Steve H says:

              Seems like Yankkes players and prospects are rated on a different plane.

              But who cares? Will Jesus Montero’s career be any different because he is (rightfully) ranked below Jason Heyward?

            • /boversimplified again

              Are there some questions about Yankee prospects getting underrated from time to time, like the Arodys Vizcaino four-stars/five-stars controversy? Sure.

              Is it as widespread, perverse, and conspiratorial as you make it out to be, like you always make it out to be? No.

              Jason Heyward is a better prospect than Jesus Montero. Casey Kelly is a better prospect than Zach McAllister. We’ve explained this to you, clearly and concisely, on numerous occasions, but you never listen.

        • True but I have not seen many flattering type projections for the Yankees. You have some really good players who had great years and now a year later they will have a steep decline? I do not but that. There is something about the hype that a lot of these younger guys are getting and they have not done anything. Take Aroldis Chapman he threw two scorless innings and now he is a “phenom”? I think the Yankees should have signed him anyway as he would have been a nice replacement for some of the prospects they traded. However a phenom after two innings?

          /boversimplified

          • Steve H says:

            Not only that, but at the end of the day do we really care what people project? Tell me the Yankees are projected to go 62-100, and I won’t blink an eye. The games aren’t played on paper, only on spreadsheets….err on the field. Projections are completely meaningless in the grande scheme of things, so they are not worth getting worked up over.

            • rbizzler says:

              Plus, I think mryankee needs to separate prospect rankings, which are highly subjective and somewhat meaningless, from projection systems which are based on years and years worth of data.

              Not that either should be taken as gospel, but I think that a distinction is necessary.

              • Steve H says:

                Very good point.

                Derek Jeter’s projections aren’t good because the history of 35 years old SS’s is terrible. Jeter is better than 99% of those 35 year old SS’s and is therefore likely to be an outlier.

                Scouts believe that Heyward will be better than Montero due to what they see with their own eyes. They are often wrong, and maybe they will be here too, but again, it’s completely subjective.

    • bexarama says:

      They predict Jeter will be a 35+-year-old shortstop, and Posada a nearly-40-year-old catcher, with, if I understand correctly, no (or very little) regard for past performance. PECOTA is not anti-Yankee. Plus, apparently their projections are still messed up anyway (the super sabermetrically inclined over at RLYB I think worked out that the various teams’ OBP and SLG don’t measure up with the amount of runs that would be scored).

      • Fabio says:

        Pecota is currently broken. They keep popping new adjustments and corrections, in March, and the data keeps varying wildly.

        At one point, they decided to use the pitchers 75 percentile because they could not come close to good projections, then retracted this. If you look at the comments on their updates, they are losing a lot of paying customers. Nate Silver was the driving force behind it, and since he left it has suffered a lot.

        On the other hand, almost all other projections (CHONE, CAIRO, MARCEL, etc…) are being very optimistic with the Yankees chances, always in the neighborhood of 96-99 wins in the season, and playoffs odds > 65%. Fangraphs community projections have set the Yankees odds of reaching the PS at 80%.

  13. Riddering says:

    I know it’s possible that 2008 wasn’t just a fluke but the cries of Jeter’s decline were greatly exaggerated and disappeared a month or two into the 2009 season. I agree with your estimation, that Jeter will come down from the 2009 high but I’m not concerned with Jeter falling off a cliff this year or in 2011. It’ll be more of a lazy stroll down an unintimidating hill.

    The concern is what length of contract he’ll get and what we’ll see in 2012 to the end. But, hey, by then old man Jetes might be passing on his intagibles to a Cuban SS heir so he can retire to his mansion and get to work on making some babies.

    • rbizzler says:

      “It’ll be more of a lazy stroll down an unintimidating hill.”

      I think that is the best case scenario that we are all hoping for. Both for Jeet and for Alex, who is also owed an ungodly sum during his decline phase (although his contract was front-loaded).

    • K.B.D. says:

      If I recall correctly, Jeter was hampered by a hand injury as a result of a HBP for most of 2008. Considering it’s a statistical outlier compared to most of his career (career full season lows for him in wOBA, OPS and isoP), I’d say that his performance that year was mainly due to health problems, not an overall decline in talent.

      • rbizzler says:

        Sure, I’ll give you that. But one can also make the case that as a player ages they become more susceptible to injuries.

        Now, I am not predicting this for Jeter as he keeps himself in good shape, but it can’t be removed from the equation.

        • mryankee says:

          Now your speaking generalities. I am not sure 35 is “old” and again he is already in good shape. I think Jeter at 35 is a safer bet for production than say Pince Fielder at 35 if he does not get in better shape as his career progresses.

          • That’s an excellent point that takes many diverse factors into account and looks at the entire picture.

            Please use reasoning like this when you wonder why Jason Heyward is a more highly regarded prospect than Jesus Montero is, or why Zach McAllister isn’t a top 100 prospect.

          • rbizzler says:

            I actually agree with you as I stated:

            “Now, I am not predicting this for Jeter as he keeps himself in good shape, but it can’t be removed from the equation.”

            I do agree with you that there are exceptions to the rule, but to overlook how players have historically performed relative to their age is bad business.

        • A.D. says:

          But one can also make the case that as a player ages they become more susceptible to injuries.

          This is true, but the said hand injury is more just a luck thing than age/breaking down

        • K.B.D. says:

          “But one can also make the case that as a player ages they become more susceptible to injuries.”

          One can make that case. One can also make the case that getting hit on the hand by a fastball during an AB is not an injury that becomes any more prevalent with age.

  14. Mike HC says:

    Bill James projection system seems to be the only one that knows what it is doing for the Yankee players profiled here thus far. He is more optimistic than the others for about every Yankee player, and he is most likely correct (I hope that is not just Yankee fan wishful thinking in me).

    I doubt this is the year Jeter drops off a cliff, but injury is always possible, as it is for every player.

    • bexarama says:

      That’s because Bill James keeps his good projections that say the Yankees are all going to fall off a cliff for the Red Sox. ;)

      But yeah, I was on Pettitte’s Fangraph page to see something the other day and I was really surprised his projections for Pettitte said he would pitch 198 innings with a 3.91 ERA, 3.77 FIP, and 2.54 K/BB ratio. I’d be SO happy if that happened.

    • Fabio says:

      Bill James is an excellent sabermetrician, but his projections suck He is wildly optimistic for all hitter in general. And the other projection systems all have the Yankees winning more than 95 games, so I´d guess they are not overly pessimistic when regarding the Yankees.

      • Mike HC says:

        I don’t really pour over any of these projections and ultra complex stat systems, so I don’t know his projections for other players. I come up with my own projections, for better or worse. Far more fun that way, for me at least.

  15. Tony says:

    Enjoy Jeter – we will not have him forever.

  16. smurfy says:

    Man, I go to compose my thoughts, there’s 20, 30 comments. Pardon the interruption, please.

    I would use the opportunity now to explain my thinking to Jeter before the year, rather than suffering risk of some later misinterpretation.

    If he (presuming a fine year this) goes on the open market the best he can expect is something like 3 for $60, and that’s if the economy is holding up. He’s 36. Knowing, from our kind host, Matt, that what he is doing is historically unprecedented, I’d explain that we are all for it, for setting every record along the way. (Although I would also promise to keep the celebrations tastefully quiet, so we don’t OVERDO it.)

    I’d tell him that we love him and how he plays the game. Then I’d put it to him: One year at $20 – 25, with 20 succeeding yearly options, the exercise of which would bring him a couple million each, as well as the negotiated salary. After he was done playing, he could probably do whatever he likes for the club. (Free to play elsewhere if he doesn’t like our offer.)

  17. smurfy says:

    oops, sorry Mike.

  18. Warren says:

    We will be seeing this article over and over again during the next 7 months.

    No new ideas out there, nothing much of anything happening with the Yankees.

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