Friday, February 14, 2014

With Derek Jeter announcing that 2014 will be his last season in pinstripes, the Yankees now have the year to think about and plan out who will replace Jeter in the future. The one thing that we know for sure is that nobody can actually replace The Captain.

The Yankees have options between now and Opening Day 2015. One option that they have that will not require any additional free agent spending would be to move Alex Rodriguez back to shortstop (where he began his career playing). However, coming off of two his surgeries in the past five years, the Yankees would never even think of using him at shortstop.

They barley even want him playing third base for them next season, as it already it.

Option number two for the Yankees is to try to sign one via free agency. Next year, there are three shortstops that stand out and would fit the hole in the Yankees middle infield. Those three are Hanley Ramirez, Asdrubal Cabrera and J.J. Hardy. All three would be looking for long term, high value contracts probably somewhere in the ballpark of 5 years $75 million. 

All three of those guys would take a little bit of the sting off of losing Jeter, but would not solve the problem.

Ramirez was brought up in the Red Sox organization, but he was traded in 2005 with Anibal Sanchez to the Marlins for Mike Lowell and Josh Beckett. Hanley is a career .302 hitter and will be 31 years old going into the 2015 season. 

Hanley also has six seasons with 20 or more home runs. Although it is still up in the air on whether he will resign with the Dodgers or not, there is a really good shot that the Yankees will make a push to sign him next offseason.

Cabrera was brought up by the Mariners organization and was traded to the Indians in 2006 for Eduardo Perez. Cabrera is a two time All-Star and a career .273 hitter. He will be entering his age 29 season in 2015. Asdrubal finished last season third in the MLB in fielding percentage as a shortstop. 

The Indians have not made any indications that they will try and bring Cabrera back on a long term deal, so it is most likely that Cabrera will wind up on the Yankees radar next December at the Winter Meetings and throughout the offseason.

J.J. Hardy seems like a very realistic target for the Yankees next offseason if he is not resigned by the Orioles. Although Hardy struggled while he was on the Brewers early in his career, he has played exceptionally well while on the Orioles in the tough American League East. Hardy has hit 77 home runs in the last three seasons while playing for the Orioles and has won back to back Gold Glove awards. Hardy will be entering his age 32 season.

Lastly, the Yankees can look overseas for their next shortstop. They have already have been reported to have a few international players verbally commit to signing with them over the summer, and have recently been scouting Cuban SS Aledmys Diaz. 

Diaz is 23 years old, can hit for power and is a good fielder. Scouts say that he is a major league ready hitter, which means he would be ready to play in 2015 when the Yankees would need him in the infield. Diaz is eligible to sign on February 19th.

There are many options for the Yankees at short and it is all just a waiting game to see what they do, but until then, we all have to look back and remember all of the great things that Derek Jeter has done for the Yankees and for baseball in general.


Adam Israel is a Staff Writer for Yanks Beat Blog.


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