When I previewed Spring Training, I gave my readers a list of names to watch while Jeets, Cano, and Alex were fighting it out in the WBC. Those names were Ramiro Pena, Eduardo Nunez, and Kevin Russo. Lo and behold, Ramiro Pena flashed the leather, put together a good Spring and won the utlity infielder's job over the much better hitter in Angel Berrora.
This is telling. History has taught me that 9 times out of 10 the Yankes go with the hitter over the fielder. The fact that Pena is considered one of the best young defensive shortstops in the game is also very important. For while Pena was turning heads and impressing the right people, Jeter was flailing, diving, and and desperately reaching for (and misssing) anything and everything to his left --- when Jimmy Rollins wasn't showing him how an elite SS plays the game that is. Finally, the "Derek Jeter is a shitty fielder" discussion has reached a national level. If the WBC has done nothing else, this should suffice.
The next two years with DJ may very well be our final. As good as he is, and he is good, there's just no spot left for a 37 year old SS. People point to the outfield, but the vastness of left would eat him alive. I mean if he's got no range or arm at short, why move him to the outfield? DH is also pretty much out of the question as Derek's SLG % and extra-base hits have been down year to year. No one really wants a singles-only DH. First is bloked by Teixiera til 2016. Cano's got 2nd and you-know-who's at 3rd until I'm 40.
Really, injury is Derek's best way out. That or the retirement of Alex Rodriguez. And while it is true that Image-wise the Yankees need Jeter's Ying to discount Alex's Yang. Or in a more Freudian way, Alex is the id and Derek is the ego -- too much, sorry. I point to guys like Teixiera, Robinson Cano, and even Brett Gardner to fill that "Aww shucks, I just play baseball, folks" pollyanna mentality that the media shines on Derek Jeter.
Clocks a' tickin' DJ and there's actually a guy behind you who can hold his own at the position.