In a sign of confidence Derek Jeter will return to shortstop next season, the New York Yankees agreed Friday to a $12 million, one-year contract with their captain.
Jeter, who turns 40 next June, was limited to 17 games this year after breaking his ankle in the 2012 playoffs. He spent four stints on the disabled list in the most frustrating season of his 19-year career.
“This entire season has been a nightmare for me physically,” he said after the Yankees said his season was over. “I truly believe with a full offseason, working out and getting my strength back that I can get back to doing what I always have.”
This deal, agreed to Friday between owner Hal Steinbrenner and agent Casey Close, was achieved without the rancor surrounding Jeter’s previous contract.
As part of the agreement in December 2010, Jeter had salaries of $15 million in 2011, $16 million in 2012 and $17 million in 2013. That deal included an $8 million option for 2014 that escalated to $9.5 million because he won a Silver Slugger Award in 2012, when he led the major leagues with 216 hits.
Jeter needed to be helped off the field at Yankee Stadium after he broke his left ankle Oct. 13, 2012, during the AL championship series opener against Detroit. While he vowed to be back for opening day, he was limited to five spring training games and 11 at-bats, stayed behind when the team broke camp for rehabilitation at New York’s minor league complex in Tampa, Fla., and broke the ankle again.
He missed the 91 games of the season, then felt pain his right quadriceps when he returned July 11. He went back on the DL, returned July 28 for three games, then strained his right calf.
Back in the lineup on Aug. 26, he played through Sept. 7, when he left for a pinch-runner after singling against Boston. While scans of the left ankle were negative, the Yankees said four days later his season was over. Jeter wound up hitting .190 (12 for 63) with one homer and seven RBIs, playing 13 games at shortstop and four at designated hitter.