For New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman his off-season has been busy. He has dealt with the Alex Rodriguez suspension for the entire 2014 season, legendary closer Mariano Rivera retired, all-star second basemen Robinson Cano signed with the Seattle Mariners and today received a rather shocking announcement from another legendary player this time shortstop Derek Jeter who stated in a post on Facebook that he will retire after the 2014 season.
As for the Yankees general manager has done a great job by signing Kelly Johnson and Brian Roberts as the replacement to Rodriguez and Cano, upgraded at catcher, outfield and starting pitching with the additions of Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran and Masahiro Tanaka and re-signing Hiroki Kuroda. Jeter’s announcement though will give Cashman his most difficult task to date. He will now need to replace one of the most popular players in Yankees history and a first-ballot hall of fame shortstop.
While the retirement news might come as a shock to some it makes obvious sense. He missed most of 2013 due to injuries and turns 40 in June.
Jeter made his Major League Baseball debut in 1995 appearing in 15 games and 1996 was his first full season and he won American League Rookie of the Year beating out James Baldwin, Tony Clark, RockyCoppinger and Jose Rosado. Played in 157 that season and hit .314, with 183 hits, 104 runs scored, 25 doubles, six triples, 10 home runs, 78 rbi, 14 stolen bases in 21 attempts and a obp of .370.
In 2000 won the AL All-Star game MVP Award, AL Babe Ruth Award he’s also won it two other times in his career (2006 and 2009), and the World Series MVP Award. He’s a 13 time all-star and has won five Gold Glove Awards. Ranks first among active players in hits, singles, games played, at-bats, plate appearances, second in offensive WAR, runs scored, third among active players in WAR for position players, total bases, doubles, sixth in stolen bases, seventh in average, ninth in walks, 10th in triples and extra base hits, 12th in rbi, 16th in obp and 24th in home runs.
His best season came in 1999 when he hit .349, with 219 hits, 134 runs scored, 37 doubles, nine triples, 24 home runs, 102 rbi, 19 stolen bases in 27 attempts, a obp of .438 and came in sixth in MVP voting. Overall in 2,602 games Jeter has hit .312, with 3,316 hits, 1,876 runs scored, 525 doubles, 65 triples, 256 home runs, 1,261 rbi, 348 stolen bases in 443 attempts, a obp of .381.
During the post season he has hit .308, with 200 hits, 111 runs scored, 32 doubles, five triples, 20 home runs,61rbi, 18 stolen bases in 23 attempts and a obp of .374 and has been part of five World Series championships with the Yankees.
On and Off the field in an era of baseball dominated by steroid scandals, Jeter became the perfect idol for kids and adults alike. Now the only question is when his career ends where will he get ranked among the greatest shortstops in MLB history?