The Yankees search for a shortstop to replace Derek Jeter, at least for the short term, will be former Arizona Diamondback Didi Gregorius, after the Bronx Bombers pulled off a trade with Arizona days before the Winter Meetings kick off in San Diego.
The acquisition was part of a three team deal involving the Yankees, D-Backs and Tigers. The Tigers received rookie reliever Shane Greene from the Yankees, while Arizona received minor league prospects.
It is debatable whether Gregorius will be in the long range plans for the Yankees at short. For starters, Gregorius is as light hitting as they come, a career .243 hitter, who hit .226 with 6 homers and 27 RBI this season. He is known more for his defensive prowess, and 24 years old it makes you wonder why a team like Arizona was so smitten to get rid of him. Keep in mind Gregorious has been on the trade block for a while, even the Mets were in discussion for him not too long ago.
But here is Gregorius; chances are he will platoon with Brandon Ryan at shortstop, or he could take the position all to himself. Forget about seeing A-Rod shift over to short, he'll be back at third or at DH for the Yankees in 2015. Like it or not, it's a no risk move for the Yankees who were having trouble finding someone to take up the thrown left by Jeter at the end of September.
The expectations will loom large for Gregorius, but people shouldn't expect instant results and Jeter-esq play out of the youngster right away. Give him time, something the Diamondbacks didn't do, and perhaps he could turn out to be a solid player for the Yankees.
Then again, Gregorius could be the first in a long line of players who will try to be the "guy" to truly replace Derek Jeter.