As we all know, this is Jeter's final year not only in pinstripes, but also playing on the diamond at his "second home," ShortStop. It's obviously going to be hard replacing a future HOF right out of the gate, but why not go out and sign Jimmy Rollins in the offseason?
Rollins is in his final year of his 3 year, $33 million contract with the Phillies, but has a vesting option for 2015. Rollins will be 36 come next year and still plays with the heart of a 20 year old. He's a leader, veteran player with enough infield intellect to lead the infield like Jeter has done since '96. That's something the Yankees need, especially since this year's infield has been horrific.
Rollins has played in 142 games or more in three last three years and is on pace to do the same this year. His hitting has been declining, but still is hitting for average (.257 in the last three years). His BABIP this year (currently .259) is low for a solid contact guy like him, but his BABIP has been fine (.275) in the last three years. That's mostly bc his HR numbers has jumped this year (on pace for 26 HR) and that's more power and contact being added to the Yankee lineup. A hitter-friendly ballpark in Yankee Stadium will help out Rollins a ton wit his power AND his contact.
Rollins is also still fine defensively. Jeter has lost his range over the years and Rollins seems to be doing the same as his rPM (Plus/Minus Runs Saved runs above avergae) has been worse and worse in the last few years, but he has been committing less errors and is on pace of having a higher fielding percentage this year than he did in the last few years. It's common for infielders to lose their range as they get older, but Rollins still is fielding well, not bad.
Rollins is on the path of retirement as well and even though it seems odd signing a guy who's future may be ending soon, Rollins is capable of bringing the leadership and talent the Yakees need next year to the Bronx. Carlos Beltran, who's 37, signed a 3 year, $45 million contract in the offseason, so I see Rollins being offered the same. I'm thinking 2/3/4 years, $30-$45 million.
The Yankees will no longer have any members of The Core Four next year, so next year's offseason will be key in what the Yankees do. Rollins is a start in rebuilding the infield and fits well in what they Yankees need to rebuild their team.