Jeter has been working out at the Yankees' Minor League complex as he prepares for what will be his final year in pinstripes. Jeter revealed his plans last week via a Facebook post, but the captain said that he wanted to reserve further comment until the Yankees' position players reported to camp.
"The one thing I always said to myself was that when baseball started to feel more like a job, it would be time to move forward," Jeter said. "So really, it was months ago when I realized that this season would likely be my last."
In the days that followed, current and former teammates, opponents and other baseball personnel have expressed their admiration for the 13-time All-Star, who is set to begin his 20th season in pinstripes.
"I was shocked, to be honest with you," Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira said. "I thought that Derek had a couple years left in him. I could have seen Derek playing until he was 44 or 45; I really could have. But I'm excited that he gets a chance to go out on his own terms and gets to enjoy that last season. We're going to enjoy it with him."
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he has been swapping text messages with Jeter since the announcement. When Girardi and the Yankees see Jeter begin to speak at the podium, it will make the reality of the decision set in.
"I think there's a lot of things that go through your mind when you hear a player announce that he's going to retire," Girardi said. "I think about when he came up in 1996, how youthful he was, and how he looked so young -- but how mature he was as a player, and what he blossomed into.
"You think about all the things that he's done. That's what rolls through your mind, and then you look at yourself and say, 'Where did all the time go?'"
Jeter was limited to just 17 games last season due to injuries, serving four stints on the disabled list. He often spoke about the frustration of not being able to perform at his expected level, spending most of the year rehabbing instead of being on the field.
"You want to think a guy like that is going to play forever," Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia said. "I'm saddened, I guess, because he's not going to be around."
The Yankees do not know who will succeed Jeter as their shortstop next season, but that is a concern for another day. They are counting on a strong final act from Jeter, who is locked in as the Bombers' Opening Day shortstop.
"He's our man," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said, "so it kind of removes everything around it."
Wednesday's news conference will also be broadcast on MLB Network and the YES Network.