NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Now we know for sure that Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter will be retiring after the upcoming season.
And if all goes well, first baseman Mark Teixeira thinks the Bombers can give their captain an extra-special sendoff.
“If we stay healthy, we have as much talent as anyone in baseball and we can win it all,” Teixeira said Thursday on WFAN’s “Boomer & Carton” show. “That’s the big question mark. Let’s not sugarcoat it. If we stay healthy, we have a great chance this season.”
The Yankees spent some major money prior to the 2009 championship season, bringing CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Teixeira, who is hoping for a repeat in 2014 after another big-time retooling in the Bronx.
New York dropped nearly $500 million this offseason on free-agent acquisitions, including catcher Brian McCann, coveted Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka and outfielders Carlos Beltran and Jacoby Ellsbury.
“You name those guys, (they’re) all veterans that have won before, that have played in big games, that have done amazing things, big seasons, All-Stars, the whole nine yards,” Teixeira said.
As for Jeter, Teixeira admitted he was “completely blindsided” by Wednesday’s announcement on Facebook that the five-time World Series champion would be calling it a career following his 20th season in pinstripes.
“I was shocked,” Teixeira said. “I’m still a little surprised.”
“The interesting thing was Derek and I had been texting all offseason about how excited we were about coming back and the injuries last year, which were so disappointing, and how it’s going to be a great year for us,” he added. “So I’m thinking he’s starting the next phase of his career, which could be two, three, four years. I mean, who knows how long Derek could have played if he wanted to.”
Jeter played in just 17 games last season due to lingering ankle woes. Teixeira missed all but 15 games with a wrist injury.
“Derek, he cut our plans off,” Teixeira joked.
Now the plans will include a 162-game retirement tour, similar to the season-long celebration for former Yankees closer Mariano Rivera in 2013.
“I think it’ll be bigger on a national stage but less of a distraction for Derek,” said Teixeira, explaining that as an everyday player, Jeter won’t have the luxury of lengthy visits and press conferences in each and every ballpark on the schedule.
But unlike last season, the Bombers could stretch this long farewell into October.
“I really hope that it’s Derek saying, ‘Man, I’ve got another .300 season in me, I’ve got another 100-runs-scored season, we have another long playoff run in us (and) I’m gonna go out on top,’ ” Teixeira said.
“If that’s the case, then the Yankees fans are going to be really happy.”
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