Quite an interesting scenario was proposed by Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork.com.
ICYMI: Jose Reyes idolizes Derek Jeter http://t.co/f7H3bXoPOR Could he one day replace him?— Andrew Marchand (@AndrewMarchand) March 3, 2014
Reyes originally signed his current contract (six years, $106 million) with the Miami Marlins prior to the 2012 season. After just one year in Miami, Reyes was dealt to the Blue Jays in a massive 11-player deal that also included Josh Johnson.
The Yankees would have to trade for Reyes if they want to use him as Jeter's replacement in 2015 and beyond, and Marchand reminds us that it wouldn't be the first time general manager Brian Cashman attempted to make a play for the dynamic leadoff man:
But Reyes already has been traded once since signing his $106 million contract and the Yankees already have shown at least some interest in acquiring Reyes. During his free agent winter of 2011, a source told ESPN New York, Yankees GM Brian Cashman and Reyes' agent, Peter Greenberg, spoke and there was some brief discussion if Reyes could play center field. Nothing materialized.
New York will certainly have the need to acquire a shortstop after Jeter calls it quits—unless, of course, they are content with Eduardo Nunez or Brendan Ryan. Bleacher Report's Joe Giglio has suggested that current Los Angeles Dodgers star Hanley Ramirez would work as a replacement, but Reyes wouldn't be a bad option either.
Reyes definitely has an extensive injury history, and that cannot be overlooked in a potential deal. Cashman should not agree to anything unless the Blue Jays either cover a nice chunk of the deal or they agree to accept a bit less in return.
Reyes played in just 93 games in 2013 after a high ankle sprain limited him. That being said, he was very productive when on the field. His line of .296/.353/.427 was right on line with his career numbers, and he was able to prove the health of his ankle by stealing 15 bases in 21 tries.
For the Yankees to bring him in, though, they'll need to deal some serious talent to Toronto. The Blue Jays lack quality catching depth, and that's exactly where the Yankees can help them out.
Gary Sanchez, Austin Romine and John Ryan Murphy (formerly J.R. Murphy) are now all blocked by Brian McCann for at least the next five years. Sanchez clearly has the most upside, and the Yankees could feasibly afford to give him up if it meant bringing Reyes aboard.
Along with Sanchez, the Yankees would likely have to deal an outfielder like Mason Williams or Tyler Austin. Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner will be thwarting their progress to the majors for a good part of the next decade, so they are also expendable.
Toronto likely won't make a deal unless a pitcher is involved as well. The Yankees don't have a ton of quality young arms, but pitchers like Jose Ramirez and Jose Campos might be appealing to general manager Alex Anthopoulos.
A trade involving Sanchez, Williams and Ramirez would probably be enough to pique Anthopoulos' interest. With some cash exchanging hands, a deal could work.
Acquiring Reyes would do two things for the Yankees. For one, it would give them the big-name face they'll inevitably be looking for to replace Jeter. The last thing the Bombers should want to do is enter the post-Jeter era with a middling veteran infielder that can barely hold his own at the plate (Ryan) or in the field (Nunez).
Reyes laughed off the possibility of replacing Jeter, though, as reported by Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News: "I've got four years left on my contract, bro!" exclaimed Reyes.
Secondly, plugging Reyes into the lineup to replace Jeter would represent a serious philosophy change for a team accustomed to crushing home runs. Jeter was never a power threat, but he hasn't been a serious base-stealing threat since he swiped 30 bags back in 2009.
Should the Yankees go after Jose Reyes to replace Derek Jeter?
Throwing Reyes into a lineup with both Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner would make the Yankees arguably the best base-stealing team in the game. All three, when healthy, have the potential for at least 40 steals. Maybe even 50.
Talk about creating runs.
For now, these ideas are all just conjecture. There has been no indication regarding how the Yankees will replace Jeter once he hangs them up after the 2014 season, and that's probably not something the team will even think about until after the season.
There's still a little less than a year to get seriously prepared for replacing the best shortstop in team history.
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