Derek Jeter talks changing teams, ownership

RAB Live Chat
Game 150: Payback
(Jim McIsaac/Getty)

This has been a great season for Derek Jeter, as the Yankees captain has rebounded from two down years to hit .323/.367/.443 with 15 homers through the team’s first 149 games. At some point next week he’ll pass Pete Rose for the most hits by a 38-year-old player in baseball history, and after the season he’ll surely get more than a handful of MVP votes. Coming into the season, I don’t think we could have reasonably expected more out of him.

Jeter recently sat down with Rick Reilly for a short interview, some gimmicky thing where the Cap’n was allowed to pass on questions he didn’t want to answer. Most of the interview is typical worthless Reilly nonsense — Jeff Kent is on “Survivor” right now. How would you do on “Survivor”? — but two (questions and) answers stuck out to me. Here’s the first…

Me: Peyton Manning changed teams this season after 14 seasons with one team. Could you see yourself doing that?
Jeter: Well, if I wanted to keep playing, yes. It’s a business. People forget that.

Jeter has made it no secret that he loves being a Yankee and that he grew up dreaming about playing shortstop for the Yankees, but I think it’s pretty clear he’s still miffed about how the negotiations for his current contract went down two years ago. The club took a much harder line than he probably expected, and Jeter seemed a little annoyed by it both then and now.

Now does that mean he’ll actually look to play elsewhere once his current deal is up in two years? I find that to be very unlikely, but you never know. The Cap’n can famously hold a grudge, and if he still thinks he has gas in tank down the road while the Yankees disagree, he could take on the challenge of trying to succeed elsewhere. We’re a long ways off from worrying about his next contract, but this is probably something worth keeping in mind if and when the time comes. Here’s the second thing that caught my eye…

Me: Secret dream job?
Jeter: Own a team.

Me: Which team?
Jeter: A good team.

Again, it’s not much of a secret that Jeter would like to own a team after his playing days are over, but I believe this is the first time he’s actually confirmed it. Previous reports were always citing “friends” and “people close to,” stuff like that. Never actually Derek though. I can totally see him buying into the Yankees once his playing career is over, taking on a role as more of a public face than a key decision maker. Like Magic Johnson and the Dodgers, he’s someone for the fanbase to identify with. I’ve always kinda felt that Jeter becoming part-owner of the Yankees wasn’t just a possibility, it’s inevitable.

RAB Live Chat
Game 150: Payback
  • Guest

    I see absolutely no problem with Jeter saying this and/or signing with some other team for whatever reason he wants.

    Teams have one goal: Put the best team on the field they can that gives them the highest chance for success. If that means trying to get a star to take a pay cut, cutting a star, trading a star, or not re-signing a star, then so be it. I have no problem with this, and most fans don’t either. (Colts fans started wearing those Andrew Luck jersey in a hurry, didn’t they?)

    Players have one goal: Do what they think is best for that player. If Derek Jeter wants to sign with the Red Sox for half of what the Yanks offer him when the time comes, I have NO problem with that whatsoever. It’s his life, not mine (or any other fan’s) and he has the right to live it how he wants and where he wants. For some reason, fans seem to struggle with point two, though point they’re mostly chill with.

    • jjyank

      That’s all nice and everything, but I think I speak for most of my generation when I saw that those of us who grew up idolizing Derek Jeter would be devastated to see him wear another uniform.

      • hogsmog

        More like just weird parallel universe shit. Like when Andy pitched for Houston.

    • Deep Thoughts

      Welcome to RAB, Mr. Close. Use the “Submit a Tip” box for any questions, corrections, or comments to the editors.

  • Guest

    “though point one they’re mostly chill with”

  • Marcy

    I have heard Jeter say he wanted -no not wanted, he was going to be an owner. When asked if it was going to be the Yankees he said no — too expensive.

    I always thought Derek would want to go out on top but now I wonder if he doesn’t see himself going for the record.

    • RetroRob

      Too far off. I’m sure if a clos friend asked Jeter if he’d like the all-time hit record, he would say yes, why not. He’ll never say that in public. Yet I doubt he thinks about because he’s still a little less than 1,000 hits away. Maybe in two years, if he’s still hitting .300 and approaching 3,700 hits, then maybe he might start thinking about it. That becomes the danger point too on him leaving. He may have to leave the Yankees to chase the record.

      I don’t see it happening since I believe his skills will fade before he gets close enough.

      • Sutter Cane

        Wrong! If Jeter wants to break Rose’s record he will. His skills will not diminish as being 44-45 is no different than 37-38. The Yankees are DEAD now that George is gone. If Jeter goes, so does 30,000 or more fans per game! No one goes to see the washed up , steroid pig A-Rod (Bitch Tits). Jeter had the #1 selling Jersey again for the 3rd year running and is the most expensive living Yankee when it comes to cards and memoribilia. If the Yankees give Jeter trouble, someone will pay Jeter 25 million and be thrilled to have him. The Yankees have always abused the players that made them great, like Ruth! I HOPE Jeter stays in the best looking uniform, but he would look just as nice on the White Sox or Red Sox (ah, a reverse curse to toss back at the Yanks for buying Ruth)! Ruth was the greatest, Jeter is the 2nd best player of all time….and when will this constant lie about his poor fielding STOP. Best Fielding SS or infielder EVER!

    • TomH

      He’s reaching rarefied territory now that he’s passed Mays. Pretty soon it will be Musial, Aaron and Cobb, and if he gets there, who knows what he may do to pass Rose (who is small potatoes next to the 3 guys now below him).

      • vicki

        i know we’re not supposed to say so aloud but isn’t jeter small potatoes next to those guys too?

        the big knock on rose was he stayed too long, to the detriment of his teams. take heed, captain.

        • gc

          Mays played until he was 42. As did Aaron. As did Musial. Cobb retired at 41. Just sayin.

          • vicki

            none of those guys had the power to sit better players while insinuating themselves in the lineup.

            i don’t fault non-contending organizations for trotting out old immortals for valedictory jogs around the bases. it fills the seats.

            and i rather admire the pride and passion of guys who don’t want to hang it up. i defended jorgie’s brat behavior last season because i understood; his entire identity was yankee superstar. who would walk away blithely?

            i just hope jeter backs up his team first talk.

          • Sutter Cane

            They did not have Jeter’s body or the medecine we now have.
            I laugh at all you people who are hoping Jeter will not break the record (as he has had SUCHa charmed life and you are jealous). I have had a charmed life and Jeter will play and play brilliantly until he is 45. I love Pete and know him, but it is time for that record to go (even though it is a bona fide record on a level playing field, unlike AARON or MARIS or the steroid boys).

  • Better off Eddard

    Favre was discarded, Peyton discarded, Jordan played for the Wizards. There’s nothing wrong with his response. If he’s discarded and still wants to play then it’ll have to be elsewhere. The Yankees should not do that in my opinion. There is no Aaron Rodgers or Andrew Luck waiting in the wings so Jeter should stay as long as he wants to in order to break Pete Rose’s hits record and help the Yankees win another WS.

    • vicki

      i am speechless.

      • gc

        Welcome to EddardWorld.

  • TheOneWhoKnocks

    Jeter has said he’d like to own a team on the record in an interview before.
    Here’s at least one example, to barbara walters last year:

    • Yankee Fan 1

      Yeah, I feel like he’s been saying this for years. This is nothing new

  • Rocky Road Redemption

    No way the Yankees don’t resign him when he still wants to play.

    • Marcy

      Really? I’d say no way they re-sign him.

      • RetroRob

        If he’s still performing like he has for the last year and half? They resigned him when he was at the low point of his career, why wouldn’t the Yankees resign their iconic player if he’s still cranking along?

        • vicki

          that’s what my daddy would call a big ‘if.’

      • Knoxvillain

        No. The Yankees won’t let Jeter walk. Period. The Yankees have to do whatever it takes to keep him if he still wants to play. They know what he means to the fans and the team.

        • Bubba

          This type of thinking dooms franchises.

          • gc

            They were supposed to doom franchises who let a shortstop play after he was 35 too. There are a lot of roster decisions that will be made between now and then that will have a far greater impact on the ultimate success of this franchise, IMO, than whether or not they bring Jeter back.

            • Bubba

              “The Yankees have to do whatever it takes to keep him if he still wants to play.”

              That dooms a franchise. If the Yankees followed that line of thinking, they would not be making a baseball decision.

              • Knoxvillain

                I believe you’re wrong. Jeter means more to the Yankees than you’re giving him credit for. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Yankees turn into a much worse team when Jeter retires.

                • vicki


              • jjyank

                Sure, if extrolated all all players. But just for Jeter? I don’t think it will doom them.

                • jjyank

                  *extrapolated. Damn customers made me rush my comment!

          • Rocky Road Redemption

            Maybe, but I still think that’s what happens.

          • jjyank

            Doom is a strong word, I think. I agree with gc above me, the myriad of other decisions that will be made in the mean time will likely have more impact on the roster than Jeter will.

        • jesse

          No way. They’ll let him walk and replace him with Elvis Andrus. A portion of the fans will be pissy about it, but everything will be great when they win a World Series with him.

        • Squints

          What makes you think the owners and management give a damn about the fans? They destroyed a place the real fans in love to build a shopping mall that generates more money. If they calculate that keeping an old Jeter makes more money theyll do it otherwise hes gone. Yankees are about money.

  • Massparking

    He is the ultimate “team-first” guy, so long as what is being discussed — batting leadoff, playing shortstop, playing until he is 43, protecting Jorge, being Captain of guys he likes — benefits him.

    • Brian S.


    • JohnnyC

      Brian, no need to be pseudonymous when posting here.

  • Marcy

    I agree with you but just because I agree with you (and I would guess 99.9% of people agree with you) doesn’t mean Jeter agrees with us. The 1 thing I see is that if he stays healthy he believes in himself whether that continues…I don’t know.
    Some walk away and others have to have the uniform ripped off of them; I always thought he would walk away — I was wrong and I think perhaps the way he was treated by Cashman with all those “leaks” during the contract talks really irked him.
    In fact, I would guess the A-Rod contract irked him but…

    We’ll see – I hope he never gets embarrassed that way again and he goes on to do whatever he wants wherever he wants-

    • vicki

      i found jeter’s behavior just as embarrassing as cashman’s during that period. if not moreso.

      • Marcy

        What? Jeter didn’t say anything until he took the podium.

  • Rob

    Hope he isn’t still miffed. The money & lifestyle etc should smooth that over. But sports is a business so its an excellent point.

  • Chris

    I have no idea why, but I can see him being an DH and getting a little playing time at ages 42-43 in Cleveland. I think the bidding war between small market teams would be insane to have him even if it was for 1 year. Kansas City, San Diego, Mariners…shoot even the Mets might get in on it. Anyone with a huge park that can tell Jeter, hey…balls will drop in here.

  • Shawn

    I attended a Steiner Sports event last year where Jeter spoke and he also said at that time that he would like to own a team some day. So, this is not the first instance of him saying that directly, but further proof that he is serious about it. I personally feel they should just give him the team as his retirement gift in a few years.

  • Jose M. Vazquez

    Derek Jeter is already a Yankee immortal as was Ruth, Gehrig, Dimaggio, Berra and others. He can play or not play for another club if the Yankees don’t want him. This would not diminish his legend with the team or his fans. The truth is that he may have been offended during that last negotiation for a contract with all the leaks and all. Others have been offendsed and stayed away from YS for years, Yogi and Bernie for example. So if Derek says adieu,I would not hold it against him. That,of course is a long way off.

  • Joe

    I could see him with one other team. The Tigers. Just because Michigan was where he grew up. And who’s their shortstop now? It’s probably a decent guy who I can’t think of.

    As for owning a team. Maybe he buys the Yankees from the Steinbrenners. haha.

    • Mike

      Peralta is their SS

  • jon

    I read that article yesterday. I thought it was a put on. I didn’t think there was an actual interview.

  • Ed

    I don’t know if Jeter would really play for another team or not, but it’s in his best interests to make others believe that he would.

    For years, Pettitte began each offseason season by publicly saying, “I’ll play for the Yankees or retire.” That was ok for a while, until he had a bad year. Then the team played hardball with him, knowing he wouldn’t play elsewhere. He ended up signing a contract with a low base and lots of incentives.

    If Jeter publicly said he’d only play for the Yankees, he’d only be making things harder when it comes time for his next contract.

    • vicki

      pretty much this.

  • WhittakerWalt

    But the Yankees were right to play hardball with Jeter on his latest contract. He looked like he was finished as an impact player and re-signing him, at the time, was mostly a PR move. He’s being rewarded quite well these days, considering how abysmally he played in his supposed contract year.
    Yeah he’s playing great this year, but even this season has featured some major slumps where he looked cooked. He can’t play this well forever, much as we might wish otherwise.

  • Marcy

    I can see we all have different opinions on this but-

    I think we can all root together tonight-

    Go Yanks

  • Sly Robbie

    As it stands, Jeter’s option year is 2014 for $8 Million. Sadly, this is the beginning of the “Austerity” budget. Common sense says he declines, forcing the Yankees into a very difficult spot. Were I the Omnipotent Master of Time and Space, I would renegotiate the deal this off-season. Jeter would be offered a ridiculously front-loaded $30 million for 2013, two guaranteed $8 million years to follow, a $15 Million player option for 2017 and a $15 Million mutual option for 2018 with Mongo Incentive Bonus Bucks for consigning Charlie Hustle to the dustbin of Baseball History.

    Then again, were I the Omnipotent Master of Time and Space, I’d probably do things that I cannot describe here, lest Mike A. ban me from RAB.

    • JMK

      This plan is batshit insane. I like it.

  • Sly Robbie

    As it stands, Jeter’s option year is 2014 for $8 Million. Sadly, this is the beginning of the “Austerity” budget. Common sense says he declines, forcing the Yankees into a very difficult spot. Were I the Omnipotent Master of Time and Space, I would renegotiate the deal this off-season. Jeter would be offered a ridiculously front-loaded $30 million for 2013, two guaranteed $8 million years to follow, a $15 Million player option for 2017 and a $15 Million mutual option for 2018 with Ridiculous Incentive Bonus Bucks for consigning Charlie Hustle to the dustbin of Baseball History.

    Then again, were I the Omnipotent Master of Time and Space, I’d probably do things that I cannot describe here, lest Mike A. ban me from RAB.

  • bpdelia

    If Jeter hits 275/345/400 next year that option will be torn up and he will be looking for another 3, year deal. Honestly he proved,ne wrong this year. Its totally possible he can get that record even if he, has to dh. im not betting against his ability, to remain JUST productive enough to, make it a,hella tough call

  • brian

    I just have this hunch that we’re going to see Jeter at the top of the lineup against left handed pitching well into his 40s… that’s just something i’ve always thought….

    don’t know if jeter, sitting at around 3650-3700 hits in the fall of 2014 will still be able to hit right handers well enough going forward to continue to grind out 150 game seasons… time will tell i guess

    i’m just really excited… i always thought jeter would get to 4,000 hits going all the way back to may of 1999… and he might still fall well short, but closing in on 3,300.. its starting to feel, well, REAL

    i don’t care about rose’s record (for now anyways)… as other pointed out he was managing the team.. but i do care greatly about 4,000

  • RetroRob

    Well after seeing Jeter’s response to this whole thing, and then Rick Reilly trying to defend it, I have to wonder one thing. After Skip Bayless and now Rick Reilly, is there any reason Derek Jeter should speak to an ESPN reporter from now until the end of time?

  • Deep Thoughts

    The headline should have been, “Jeter will play elsewhere for ‘a good team’ for ownership equity stake.”