In the depths of all the emotional farewells to Derek Jeter on Thursday night, New York Yankees will have to face up to the reality of playing next season without their reliable veteran at shortstop.
New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi is yet to confirm who or whom will replace Jeter at shortstop on a full-time basis, mostly out of respect for his captain, but with the Yankees' season dying down thoughts should be shifted to 2015.
The first point of order over the offseason is who will come in to fill the overbearing boots of the outgoing Jeter, a man who has played for the Yankees for two decades and captained the side for the last 12 seasons.
The Yankees current roster contains Brendan Ryan who has acted as back-up for Jeter, with Ryan being the man Girardi has called upon when Jeter has needed a rest day or been switched to designated hitter.
However, with a batting average of .176 and on base percentage of .217 this season, Ryan would need some serious work over the winter to become Jeter’s replacement.
Rookie Jose Pirela can also play shortstop but only made his debut for the Yankees last Monday (September 22) so it would be too much to ask the 24-year-old with one week’s worth of major league experience under him.
Girardi will most likely have to look outside of the Bronx to find a suitable replacement.
GiveMeSport have looked into possible transfers which could meet the Yankees shortstop needs. A couple of them throw up some interesting selections.
Hardy could only stand and watch from shortstop as Jeter smashed the walk-off RBI single against Baltimore Orioles last night. The 31-year-old’s contract expires at the end of the year so he could be an easy asset to secure.
Hardy certainly possesses the credentials: .262 batting average, 2x Golden Glove winner, 2x All-Star and the Silver Slugger in 2013. Injuries are the only potential drawback with the shortstop struggling with back pains this season.
Another free agent who can play shortstop or third base and has a powerful swing. The 30-year-old’s .299 batting average would considerably strengthen the Yankees batting line-up and he has experience in the postseason after helping Los Angeles Dodgers reach the playoffs for the past two seasons.
The 29-year-old has had another superb season despite his side Colorado Rockies sitting fourth in the National League West division. Another .299 batting average (.340 for 2014) is very tempting but the shortstop is highly injury prone and currently sits on the 60-day disabled list. According to USAtoday.com, Tulowitzki hasn’t played a 150-game season since 2009 and has only averaged 88 games a season for the past three years.