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Is Derek Jeter done as an every day shortstop?

Derek Jeter has had a long, successful career, but with the injuries piling up, could his days at shortstop be coming to a close?

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Derek Jeter's career as a shortstop has been a pretty successful one, to put it mildly. The 2013 season is his 19th year in the big leagues, but unfortunately, like a lot of other Yankees, it has been injury-filled. Of course it all started during last year's Game One of the ALCS when he fractured his left ankle before breaking it again in spring training five months later. Four months passed, he came back, injured his quad, came back again two weeks after that, played a handful of games, and is now sidelined until at least Monday with soreness in his right calf and quad. With all these injuries adding up for Derek, one can only wonder if he's done as a shortstop.

At 39 years of age, it's not crazy at all to think that, defensively, Jeter is done as a shortstop. Besides, despite what the mainstream media has told you over the years, he is not very good defensively. Over the course of his career, he has been rated as well below-average according to UZR (-63.8), DRS (-144), and dWAR (-8.9), among other advanced metrics, thus him not manning shortstop might not be the worst thing in the world.

If Jeter is truly done as a shortstop, it's obvious that the team will have to look for a viable replacement this month and maybe during next offseason, with the latter more likely to yield a better player than the former. The free agent options aren't very welcoming as the two best players that'll hit the market are Stephen Drew and Jhonny Peralta. Drew has had a bit of an up-and-down career and is hitting .239/.324/.424 with a 101 wRC+ this year for the Red Sox. Peralta, on the other hand, will most likely be coming off a Biogenesis suspension, and he is currently hitting .305/.360/.463 with 126 wRC+, albeit with a sky-high .381 BABIP for the Tigers. The Yankees could always turn to the trade market next winter, of course, to find a replacement, but who really knows who will be available for trade by then. That said, I don't want to get too ahead of myself. That's a long ways away.

Keeping this in mind, it's pretty unlikely that the Yankees will simply stop playing Jeter at short once he comes back, and even going into next season, since, you know, he's Derek Jeter. But I have to think they'll be pretty careful when it comes to how often he'll play the position. I mean, he first injured his quad during his first game back against the Royals a few weeks ago, then he re-aggravated the same quad and now has calf soreness to go along with it. What we're currently witnessing could truly be the beginning of the end for Derek Jeter as a shortstop, and it's a pretty sad thing to watch.

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