Derek Jeter grew weary of the penny-pinching Miami Marlins, stepping down as CEO. A blueprint for returning to the Yankees is surely attainable…
Yesterday, Derek Jeter crashed through the monotony of labor talks between MLB and the Players Association (MLBPA) with a stunning announcement that effective immediately, he was resigning from his post as CEO of the Miami Marlins.
Jeter added his intent to sell his minority four percent ownership in the team.
Since 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 ensconced in Miami, though, and despite engineering changes from top to bottom for the franchise, ultimately Jeter was left to question the actual intent of managing partners to produce a winning team.
Always the diplomat, Jeter did not go anywhere near using the word “tanking” in his press release, but the inference was evident when he pointed to what he thought was an agreement permitting him to increase team payroll by $10-15 million for the 2022 season.
It is no coincidence that a major point of contention between owners and players in the current talks is the issue of tanking – whereby teams deliberately lose to gain high-level draft picks.
The owners play the denial game and refuse to witness last year’s Major League Final Standings in which four teams lost 100 or more games.
Perhaps recalling his days as a player when winning was paramount to all, Jeter looked at the Marlins 67-95 record last season and paused to wonder – is this me, and do I want to be part of this? His answer is a resounding no – saying, “this is not what I signed up for.”
What’s Next For Derek Jeter?
Derek Jeter always writes his script, and the world lies at his feet. But following what he probably perceives as a personal failure in Miami, and assuming that Jeter wants and needs more within the game of baseball, a return to the place where it all began is entirely within the realm of possibility,
How does it work? Consider that Brian Cashman’s contract expires at the end of the 2022 season. As the longest-tenured GM of the Yankees, Cashman is at the end of a run that began at its acme with four World Titles.
But since then, the Yankees have plunged to the depths of despair with not a single title since 2009.
Love ’em or hate ’em, no one will ever say the Yankees would ever consider tanking or not putting one of the highest-paid teams on the field each season, even with the recent restraints placed on Cashman by Yankees managing partner Hal Steinbrenner.
Where Cashman has failed in putting the right players together to form a championship team, Jeter has plodded along in Miami despite fiscal constraints – excelling with the development of players like Sandy Alcantara, Jazz Chisholm, Jesus Sanchez, and Lewin Diaz. Earlier this month, ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel ranked the Marlins’ system fourth among the 30 organizations.
It gets old, though, when Jeter, feeling like 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 utilize his exceptional player evaluation talent and a more than reasonable budget – and look out!
Jeter And The Yankees Need Time To Grease The Wheels
Despite having no job in baseball for the foreseeable future, Derek Jeter has a lot on his plate. Selling his stake in the Marlins is priority one, and that, for all the obvious reasons, will not be an easy task.
Secondly, Jeter and his wife Hannah hit for a triple in December when their third child (all girls) was born. At ages 2 and 4, plus the newborn, Jeter (now 47) has a chance to spend 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 gentle push upstairs to close out his baseball career.
Or for Cashman to explore opportunities with another team – an avenue that surely will be open to him if he chooses to do so.
The Yankees also need a plan to cover Jeter’s expected desire to own a piece of the Yankees should he return as their General Manager. Available shares in the Yankees are rare, and Jeter may need to accept a promissory note for the future.
Jeter Can Rock The Yankee’s World
In any event, there are reasons beyond speculation to envision a reuniting of Jeter and the Yankees.
Both sides need change, but this time it’s the Yankees who need Jeter more than Jeter needs the Yankees.
Lurking in the background is the less than harmonious negotiations between Jeter and the Yankees (Jeter feeling shunned) in 2010 when his final contract was drawn up.
On the other side, though, the Yankees are one of the few teams in baseball who openly place a premium on winning, and they back it up with free-spending ways that continue to attract some of the best talents in baseball – a trait Jeter 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 it happens, it won’t come easy, and the process will be a long one as both Jeter and the Yankees gather their wits in the coming months to gauge if a tying of the knot is suitable for both sides.
Of more immediate importance, though, is the condition that Brian Cashman will leave the Yankees in what presumably be his final season as the team’s GM.
Will Jeter acquire a team similar to the one Cashman inherited from Gene Michael and the one that spurred those glorious teams under Joe Torre – or will the next Yankee GM have first to take out the garbage?
Been there, done it, Jeter will say…but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.