I wonder who’s had it before….
Oh, that’s right: ME!
In case you don’t have access to ESPN’s Insider, allow myself* to introduce …. myself:
We start with a headline: “Yankees should shift Jeter to CF”
Yes, yes they should. Why? First, he’s not a good shortstop anymore:
While there are arguments over the accuracy and effectiveness of different contemporary defensive metrics, they are nearly unanimous on The Captain’s limitations.
Second, the Yankees have a GLARING need in CF, and Jeter would be good there:
For all his defensive warts, Jeter has a strong arm and has always earned praise for his ability to track bloopers and pop-ups. These skills should both translate in center field. And simply by providing his usual dose of high OBP, he’d be a much better option than running Melky Cabrera out to center for 117 games, which the Yankees did last year.
Third, they could get much better at SS:
Crying over last year’s spilled Melky won’t help them catch up to the Rays and Red Sox, but signing Orlando Cabrera would provide the team with a useful-enough hitter, and a slick-fielding asset at short could make a small but important difference to a bad defensive ballclub. Last season’s Yankees ranked 25th in the major leagues in defensive efficiency (their ability to convert balls in play into outs) and park-adjusted defensive efficiency, and no positions see more chances than the middle infield.
I watched Yankee games last year when balls were hit up the middle, and just bounced right by Jeter. I could see it myself and I’m no expert. And before you get all “Gold Glove! Gold Glove!” on me, allow me to please remind you that the Gold Glove is a meaningless award that was once given to Rafael Palmeiro in a season where he was primarily a DH and played a whopping total of 25 games at the position (1B) he was awarded the Gold Glove for, over much better options, like Tino Martinez. Jeter’s range at SS is terrible. The Yankees could be so much better if he moved. At this point, I think it might be too late to move A-Rod back to SS, not that he’s so spry anymore either, but there are plenty of options, like the aforementioned Orlando Cabrera.
Man, this makes so much sense, it’s almost surely going to be ignored. Damn.