Pumping the breaks on Jeter for MVP talk

As part of Derek Jeter‘s current contract, he has a 2014 player option that is worth at least $8 million and can increase with bonuses. One of the bonuses he can obtain, as Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com pointed out, is an extra $2 million for finishing in the top six of MVP voting.

There is a legitimate question as to whether he can do that though.

Our own Michael Augustine did a good job laying out the case for Jeter to win the MVP award this season, but I can’t help the feeling that he, and many other Yankees fans, are looking through rose colored glasses.

The facts are simple – using WAR, an overall measure of a players contributions, Jeter currently ranks 26th in the AL with a WAR of 2.8. Most of that has to do with Jeter’s negative-13.6 UZR which ranks as the 4th worst in all of baseball. Even if you ignore Jeet’s defense, his offense alone still doesn’t put him a top the list of the best in the AL.¬†Just looking at his wOBA and Jeter is sitting 22nd in baseball.

In lay terms, there are 25 better overall players than Jeter in the AL this season and 21 better hitters. To put things in perspective, Alex Rodriguez, who was regularly booed by Yankees fans this season, has the same .355 wOBA that Jeter has.

Jeter is enormously popular and his batting average is pretty so it is likely that he will have a large group stumping for him. But in past years Jeter has found it hard to win MVP’s even when he was deserving back in 2006 and 1999.

Still, a 6th place finish can’t be impossible. Can it?¬†Mike Trout probably wins it. Robinson Cano, Miguel Cabrera, and Prince Fielder easily can make a case that they have had better seasons than Jeet. Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre probably could as well. That’s six players right off the top of my head that are likely to beat out Jeter. So while he could potentially earn himself a raise this year, I am not holding my breath.

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3 Responses to Pumping the breaks on Jeter for MVP talk

  1. @AugieM78 says:

    Here's what I don't like about using WAR in the MVP equation. It's team specific, and if Jeter were to play for the Astros or the Twins, it would likely be much higher.

    From 96-2011 I found two cases where the WAR argument doesn't hold up.
    In 1996 Juan Gonzalez had a WAR of 3.7 which was good for 55th in the league behind teammates Ivan Rodriquez, Rusty Greer, and Mark McLemore.
    In 2002 Miguel Tejada had a very 2012 Jeter-like year during the height of the steroid era with WAR of 4.7 and a UZR of -14.9. He was 42nd in the league in WAR behind teammate Eric Chavez, and 44th in wOBA.

    I don't disagree with the notion that the several players you mentioned are having terrific years, but I believe the Yankees value Jeter more than those teams value said players.

  2. joe says:

    He's extremely valauable to the Yankees. Just look how much ground they have lost with his so called hot streak in the second half.

    He can't carry a team. Never could . He's still a 6' 3' punch and judy hitter. Easily the most overrated player in sports history. I'm tired of people shoving this mediocre baseball player down our throats. He leads the league in infield hits – which hideously inflates his BA. And 46 friggn ribbies with a month to go in the season. Do me a favor and see how many at bats he has with runners in scoring position this year.

    I wish he played on Astros and Twins. We'd never hear from him again.

  3. joe says:

    Said players carried said teams. Said punch and judy hitter can't carry his team. Capiche?