The 2013 MLB season concluded on Wednesday as the Boston Red Sox were victorious over the St. Louis Cardinals in a six game World Series. The World Series victory was the third for the Red Sox since 2004.
Obviously the resurgence of the Red Sox during the past decade is not welcome news for Yankees fans. The failure of the Yankees to qualify for a post-season berth for only the second time in the past 18 seasons was also a disappointment for rooters of the team.
The conclusion of the World Series is the signal for all major league organizations to publicly announce its moves for improvement in the coming season. The announcement of the first signing of the Yankees was made on Friday morning. Derek Jeter exercised his one-year player option to sign for the 2014 season for a contract of $12 million.
The new season will be Jeter’s 19th with the club, a Yankees record. The Yankees icon not only has already amassed individual statistics that should earn him election to the Baseball Hall of Fame five years after his retirement as a player, but also has led them to great success as a team.
The Yankees have qualified for the playoffs in 16 of Jeter’s 18 seasons on the club and have been the World Series winner in five of the seven years they reached the final round of the playoffs.
Jeter is currently not only the face of the Yankees, but is the face of baseball.
Four stints on the DL during the 2013 season kept the shortstop off the field for 90 per cent of the 162 games played by the team. Jeter saw action in only 17 games. He batted only .190 (12 for 63) with a single home run and seven runs batted in. He is hopeful of making a successful comeback so his performance in the coming season can be remindful of his outstanding play during his first 17 seasons in the big leagues.
Although Jeter will remain a Yankees for at least one more year, many others will not return. Jeter is now the last of the Core Four as Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte announced their retirements before last season ended.
Eleven of last year’s Yankees squad became free agents on Thursday morning; Robinson Cano, Joba Chamberlain, Curtis Granderson, Travis Hafner, Phil Hughes, Hideki Kuroda, Boone Logan, Lyle Overbay, Mark Reynolds, Brendan Ryan, and Kevin Youkilis.
In addition to the free agents, it must be mentioned that the arbitration regarding the proposed MLB suspension of Alex Rodriguez is being held this off-season and the result could end with his missing all of 2014.
The Yankees management and ownership have many decisions to make regarding the above listed players, what other free agents, if any will be pursued, and how much money will be expended for the team’s payroll.
It should be an interesting winter for fans of the Yankees.