Commentary

Is Nomar more valuable than Jeter?

Originally Published: February 4, 2009
By Matt Meyers | ESPN The Magazine
Younger readers might not remember, but there was a time not too long ago when Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter and Nomar Garciaparra were the "Holy Trinity" of baseball shortstops, stirring debates in bars across America. It was a modern-day version of Willie, Mickey or the Duke.

The debate was rendered moot in 2004 when A-Rod moved to third base to accommodate Jeter upon joining the Yankees, while injuries have prevented Garciaparra from playing in more than 122 games in any season since. Because of the injuries, Garciaparra has fallen below the radar to some degree, and he is currently a free agent looking for a bargain-basement deal as a utilityman. But here's the thing a lot of people haven't noticed. With the exception of a particularly bad 2007 season with the Dodgers, Garciaparra has remained an effective hitter when he's healthy enough to play. And though Jeter has outperformed him in every season since he was traded from the Red Sox to the Cubs in 2004, does that mean he is going to do it again in 2009? The answer is not as clear cut as you might think.

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