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With the expiration of their contracts looming, a future without Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera is on the minds of many Yankees fans. Today, River Ave Blues asked their Twitterati the following question: which one of the two will be easier to replace once his time as a major leaguer is up? I opined that Jeter will be more difficult to replace, and my reasoning is two-fold.
1) Jeter will leave a bigger hole. Both are of the best at their respective positions, with Rivera undisputably the greatest closer of all-time. However, a transcendent everyday player provides more value than an otherworldly closer, particularly in the regular season. Just to illustrate that point, Jeter has not notched fewer than 3.7 WAR in any season since 2001. Rivera has never had a WAR in excess of 3.2. Of course, the postseason narrows the gap a bit, as Mariano essentially becomes an everyday player during the postseason, thereby maximizing his value. Even so, I believe the edge goes to Jeter.
2) Jeter will be more expensive to replace. Replacing Jeter with someone of equal value would require the acquisition of someone like Troy Tulowitzki or Hanley Ramirez. Either player would require a huge outlay, both in terms of prospects and total contract value. Meanwhile, closers such as Joakim Soria, Joe Nathan, and Jonathan Papelbon (ugh) are likely to reach free agency, and will require deals of significantly lower total value.
In sum, I believe Jeter will be more difficult to replace. Do you agree? Disagree?
Photo Credit: Reader’s Digest
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