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Remember When Derek Jeter Might Have Signed With Houston?

Yeah, the Astros never actually had a chance to sign Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter. He was never leaving New York, even if negotiations did get contentious last winter. Houston was just a fun idea floated around a bored baseball world, which made little sense other than Drayton wanting to capture a little more publicity for a bad team.

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I bring this up because of this article on MLB Trade Rumors speculating on Jimmy Rollins' future. It will be very easy this winter to also pitch Houston as a landing place for Rollins, given the Philly connections in place. That could all chance if Ed Wade isn't with the team by that point. It's not going to happen, not with new owner Jim Crane in charge, but it's fun to speculate again. If Philly's best offer is $30 million over three years, would he take $36 million from Houston?

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Back to my first point. What would have happened to this Astros team if Jeter had been signed as shortstop? First of all, Houston would be at least one win worse. Looking at Jeter's fWAR this season compared to the combo of Angel Sanchez and Clint Barmes, the Astros are currently up 1.0 fWAR over Jeter's production. Houston would have gotten some added publicity from Jeter's quest for 3,000 hits, but not nearly as much as he got in New York.

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Signing Jeter wouldn't have hurt any young player's development, but it would have been the wrong decision for the direction of this team. Instead of being a rebuilding club built around Jose Altuve, Jordan Lyles and J.D. Martinez, they'd start to look like the early 2000's Tampa Bay Devil Rays. And no one wants that.

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Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.