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What if the Red Sox went after Jeter?

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  November 18, 2010 06:38 PM

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48431-new-york-yankees-shortstop-derek-jeter-at-fenway-park-in-bos.jpgLet's preface this by saying it's never, ever going to happen. Never, ever.

But what if the Red Sox decided to make Derek Jeter a contract offer?

It's 99 percent likely that Jeter and the Yankees will find common ground sometime soon and he'll sign a new contract. Jeter needs the Yankees and they need him, at least for a few more years.

It's also 99 percent certain that the Red Sox want little to do with aging player coming off his worst season. Never mind that he's the captain of their historic rivals.

But it's not beyond the scope of comprehension that the negotiations turn ugly between Jeter and the Yankees. In some ways, it's a touch surprising they haven't come to a deal already. What if Hal Steinbrenner proves to be a cold-blooded, bean-counting assassin and cuts the cord?

Meanwhile, the Red Sox need a third baseman. They're also getting trade offers for Marco Scutaro. Let's say John Henry and Tom Werner meet for drinks at the Liberty Hotel one night and decide getting Jeter would really boost those flagging ratings on NESN and tell Theo Epstein to go get him to play shortstop or third base.

Two years and $20 million. Take it or leave it.

Jeter is not what he once was, but he had an OPS of .871 for a Series champion in 2009. Imagine how motivated he would be to prove the Yankees wrong?

Here's the question: Would you be OK with it?

Jeter is the face of the team you hate the most. But he has never ripped the Red Sox or Boston. He goes out for dinner every time the Yankees are in town and is already buddies with Dustin Pedroia. Terry Francona said last spring that Jeter was the opposing player he respected the most.

If you ask the people around Fenway Park who have met him (including fans), he has always been polite and respectful.

You have to admit, it would be interesting. The jump throw, him pumping his fist at the end of games. Minka Kelly in the stands and shopping on Newbury Street. The rivalry has been a little boring since 2004. Jeter jumping teams would sure spice it up.

Again, this is never going to happen. Nor am I advocating that it should happen. The aim of his exercise is simply to ask whether you would cheer for him if the one percent chance came true.

So would you? Let's hear it.


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