Derek Jeter’s defensive improvement is bad news for the Yankees? Really?
. . . the good news for the Yanks is that Jeter is a competent shortstop again; the bad news is he is a competent shortstop again . . . He is in the same training regimen for the third straight offseason and if 2010 resembles 2009, the Yanks will be very pleased, well, until negotiations begin.
This would have been a different negotiation if Jeter was holding on as a left fielder or DH, being kept around mostly for emeritus reasons. Now the Yanks almost certainly will have to treat Jeter as the current and future shortstop of the team, and not the kind of defensive liability that enabled them to play hardball in pushing Williams and Damon off the roster.
The only way Jeter’s contract extension is going to get complicated is if he puts up a truly wretched season at the plate. I’m talking, like, .269/.331/.380 + a ton of high profile errors or something, with no corresponding injury to use as an excuse. Yes, I suppose it could happen, but it’s not damn likely.