Yankees announcer Michael Kay was on the Dan Patrick Show today and they raised an interesting question: Whose career would you rather have: Derek Jeter’s or Mariano Rivera’s? Secondly: would either make it to the Yankees’ Mt. Rushmore as one of the team’s top four players ever?
Personally, I’d rather have Jeter’s simply because I’d rather be an everyday player. Plus Rivera is happily married which is wonderful for him. But if I’m making wishes about crazy things like being a ballplayer, I’m gonna wish for other stuff I can’t have too, such as any of the women Derek Jeter has been with.
As for Rushmore: I think Jeter should be there, not because he’s necessarily among the four “best” Yankees players, but because he represents and era and I feel like those Rushmore conversations should encompass that. Give me Babe, DiMaggio, Mantle and Jeter.
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Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times unloaded a lot of interesting news items about the Rays last night, including a report that the Rays might have “mutual interest” in a deal with free agent first baseman/DH Mike Napoli. The Rangers declined Napoli’s $11 million option earlier this month and owe the veteran infielder a $2.5 million buyout.
Napoli, 36, had a strange year in Texas. He turned in 29 home runs, good for 11th-most among AL hitters, but finished the year batting just .193/.285/.428 over 485 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, his -0.5 fWAR was the worst mark of his career to date, but on the bright side, he should come cheap for a team looking to swap out their veterans come spring.
Of course, the specifics of the Rays’ offseason plan have yet to be divulged — or, by all accounts from Topkin, even decided on. The club could go the refurbishment route, changing out some of their higher-paid veterans for a mix of prospects and cheaper aging players; or they could opt for a full rebuild, which Topkin cautions against as it could have a negative effect on the financing of a new ballpark. Either way, the Rays figure to offload some of their bigger contracts this winter, and will need to decide if they want to retain Alex Colome, Chris Archer, Wilson Ramos, Evan Longoria and others before pursuing any other major free agents.