Once upon a time not too long ago, Derek Jeter was looked at as one of the greatest players of our generation with the New York Yankees. However, since becoming part-owner of the Miami Marlins, Jeter has been looked at as somewhat of an evil front office persona.
When news first came out that Derek Jeter would be apart of the group purchasing the Marlins from Jeffrey Loria, fans were excited. There was finally hope that Jeter would take the team that had so much potential and save it from the hands of Loria and truly lead them to the promised land.
Fans would completely flip on their original thoughts about “The Captain” himself when they realized what his true intentions were when taking on ownership responsibilities. Jeter wanted to follow in the footsteps of previous World Series champion Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros, completely “tank” and build from the ground up.
The first domino fell on December 11, 2017, when a trade was finalized to send Giancarlo Stanton to the team where Jeter spent the entirety of his MLB career, the New York Yankees. Marlins fans were mainly agitated because of the poor return the Marlins got back for the reigning National League MVP. All they received was Starlin Castro and prospects Jose Devers and Jorge Guzman, not a bad return but they could have gotten more.
This was just the beginning of the fire sale which included trading away almost every player in the starting lineup including Dee Gordon, Christian Yelich, and Marcell Ozuna. Jeter left the Marlins with a poor team at the major league level, but what he did do is help build up a Miami farm system that was not very deep at all prior to the trades.
Miami still may not have one of the top farm systems in the game, but they do have a number of impressive prospects now who seem like they will be major contributors to the big league lineup in just a few years.
Rather than trying to compete with a club that was going to need a lot of pitching help, Jeter tore it all down and is in the process of acquiring high draft picks and top prospects along with a flexible budget to make the Marlins a potential juggernaut looking three to five years down the road.
There couldn’t have been a better way for Jeter to take over the franchise and eventually have a competitive ball club out on the field, fans just have to be patient. Jeter knew that he had to completely reshape the core of this roster despite what the fans thought and he did just that.
It’s difficult for someone who bleeds for their team to wake up one morning and realize that all of their favorite players are now playing against them, but Jeter will be appreciated one day in Miami with fans even starting to open their eyes now.
With the arrival of Lewis Brinson and Jose Urena as well as many other prospects waiting for their call, the Marlins fan base is beginning to realize that the future may be brighter than they originally believed and may be coming faster than they originally believed as well.
For anyone who has watched Derek Jeter play throughout his career, it makes all of what he has done in Miami so much more important. He was always the fan-favorite and the guy who could do no wrong, but he proved that he is not afraid to go against the grain and really do what he believes is best despite what others believe. This mentality will pay off for him in the end.
When it is all said in done regarding Derek Jeter’s time with the Marlins, he will be looked at as a hero who not only won the Marlins first World Series trophy since 2003 but also as the man who helped the city recover from the tragic loss of Jose Fernandez.
Derek Jeter always idolized Yankees owner George M. Steinbrenner during his time in New York, but now he has the opportunity to be placed in the same class as him among legendary owners.
And he will.