Note to Orioles: make Derek Jeter an offer he can’t refuse …..

November 04, 2010 |

Yes, you can believe your eyes. I just mentioned the Orioles and Derek Jeter in the same sentence. And, no, I’m not kidding …..

In a few days, Derek Jeter will be free to negotiate his next contract with any team he desires. The popular conclusion is there’s no way he leaves the comforts of New York and his pinstripes. After all, he’s the face of a behemoth organization and he represents the latest chapter of baseball’s most notable franchise.

Of Major League Baseball’s 142 potential free agents, he’s the surest bet to stay put – regardless of outside influences.

But, is Derek Jeter truly untouchable?

Is his return to the Bronx a mere formality?

Common sense dictates a response of “YES.” But, common sense does not always govern reality.

At 36, Jeter no longer possesses the consistently dependable stroke, superb speed and versatile, ranging glove witnessed throughout his Hall of Fame career. He is by no means a below average producer in any of these stated areas; the guy is simply slowing down.

That said, he can still be counted upon for slightly above average production in an array of offensive and defensive considerations.

New York Yankees' shortstop Derek Jeter warms up before the Yankees take on the Texas Rangers in game four of the ALCS at Yankee Stadium on October 19, 2010 in New York.   UPI/Monika Graff Photo via Newscom

We’re not led to believe the Yankees will simply reward Derek Jeter with an exuberant contract, because they need a “slightly above average” player in the middle infield. Indeed, he’s going to get paid a hefty sum of money due to his influence and overall leadership qualities.

Oh yeah, and he’s the face of baseball’s wealthiest franchise.

Ask yourself this question …. are the New York Yankees counting FIVE World Championships, in the last 15 years, without Derek Jeter? If not, how many would they be counting?

How much is that worth?