2014 Midseason Grades: The Infielders

DotF: Jagielo homers in latest rehab game
Robertson confirms there have been no extension talks with Yankees

Even though it is not really the halfway point of the season, there is no better time to review the first half than the All-Star break. This week we’ll hand out some simple and straightforward grades, A through F, for the catchers, infielders, outfielders, rotation, and bullpen. These grades are totally subjective. We started yesterday with the catchers, now let’s move on to the infielders.


Mark Teixeira — Grade B (A+ for Foul Territory)

There were a lot of questions about the infield coming into the season in general, but especially Teixeira. The Yankees’ first baseman missed almost all of last season due to a tendon sheath injury in his wrist that eventually required surgery, and wrist surgery can be very problematic even after the player has been cleared to play. Remember, Teixeira started Spring Training late and has still felt soreness during the season. It has caused him to miss a game or two here and there. (His only DL stint was hamstring related.)

Despite that, Teixeira has been the team’s most consistent and productive power hitter this summer, coming into the All-Star break with a .241/.341/.464 (120 wRC+) batting line with a team-leading 17 homers. His power output (.222 ISO) is right in line with his last full healthy season (.224 ISO in 2012), which is definitely encouraging after the wrist surgery. Most importantly, he’s done most of his damage against right-handed pitchers (130 wRC+), who used to give him the most trouble. Is he Teixeira of old? No, of course not. That guy isn’t coming back. But he’s returned to his pre-surgery ways and been a much-needed force in the middle of the lineup.

Weirdly enough, the biggest issue for Teixeira this season has been his defense. He’s already committed six errors this season, his most since 2004, and while errors are not the best way to evaluate defense, most of them were plays we’re used to seeing Teixeira make. I think his scooping at first has been fine. It’s the hard-hit balls he used to turn into outs that are now eating him up. I think it’s a combination of rust from the lost 2013 season and a decline in his skills. Either way, Teixeira has definitely been a positive for the Yankees this year, especially when you consider he’s coming off major surgery.


Brian Roberts — Grade C

There was no way the Yankees were not going to have a massive drop off in production at second base this year. Robinson Cano was the best player at the position last year and has been for several years running, so by definition he is irreplaceable. Roberts was not exactly a popular choice as Cano’s replacement given his long injury history and the fact that he wasn’t all that productive even when healthy ways. The Yankees love veterans though, especially AL East proven guys.

Roberts has remained remarkably healthy so far this year — he missed a handful of games with a back issue in April, but that’s it — while being more than a total zero at the plate. His .241/.306/.376 (87 wRC+) batting line comes with the occasional homer (five), the occasional stolen bases (seven), the occasional walk (8.4%), and always a very long at-bat (4.04 pitches per plate appearance). Roberts has been fine defensively at second if not an asset. He’s a perfectly capable stopgap and No. 9 hitter who has been asked to bear more responsibility. Will Roberts hit a wall later in the year after not playing a full season since 2009? I have a hard time thinking his second half will be better than his first, honestly.

Derek Jeter — Grade C

(Al Bello/Getty)
(Al Bello/Getty)

Like Teixeira, Jeter was coming off a major injury. He missed just about all of last season with a series of leg problems, including a twice-fractured ankle. Add in the fact that he is a 39-year-old shortstop — a demographic that is not well-represented throughout history — and things were definitely stacked against the Cap’n coming into 2014.

Jeter’s season has been underwhelming statistically but I don’t it’s worst case scenario stuff. Like I said, a 39-year-old shortstop coming off a major leg injury could have been really, really ugly. Jeter is hitting .272/.324/.322 (80 wRC+) overall, so his power is non-existent, but he does rank third among qualified AL shortstops in OBP and is only five points away from leading. Is it vintage Jeter? Absolutely not. But relative to the league average shortstop (.308 OBP and 87 wRC+), he’s been passable.

Defensive is another matter. Jeter’s glovework has never been good and at this point he’s barely mobile. The old “he makes the plays on the balls he gets to” rhetoric doesn’t even apply anymore. He’s booted more grounders and made more offline throws this season than I can ever remember. Inside Edge data says he has converted only 46.2% of “likely” plays into outs, which are defined as plays that would be make 60-90% of the time on average. He hasn’t make anything tougher than an “even” play (40-60%) either. It’s been ugly.

The total package, offense plus defense, has not been good for the Yankees this year. At the same time, I’m generously giving Jeter a C instead of a D or F because he has played better than I expected coming off the ankle injury at his age. Maybe I’m just a giant homer. The Cap’n has not been good this season though, certainly not by his standards, but it could have been much worse given everything that happened last year.

(Brian Blanco/Getty)
(Brian Blanco/Getty)

Kelly Johnson — Grade D

The Yankees have put Johnson in a tough spot for most of the year — playing once or twice a week, usually at an unfamiliar position like first or third base — but, at the same time, he knew what he was walking into when he signed as a free agent over the winter. He has hit .214/.299/.380 (87 wRC+) with six homers in 211 plate appearances, including a disappointing 83 wRC+ against righties and an even more disappointing 87 wRC+ at Yankee Stadium. Five of his six long balls have come in the Bronx.

Johnson’s defense has been a problem, though again, he has mostly played out of position — he came into the season with only 18 innings at first base and 118 innings at third base. He has spent 199.2 innings at first and 255.1 innings at third this year, committing nine total errors and not looking particularly graceful either. Johnson was a shrewd signing and a wonderful fit for the roster on paper — left-handed hitter with power who can play the three non-shortstop infield positions as well as left field — but it just hasn’t worked out halfway through the season.

Yangervis Solarte — Grade B

Man those first eight or so weeks were fun, weren’t they? I like to think I’m well-versed in the minor leagues but even I had not heard of Solarte before the Yankees signed him as a minor league free agent over the winter. It goes without saying that no one expected to take over as the starting third baseman for the first eight weeks of the season, during which he hit .299/.368/.458 (128 wRC+) in 229 plate appearances. Solarte was a godsend for a beleaguered offense.

(Al Bello/Getty)
(Al Bello/Getty)

The Solarte Partay came to crashing halt after that, unfortunately. He has hit .111/.238/.130 (10 wRC+!) in 63 plate appearances since, earning him a demotion to Triple-A Scranton. Yangervis has owns a .255/.338/.382 (101 wRC+) line in 288 trips to the plate overall and holy crap, no one expected that. Even if he never hits again, those first eight weeks made the signing more than worth it. That’s even considering Solarte’s occasionally shaky defense. He was a great story and a tremendously productive player into early-June. His days as a useful MLB player may have already come to an end, but boy did Solarte contribute in a big way when given an opportunity early this season.

Brendan Ryan — Grade C

Giving Ryan two years plus a player option this past offseason definitely flies under the radar as a lolwtf offseason move. I mean, yeah, I get it. Jeter was a major question mark, but geez. Ryan spent the first five weeks of the season on the disabled list with a back injury, and he’s nothing more than a no-bat (.235/.273/.255, 43 wRC+ in 55 PA), good but no longer elite glove infielder who plays maybe once a week. It’s far from the best use of the roster spot, but the Yankees are stuck with him. It’s just a weird fit. Even weirder are all those times Ryan played first base while Jeter manned short. He’s fine as the 24th man on the roster. Just a pricey and not at all versatile (in terms of bringing different things to the table) insurance policy for Jeter in his final season.

Zelous Wheeler, Dean Anna, Scott Sizemore — incomplete

These three guys have combined for 61 total plate appearances — Anna has the most at 25 — and have hit a combined .232/.246/.438. Most of the power production comes from Wheeler, who has hit two homers in his 20 plate appearances. He is currently with the team in that revolving door 25th man spot while Sizemore is stashed in Triple-A awaiting an injury. Anna has already been designated for assignment (to make room on the roster for Zelous) and claimed off waivers from the Pirates. I wonder how many more guys will cycle through this role in the second half.

* * *

There were some serious concerns about the infield coming into the season. Teixeira and Jeter were huge question marks following their injuries and the same was true of Roberts given his history. Johnson was the sure thing on the infield at the start of camp. The defense has been hideous — Yankees’ pitchers have a .258 BABIP on ground balls, the seventh highest in baseball (league average is .244), and even more grounders would sneak through for hits if not for the club’s aggressive shifting — and that was fairly predictable.

The infield has, by and large, been more productive than I expected, mostly because Solarte was awesome for a while and Teixeira has shown no lingering issues with the wrist when it comes to raw production. Roberts is the new Lyle Overbay — the best of all the bad players and therefore giving off the appearance of being good — and Jeter’s Jeter. He’s untouchable. The Yankees have some internal options who may improve the infield, namely Triple-A Scranton second baseman Rob Refsnyder, but either way  it’s clear they could use some help in the second half. Beefing up third base is an obvious upgrade area.

DotF: Jagielo homers in latest rehab game
Robertson confirms there have been no extension talks with Yankees
  • Darren

    Is this trolling or did you totally ignore the grading criteria you set for yourself? In what world is Roberts a “C” relative to expectations? The fact that Roberts has been “perfectly capable” has to bump him out of C territory doesn’t it?

    And Jeter? People assumed we’d be lucky if he stayed on the field and were worried he’d hit .220. I guess your expectations were higher than you let on!

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      Yeah I did do that, didn’t I?

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        This is clearly going to throw off the reliability of the longitudinal study, Axisa. All this hard work now out the window. Bah!

    • Mandy Stankiewicz

      I love these mid season grades articles–totally subjective. But I would agree with Darren, Roberts hasn’t played a full year since 2009, and he’s almost a decade removed from hitting like his mid/late 2000’s all star self (2007). His expectation was ‘aging stopgap all-star 2B’ and he’s played as expected, without injury. B. Now KJ on the other hand…

    • WhittakerWalt

      You’d grade Jeter higher than a C?

      • nycsportzfan

        I’d probably give him a C+/B-.. Somewhere in that range. Not exactly like any other SS’s are lighting it up. Hes better then most of them still. And hes on pace for 12 SB as well, which is a little bonus.

        • WhittakerWalt

          But he plays horrible defense at a premium position. We’re all happy he’s managed to stay healthy, but he’s not an asset.

      • Darren

        Compared to expectations, I think he’s a B or B+ – if for no other reason than he’s healthy and his BA is ok.

        Compared to the rest of the league, he’s probably a B-. This is not the Miguel Tejada/Nomar/Jeter league of 10 years ago or else the grade would be much lower. Shortstops are just shortstops again.

        Compared to “Derek Jeter”, meaning Jeter in his prime, he’s a D+.

  • Ed K

    Time to get Ref!!

  • Yangeddard Solarte

    Teixera A
    Jeter B-
    Roberts B-
    Kelly Johnson F
    Yangervis Solarte B+
    Brendan Ryan B-

    Teixera gets an A because he’s carried what little offense they do have. He’s the only consistent power bat and he’s exceeded expectations.

    Jeter has exceeded expectations for a 40 year old SS coming off a missed season due to a broken ankle. The fact that he’s counted on so much isn’t his fault.

    Same with Roberts. He’s been hitting 6th, should be 8th or 9th and not be counted on that much for offense.

    Kelly Johnson is atrocious offensively and defensively. Should be cut.

    Solarte isn’t supposed to be here, let alone carry the offense for a month.

    Ryan is backup, can’t really expect much out of him.

    The problem lies with Beltran and McCann not producing. They were supposed to be the big boppers behind Teixera but since they aren’t guys like Jeter and Roberts are expected to do more.

  • I’m One

    …. and are relative to expectations.

    I’ve got a bit of an issue with your scoring of Teix & Jeter then, Mike. You point out that both Teix & Jeter are coming back from major injuries and that we couldn’t really know what to expect from them. Did you expect Jeter to hit .300+ with any power at all? And he had limited range before the ankle injury, so were you expecting it to get better? Did you expect anything at all from Teix offensively, knowing that it took Ortiz & Bautista took half a season to begin to return to normal? I get it with Teix’s D, but over all, I think both should be graded higher if you’regading against expectations. Relative to others currently playing the position on other teams, I think the grades are just fine.

    • I’m One

      I started my comments before Darren posted, but due to an interruption (Damn work requiredments!), I didn’t finish them till after he posted and you responded, Mike. Please ignore. :-)

  • Ed

    This line stood out to me: Yankees’ pitchers have a .258 BABIP on ground balls, the seventh highest in baseball (league average is .244)

    They’re letting through 1.4% more ground balls for hits than the league average. That probably works out to something like 2 hits a week. From the way we complain here, you’d think they were giving away multiple hits each game. It’s definitely a much smaller difference than I would’ve expected.

    • RetroRob

      I suspect that their defensive shifts are helping offset some less than stellar defenders.

  • Reggie C.

    This season needs more Foul Territory.

  • Darren

    Here are the grades relative to expectations:

    Tex: A-
    Roberts: B/B+
    Jeter: B/B+
    Johnson: D
    Solarte: A-

    Here are the grades without context/expectations:

    Tex: B+
    Roberts: B-
    Jeter: C+
    Johnson: D
    Solarte: B

    • JGYank

      I think you were a little too kind on the ones without context/expectations. Jeter is more of a C- or D+ with his lack of power, dps, and no range. Roberts has been better than expected, but still is average or a little below at 2b. I’d give him a C. Solarte was an average hitter over the whole year with not great defense so I’d also give him a C maybe a C+. KJ’s grade is about right and Tex’s grade is ok although I’d lower him to a B because of the worse defense, missed time, and the other stars that play 1st (Cabrera, Freeman, Goldy, etc.)

  • OldYanksFan

    Brian Roberts currently has 1.5 bWar, on pace for 2.5 bWar. Did ANYONE think at the beginning of the season think he would reach 2.5 War?

    People love to bash Cashman. Roberts is on pace to be worth $15m this year, and is getting paid $2m. If he were on the A’s, people here would be opining on the great Billy Beane, getting that kind of value from a player everyone thought was washed up.

    If we have to be able to absorb huge contracts like ARod, CC and Teix… and if the Yankees are going to continue to spend big on selected elite players, then we need the remaining ‘role’ players be produce well for a meager salary. Imagine if of our 25 man roster, we had 19 guys who each produced 2.5 War for $2m each. We could then afford 6 Mike Trouts and have dynasty type team.

    Furthermore, Roberts has hit the ball well… much better than his numbers suggest. His numbers are similar to Jeter’s, yet Roberts has far more LDs and hard hit balls.

    Based on expectations, I would give Roberts at least a B, and Cashman an A.

    • Farewell Mo

      According to fangraphs, he’s only has been worth 0.3 WAR so far which projects to about 0.5 WAR for the season.

      For $2 million, that’s fine for a stopgap as Mike stated but lets not pretend his signing has been some major find or something

      • OldYanksFan

        Man… I hate that the ‘same’ stat, WAR, has such great variations between BRef and FG.

        Comparing bWar to bWar, Roberts is pretty much middle-of-the-pack amongst 2nd basemen…. maybe ever-so-slightly below average. League-wise, a C-.

        FG has Roberts at -3.9 on D.
        Historically, here are Roberts D numbers.

        Seems like FG thinks he’s a real Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde with the glove.

        • Farewell Mo

          From what I understand, most people tend to go with fWAR for position players and bWAR for pitchers though I’m far from a sabermetrician

          • Dalek Jeter

            The only real reason people do that has more to do with the way fWAR for pitchers is determined. Fangraphs uses FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) to determine WAR for pitchers, while B-Ref uses ERA (and WHIP I think). People that use B-Ref for pitchers do so because FIP is a theoretical number while ERA and WHIP are “what actually happened” as opposed to “what should have happened.”

          • RetroRob

            Unless it’s 1B’men and Catchers, in which case you should just throw the defensive stats out the window, hopefully from a high floor.

        • Tom

          Problem 1: The # you are quoting (which appears to be “DEF”), includes positional value and is not purely defense

          Problem 2: A lot of these are half or partial seasons.

          Problem 3: You didn’t account for differences in playing time

          Problem 4: Injuries (which he has a lot of) will actually impact defense.

          Here are UZR/150 for Brian Roberts full seasons (100+ games):

          This looks a lot like a player who early on was a plus defender and got closer to average/slightly below average as he got older. And after 4-5 injury ridden year is probably not the plus defender that bWAR seems to think he is… which is why people don’t use bWAR for position players that often, especially smaller samples (multi year and career #’s start balancing out more)

          I get that you are trying to discredit fWAR and make it sound like the bWAR # is reasonable to support your point, but you are really taking way too many liberties with the statistics. There is no Jekyl and Hyde here.

    • mike

      I have to share the Roberts Love….he has been everything the Yanks could have expected and more, and frankly i think he has hit more line drives / better authority than anyone else on the team – with a little luck his BA would certainly be higher.

      defensively, he has made all the routine plays, and there have only been a few times this year where I would assume Cano would have gotten to the ball…yet with the crazy positioning of the defense this year with the shifting, who knows if he has been cheating a little and thus not in position to make a play which ordinarily would be in his range.

      plus, he is a good baserunner and has stayed healthy…all for chump change salary and no commitment whatsoever beyond his last game.

      Besides Tanaka and Solarte, this is Cash’s biggest win of the offseason so far…that could change with the next game, but Roberts has certainly been a plus

      • Evan3457

        Baseball HQ’s XBA (stat attempts to normalize a player’s BAVG given his K, GB, LD, and FB percentages) is .262 as opposed to his current .241. Roberts BABIP backs this up at well. It’s .269, which is low considering the line drive percentage is 24.5%, so far this year.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      The problem here is that expectations of player and expectations of position are going to give very different results at times.

      With Axisa vacilating back and forth, we’re never going to get this into the New England Journal of Meaningless Positional Statistics now.

    • Mandy Stankiewicz

      ” If he were on the A’s, people here would be opining on the great Billy Beane”
      Dude, this. I don’t understand why he’s hated so hard around here. If I had a dollar for every ‘DFA Roberts, bring up Refsnyder!’

  • Farewell Mo

    2015 infield:

    1B: Teix
    2B: Refsnyder
    SS: JJ Hardy
    3B: Chase Headley

    • Scott

      My prediction

      1B Tex
      2B Ref
      SS Tulo
      3B A-Rod

      • mike

        Tulo’s splits are worrying, especially for his salary and what its going to take to get him.

        • I’m One

          And his injury history.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Not out of the realm of possibility at all.

      I’d be slightly worried as to getting one side of the infield after pretty down years from both, but it’d also give the team the opportunity to get them for much less than they would have even a season ago….

      ….I mean, what are the odds of both of them not recovering? Probably about as remote as the changes of the killer rotation we built at the start of the season all getting hurt.

    • RetroRob

      If nothing else, it should rate strong defensively outside of Refsnyder, and who knows, maybe he can even get to be at least league average by next year.

      As an aside, Tex actually has had a down year defensively, although he seems to be improving as the year moves along. Odd plays, throwing to bases that he shouldn’t. I wonder if a year off can have that much of an impact.

  • OldYanksFan

    Is this old News?
    “On Monday, the New York Yankees released outfielder Alfonso Soriano, according to Major League Baseball’s online transactions page.”

    • The Great Gonzo

      Semi-old news. He was DFA’d last week, which means they had to trade, cut or get him to accept assignment within a week(?). Looks like cut is the route they chose, although I think he woulda had some fun in Scranton.

  • Scott

    So this is going on with the number one overall pick from this year’s draft:

    It says in the article that if he doesn’t sign with the Stros he is a free agent. Can the Yanks sign him, if so what are the ramifications, and finally, should they take a shot on a guy who might have ligament damage, but could be an ace pitcher someday?

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Finally, someone who understands and loves me for who I am.

      Ty Hensley

    • Ed

      If he doesn’t sign, he goes back into the draft next year.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        The term “free agent” is there in the article, though. May not be that simple. I have zero clue.

        • Ed

          Here’s the free agent bit:

          Aiken would become a free agent if he failed his physical and the Astros did not make an offer of at least 40 percent of his slot value (roughly $3.17MM).

          From the update at the top of the post:

          Aiken’s adviser, Casey Close of Excel Sports Management, tells Rosenthal that the team has made just one revised offer — a bonus of $3,168,840. That amount represents the minimum bonus Houston would need to offer in order to receive the second pick in next year’s draft as compensation.

          Basically, if you draft a player and don’t make a “reasonable” offer for the position he was drafted in, you don’t get a compensation pick, and the player becomes a free agent. Houston seems to have officially made the minimum offer allowed to satisfy the rules. Unless somebody caves and they make a deal, they’ll get a compensation pick and he’ll go back into the draft.

          • Jorge Steinbrenner

            Thank you.

          • RetroRob

            The “free agent” wording confused me too, but the Astros seem to have covered themselves by making the minimum offer. Aiken may still refuse to take the offer, but that means he goes back into the draft.

            The problem, though, for the Astros is while they will get a compensation pick for next year, they apparently won’t be able to afford the over slot pick (Nix) unless Aiken actually signs because then they’re overall pool or money, and thus how much they can go over, is lowered. Seems to me Aiken can pretty much sit back and force the Astros to increase their offer. Not knowing what the abnormality is, it might require TJS. If this kid is a stud, I’m not sure they’ll want to lose him and Nix for a million or so dollars. It could be a game of chicken leading into Friday.

            If nothing else, this highlights yet another flaw in this system.

    • Tom

      The FA thing is based on how much the club offers with respect to the slot value. It’s to prevent clubs from lowballing draft picks – it basically prevents the club form saying “you don’t like our #, sit out a year”

      He would only become a FA if they offered him less than 40% of the pick’s slot value. If they offer him more than that than he would have to go back into the draft next year if he didn’t sign 0 assuming he’s still draft eligible (which he would be)

      The Astros are apparently also jerking around another signing because if they don’t get Aiken signed, this other signing (their 5th rounder who they sign way overslot) it would put them in the penalty area and they would lose a pick next year. They apparently had a deal in place and rescinded it pending the outcome of Aiken.

      • Tom

        the “0” is meant to be a “-” in the 2nd paragraph (happy fingers)

  • The Great Gonzo

    I guess, if I were to nitpick (which imma do), its that no one expected Roberts to be UPRIGHT in July, let alone contributing. I would give him a better grade than that. Otherwise, I can so-sign on the rest of these…

  • Vern Sneaker

    Whatever the individual grades, this infield sucks. The goal is to make the playoffs, then win a championship. We’re light-years from that. The infield needs nearly a total rebuild. Roberts’ is merely adequate, and his OBP is lower than all regular second-basemen except Beckham and Hill. Jeter’s very ordinary offensively and worse defensively. Third-base is a hole.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Being that, other than the first baseman, I don’t really see how anyone here returns next season, you’re getting a total rebuild no matter what.

      Second base hasn’t been the total mountain of suck I thought it’d be. Third base has been far worse than I thought it’d be. There’s been little consistency there.

      • Vern Sneaker

        The problem is the extent of the rebuild, which also includes starting pitching and RF besides nearly the whole infield. The last time I can remember the situation being this bad was the late 80s-early 90s (that might have been somewhat worse) and it took 5-6 years to get back to championship level in a better environment for rebuilding than now. It’s difficult now to rebuild from the free-agent market, and if you give up the best in your system for one or even two upgrade pieces, then you still have too many weaknesses and nothing left to build from. It’s a waste. The way to go now, IMO, is write off a few more years and let the minor league prospects eventually build the team.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          I understand your point of view, but I’m not a fan of fire sales, and the term simply is not going to exist in this franchise’s vocabulary.

          Dave Dombrowski expertly executed a fire sale afer ’97. It just doesn’t work the way that did. Ever. We also don’t have the parts to get what we’d need in return unless the gutting goes deeper than anyone here wants it to. Even then, it’s still intellectual exercise.

          There’s multiple holes, and they’re going to continue finding better ways to fill them, even if it turns into a big game of Whack-a-Mole.

        • RetroRob

          …and getting back took a total collapse that led to better draft picks, including signing Derek Jeter.

          They’re not at collapse yet, and with the CBA rules, a rebuild will be difficult without a collapse, at least I think.

      • Farewell Mo

        At least there are viable options for the IF next year with guys like Hardy, Cabrera and Lowrie at SS and Headley and Sandoval at 3B plus Refsnyder is showing every indication of being able to step in at 2B so there’s hope of having a pretty decent IF next year.
        None of these guys should be obscenely expensive relatively speaking either, certainly not close to what guys like Cano, Ellsbury and Choo got last year.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          Agree for sure. Certainly guys who excite me a lot more than the 2013-14 non-Robbie offerings.

        • Mandy Stankiewicz

          Remember, ARod is still on this team until he’s not.

          • Farewell Mo

            I think it’s a pipe dream to think Arod is gonna stay healthy and effective next year after missing nearly 2 full seasons at his age so I think they need to get a 3rd baseman and they can always use Arod as DH if he’s still on the team.

            • hornblower

              Without the chemical help Arod is finished. Actually he can’t run to first without pulling a muscle. Don’t be surprised if the Yanks take him to court for the money. He will have to go the yellow pages for a lawyer since he hasn’t paid the ones for his PED defense yet.

              • Jorge Steinbrenner

                I don’t think it’s the chemicals. He’s not going to be able to stay healthy. He barely got through his cameo last season.

                Remember how the biggest advantage the Yankees have is money? They’re going to need it to overlook that dead weight.

                Just think of him as a taller, more expensive Kelly Johnson, without the positional versatility. Woohoo!

            • Mandy Stankiewicz

              Oh, totally agree. In fact, from a PR point of view, I could even imagine the front office possibly eating his contract, just to erase Arod from the Yankees’ brand narrative, ‘Our History.’

              But, until he’s gone, he’s still here–and I couldn’t see the Yankees signing an everyday 3B with immediate/full-time position openings at SS/2B. Maybe he could DH, but most likely he’ll be rotated between guys like Beltran and McCann while they have a utility guy patch-in for Arod. And, if we’re talking FA’s, who would want to come to NY to play 3B when they know they’re going to have to split time here with an aging ‘superstar.’ If Arod is cut, retires, gets hurt while suspended (allowing insurance to pay his contract) or something like that before April, I think only then he’ll be replaced by a full-time 3B.

              • RetroRob

                A-Rod will be back.

                What he does on the field, however, is another story.

  • WhittakerWalt

    I think you’re being very, very generous with the C grade for Jeter. It’s OK, you admit it. 80 wRC+ would be acceptable if he was playing anything even approaching passable defense, but he’s not. He’s a below replacement level player now. Yes, I’m still glad he’s on the team, because he’s my favorite player, but he’s not getting a C grade.

  • ChuckIt

    Stop bashing Jeter! you obviously you forget that he’s been the heart & soul of this team,for 5 championship seasons.This is the end of the line for him.If you think he’s a big part of the reason this team is going nowhere fast,your an idiot.take all your useless fancy stats and shove ’em.This team is going nowhere fast,and there’s a hell of a lot more wrong with it than a first ballot HOF player playing his final year for the ONLY team he’s ever played for,and a DYNASTY, no less.AND yes,he does deserve to lead off in the all star game,because there is no other player,at his or the new generation that is even close to his stature,at his or any other position.Enjoy it while you can,because it’s going to be a long,LONG time before you see a player of his stature ever again.

    • WhittakerWalt

      No one forgets what Jeter has done in his career, but he’s not good anymore. That’s all. Simple.
      Objective analysis does not equal “bashing.”
      Anyway, spellcheck is your friend.

  • Chris H

    Not sure how you can be both below average offensively at your position and well below average defensively at your position and ever come away with anything but an F grade.

    The Derek Jeter farewell ride is getting out of hand, he’s done and it needs to be said flatly. Sure he’s actually played in more games to this point than I thought but his power production is drain on the lineup and in the field he’s costing us games.

    • WhittakerWalt

      Do you see anyone denying that Jeter is done?
      What do you want him to do? Retire right after the A-S game? Do you want the Yankees to DFA him? I just don’t know what you want.