NEW YORK -- While Derek Jeter is starting his own publishing imprint in preparation for life after baseball, he doesn't feel the end of his playing days is necessarily near.
Jeter appeared in just 17 games in 2013 for the New York Yankees because of complications from his dislocated ankle. A year ago at this time, he was still immobile and unable to properly train for the season.
This winter, Jeter already has begun his full offseason training regimen and sees no reason why he cannot lead the league in hits, like he did in 2012.
"Why not?" Jeter, 39, said Thursday night at a dinner for Joe Torre's foundation. "There is no reason why not.
"The ankle is fine. I told you guys that at the end of the year. My ankle is good. It is just strengthening everything else. It is good to go. It is now just strengthening the other body parts."
Jeter signed a one-year deal last week with the Yankees. Owner Hal Steinbrenner chose to give Jeter a raise from the $9.5 million he was due on a player option to $12 million, even though Jeter did not have much leverage in the negotiations. Steinbrenner said it was a reward for what Jeter has meant to the franchise. Jeter made $17 million in 2012.
In the course of conversations between the club and Jeter, Steinbrenner said, the captain was informed that the Yankees might sign a shortstop this winter to ease the load on him. If they do that, Jeter likely will serve more as designated hitter.
"If? If? If? I can't comment on 'If?'" Jeter said. "My job, you guys know me, I like to play. I like to play every single day. I get the fact that some days are DH days and some days you have off. I understand that. I DH'ed a lot two years ago. I DH'ed quite a bit. I don't make the lineups."
In 2012, Jeter was the DH in 25 of his 160 games.
When pressed on when he might retire from baseball, Jeter said he was focused only on being ready for the middle of February and the start of spring training.
On Thursday, Simon & Schuster announced it was starting an imprint, Jeter Publishing, in which Jeter will have a substantial leadership role.
"I run the show," Jeter said. "CEO. I call the shots."
One thing he won't be doing is writing another book, he said. He wrote one, years ago, "The Life You Imagine." Now he's interested in sharing other people's stories.
"I understand how important content is [in] this day and age and [to] share people's stories," Jeter said. "It doesn't necessarily have to be baseball. It could be any walk of life I find interesting. I'm happy to get an opportunity to do it."