Between now, the start of spring training and the end of the 2014 season, the talk of who will take over for Derek Jeter at shortstop will simply not die down until they find an actual replacement.
Brendan Ryan is on the roster and he desperately wants to be the heir to Jeter, but he simply does not hit enough to be considered a starter. The team also worked out Cuban free agent Aledmys Diaz, a 23-year-old who has never played in the majors before.
If the Yankees don't land the Cuban youngster, they could always go with a proven major leaguer; Hanley Ramirez of the Los Angeles Dodgers has been mentioned several times, as he will be a free agent after the season, or if they need a mid-season solution if Jeter were to unfortunately suffer an injury, Jimmy Rollins of the Philadelphia Phillies has been mentioned as a trade option for the summer time.
A third option, another very popular and one of the most talked about ones for the last couple of years is Troy Tulowitzki of the Colorado Rockies, who grew up idolizing Jeter just like Ramirez did and even wears the number 2 in honor of Jeter, which is also what Ramirez did when he was with the Miami Marlins.
During the first week of the Rockies spring training at Scottsdale, Arizona, Troy Renck of the Denver Post asked about the possibility of replacing Jeter at shortstop for the Yankees in 2015, Tulowitzki did his best to keep his focus on his current team in Colorado and their upcoming season in 2014, even though he knows he will hear plenty of talk about being the heir to the Yankee captain.
"There's no doubt that the question is not going to go away. Look at this (past) offseason with the trade rumors involving me. You try not to pay attention to them, but at the same time, they are there. My job is to help the Rockies win games this season. That's what is in front of me right now," Tulowitzki said at spring training. "It's going to be out there. I understand and I am fine with that. It's not the first time it's happened."
It makes sense for the 29-year-old to take over for his idol, who he keeps a picture of in his locker for inspiration, but it's not that simple. For one, the Yankees would have to make a trade with the Rockies and offer them prospects and Brian Cashman would have to convince Dan O'Dowd that they have talent that he would be interested; maybe Gary Sanchez, Tyler Austin or Dellin Betances could be starting points as far as a deal goes.
Aside from making the trade, the Yankees would then also have to inherit the remaining six years and $120 million that is on Tulowitzki's contract that will pay him until the 2020 season when he is 35 years old, but given how the Yankees spent almost $500 million in free agent contracts this winter, adding on salary doesn't seem to bother the Yankees or Cashman, especially if it helps improve the team.
For the time being, Jeter is still the Yankees shortstop, but for the next seven to eight months, Tulowitzki will need to prepare to hear the talk of Jeter, New York and the Yankees, as this is the Yankee captain's farewell season in the Bronx.
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