|The Patron Saint Of The Denial|
That's because Jeter, a below replacement level shortstop in his final season whose lack of performance may have been the key contributor to the team not making the playoffs, but who the hell cares because he sold lots and lots of tickets for a year-long live funeral service, was just so very, very good at it, you see.
And the franchise would like to somehow keep the nostalgia paydays going, as they are going to retire more numbers this year, rather than do the far harder thing of trying to win a World Series without a breathtaking financial advantage (since, well, lots of other teams have upped their local television revenue game to get in the ballpark of Yankee generosity).
The point isn't really whether there is a player on the roster who would somehow benefit from a ceremonial role that would do nothing but increase comparisons to the honored dead. (No, there really isn't one. Honestly, there's no one from the Meh Platter of Brian McCann, Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury and Mark Teixeira who would qualify, and Yankee Fan will fill talk radio from now until hell freezes over if someone suggest Alex Rodriguez.)
Rather, it's to finally turn the freaking page on the Overly Honored Past. No one should go to a wildly expensive ballpark because of who used to play there; that's the point of museums, and Cooperstown is already the most Yankee-riffic place on the planet that isn't in the Bronx. You should go to a game because you want to see the team that's playing today, and lose yourself in the simple joy of Game and Not Work and what might happen if Rookie A can control the strike zone and Young Guy B can hit for power and Older Guy C can make a comeback to be what he was.
And part of that, honest, is that Player X can channel Jeet's Captain Warrior Spirit, and if and when that happens (because being a decent team captain is, honestly, not nearly as hard as having a Hall of Fame career based around longevity and counting stats), that guy really isn't going to have any easier of a time from your club saying that Thou Shalt Have No Captain Other Than Jeets.
But if you'd rather live in the past, Cashman, feel free. The rest of the league would be completely fine with your team not winning anything of consequence for a generation or six while you Keep Honoring Jeter...