The 2018 season was the best year of Didi Gregorius‘ seven year Major League career. With the year he was having coupled with the rookie campaigns of Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar, the Yankees did not go out and obtain Manny Machado from the Orioles at the trade deadline.
With that infield in place, the Yankees appeared clear to spend their free agent budget on the team’s offseason needs, which included at least one more starting pitcher and potentially another outfielder. However, now, due to Gregorius tearing his UCL during the ALDS against Boston, the Yankees now need to contemplate whether they need to address the shortstop position this offseason.
Arguably, the Yankees could wait to see how Gregorius rehabs to make that decision. Certainly, given Gregorius’ standing with the team, you can also argue he deserves every chance to reclaim his position next season. That goes double when you consider he played through that injury during the ALDS in order to help his team advance.
But the fact he did this during the ALDS only underscores how much the Yankees need to address the shortstop position.
The Yankees are built to contend for the World Series. This is a franchise with the financial capacity to make any and all moves they need to make to improve their roster. On top of that, the Yankees are well under the luxury tax threshold meaning they have more money than usual to improve their roster.
The Yankees have options, especially with Torres being a shortstop. If the Yankees would rather splurge on another position, they could make Torres the shortstop, and the team could pursue free agent second base options like Daniel Murphy and DJ LeMahieu. They could add a versatile player like Marwin Gonzalez and give the team more options. Then again, they could also go out there and land Machado because after all, this is the Yankees.
The overriding point here is the Yankees need to address the position somehow because there is no certainty Gregorius can even play next year. For example, Mets utility infield T.J. Rivera missed the entire 2018 season after he had Tommy John surgery. After Jose Canseco had the surgery in 1993, he became a DH. What happens with Corey Seager, another shortstop who had the surgery in May, remains to be seen.
Unfortunately for Gregorius, there is no certainty he will play next year, and he is a part of a Yankees team which needs to make improvements to catch the Red Sox and Astros. The Yankees cannot afford to have the shortstop position be a question mark throughout the entire 2019 season. They have the financial wherewithal to sure up the position. If Gregorius can return and provide depth, that’s a bonus, but he can’t be much more than that.
It is time for the Yankees to move on from Didi Gregorius as their shortstop.