Yankees have a Plan B

Updated: November 30, 2010, 2:39 PM ET
By Buster Olney

The full expectation within the Yankees' organization is that a deal will be worked out with Derek Jeter and that the future Hall of Famer will open the 2011 season as the club's shortstop.

But the Yankees' talent evaluators have talked about a fallback position if Jeter winds up signing elsewhere -- and their Plan B has a name: Eduardo Nunez.

The 23-year-old infielder has just 30 games in the big leagues, with 50 at-bats, but he is considered to be a superlative defensive player. If Jeter were to stun the baseball world and walk away from the Yankees, New York would install Nunez at shortstop at the outset of spring training rather than sign a veteran shortstop like Orlando Cabrera, and use the money that would have been allocated for Jeter in other ways -- to augment the team's pitching, or perhaps through the acquisition of a free agent.

The Yankees are also involved in other high-priced negotiations, with closer Mariano Rivera and starting pitcher Cliff Lee, which would require a lot of money.