The Yankees have seemingly been doing everything in their power to prepare for Derek Jeter no longer being their everyday shortstop in 2014. They met with Stephen Drew's agent at this week's GM meeting, they're reportedly close to a deal with Brendan Ryan, who took over the starting job in September when Jeter hit the DL again, and they paid him more money than they needed to in an apparent attempt to appease The Captain and keep him from causing problems in the media.
As expected, none of that has changed Jeter's mentality this offseason. He's started his workout program already and speaking to reporters at a Joe Torre foundation fundraiser this week he had this to say about his expectations for next year:
"My job is to play short. It’s been my job since I came up, and it will continue to be my job. I understand the concerns because of everything that went down last year, so I understand that, but I’ll be ready to go."
I'm sure Jeter is going to do everything in his power to get his body ready to play shortstop next season. What I'm not so sure of is how well it, particularly that ankle, is going to hold up to the rigors of playing everyday after basically taking a year off to heal. The body doesn't just ramp back up to the everyday physical grind at age 40 like it did at 35, 30, or 25. I think the fact that his ankle is good enough to do leg strengthening exercises regularly is a great sign, but the real test will come when the ST games start. If Jeter can't play every day then, there's little reason to expect he'll be able to once the regular season starts.
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