The fundamental difference between Team Jeter and Team Yankees people (note: I’m assuming these “teams” exist, because the media is obsessed with such things in today’s discourse) is perspective. Team Jeter seems to be looking backwards, at all of the things Jeter has accomplished and all that he means to the New York Yankees. Team Yankees looks forward and has trouble seeing how Jeter can possibly be worth $20 million a year at age 37 and later. Heck, even that $15 million seems steep.
Today Howard Megdal shows us why. He looks at the top five 37-year-old and older shortstops of all time, and wonders if Jeter has a chance to be worth his contract going forward. The short answer: don’t count on it. Of the top five, one is Honus Wagner who, as perhaps the greatest player of all time, should probably not form the basis of comparison. Three played, long long ago. The fifth is Mike Bordick, whose offensive production was low to begin with, making his “improvement” after age 37 a relative proposition at best.
I can’t see Jeter joining that group. Even if he does, I can’t see him transcending them. Hold the line Yankees. Stick with your $15 million offer. See what happens.*
*Yes, I realize they won’t do this, but a boy can dream.