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Derek Jeter grew tired of the penny-pinching Miami Marlins, resigned as CEO. Surely a plan to return to the Yankees is feasible…
Yesterday, Derek Jeter crashed into the monotony of labor negotiations between MLB and the Players Association (MLBPA) with a stunning announcement that he was stepping down as CEO of the Miami Marlins immediately.
Jeter added his intention to sell his 4% minority stake in the team.
From day one, when he made his major league debut with the Yankees in 1995 at the age of 20, Derek Jeter has always been the personification of a winner.
Once settled in Miami, however, and despite the technical changes up and down for the franchise, Jeter ultimately had to question the managing partners’ real intention of producing a winning team.
Always a diplomat, Jeter didn’t go far to use the word ‘tanking’ in his press release, but the inference was obvious when he pointed to what he thought was a deal allowing him to increase mass. the team’s salary of $10 million to $15 million for the 2022 season.
It’s no coincidence that one of the main points of contention between owners and players in the ongoing talks is the issue of tanking – whereby teams deliberately lose to earn high-level draft picks.
The owners are playing the game of denial and refusing to attend last year’s Major League final standings in which four teams lost 100 or more games.
Perhaps remembering his days as a player when winning was paramount to everyone, Jeter looked at the Marlins’ 67-95 record last season and paused to wonder – is it me and is it that I want to be part of it? His answer is a resounding no – saying, “that’s not what I signed up for”.
What’s next for Derek Jeter?
Derek Jeter is still writing his screenplay and the world is at his feet. But following what he likely perceives as a personal failure in Miami, and assuming Jeter wants and needs more in the game of baseball, a return to where it all began is entirely possible.
How it works? Consider Brian Cashman’s contract expires at the end of the 2022 season. As the Yankees’ longest-serving general manager, Cashman is at the end of a run that began at its peak with four world titles.
But since then, the Yankees have plunged into the depths of despair with not a single title since 2009.
Love ’em or hate ’em, no one would ever say the Yankees would consider tanking or not putting one of the highest-paid teams on the field every season, even with the recent restrictions imposed on Cashman by partner Hal Steinbrenner. Yankees manager.
Where Cashman failed to assemble the right players to form a championship team, Jeter walked in Miami despite budget constraints – excelling in developing players like Sandy Alcantara, Jazz Chisholm, Jesus Sanchez and Lewin Diaz. Earlier this month, ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel ranked the Marlins system fourth among 30 organizations.
It gets old, however, when Jeter, feeling he was doing his part, couldn’t squeeze a measly $10 million to improve his team this year – a “jump” from $57 million last year. (the fourth-lowest payroll in MLB).
Put Derek Jeter in a situation where he can use his exceptional talent for evaluating players and a more than reasonable budget – and beware!
Jeter and the Yankees need time to grease the wheels
Although he doesn’t have a job in baseball for the foreseeable future, Derek Jeter has a lot on his plate. Selling his stake in the Marlins is priority number one, and that, for all the obvious reasons, won’t be an easy task.
Second, Jeter and his wife Hannah scored a hat-trick in December when their third child (all girls) was born. At 2 and 4, plus newborn, Jeter (now 47) has the chance to spend some quality time with his family for the 2022 baseball season.
The Yankees also need time to settle the score with Brian Cashman, perhaps rewarding him with a slight push upstairs to end his baseball career.
Or for Cashman to explore opportunities with another team – an avenue that will surely be open to him if he chooses to do so.
The Yankees also need a plan to cover Jeter’s expected desire to own part of the Yankees if he returns as general manager. Stocks available in the Yankees are scarce, and Jeter may have to accept a promissory note going forward.
Throwing can rock the Yankees world
In any event, there are reasons beyond speculation to consider a Jeter-Yankees reunion.
Both sides need change, but this time it’s the Yankees who need Jeter more than Jeter needs the Yankees.
Lurking in the background are the less than smooth negotiations between Jeter and the Yankees (Jeter feeling shunned) in 2010 when his final contract was drafted.
On the other side, however, the Yankees are one of the few teams in baseball to openly give a win bonus, and they back it up with free-spending ways that continue to attract some of baseball’s best talent – a trait Throw Is married to.
You didn’t hear it here first because I suspect you too had the same thought about Jeter and the Yankees as soon as you heard the news yesterday.
If that happens, it won’t be easy and the process will be long as Jeter and the Yankees gather their wits in the coming months to assess whether a knot is appropriate for both parties.
Of more immediate importance, however, is the condition that Brian Cashman leaves the Yankees in what will likely be his final season as the team’s general manager.
Will Jeter acquire a team similar to the one Cashman inherited from Gene Michael and the one that boosted those glorious teams under Joe Torre – or will the next Yankee GM have to take out the trash first?
Been there, done it, Jeter will say… but let’s not rush.