Should the New York Yankees go for the blockbuster trade and lose Gio Urshela?

New York Yankees, Gio Urshela
April 25, 2019; Anaheim, CA, USA; New York Yankees third baseman Gio Urshela (29) rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run against the Los Angeles Angels during the fifth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

This writer has the answer: Absolutely not. Although his value to the team is near an all-time low, the New York Yankees should hold onto this valuable asset. Nearing postseason 2.0, the talk of trading either Luke Voit or Gio Urshela to help fill the shortstop position has increased, but in the case of Urshela, the Yankees should be very careful.

The only reason Urshela is even being considered a trading piece is because he didn’t have his best year last season, suffering several nagging injuries. Last season, he wasn’t as good defensively, and he had a less than impressive slash line of .267/.301/.419 with 14 home runs in 442 plate appearances. Trading Urshela after 2019 or 2020 would have made sense, as he was at his best Trading him now makes no sense, as he is still a valuable asset at the hot corner and even at short.

In 2019 the New York Yankees had a newfound 3rd baseman in Gio Urshela. When Miguel Andujar was injured, the Yankees were forced to bring up Ushela from Scranton by necessity. No one knew what to expect. They weren’t left wondering for long; he excelled at the hot corner. 2020 was no different, proving that his 2019 season was no fluke. His performance has fallen off since then, particularly due to injuries in 2021. If these injuries caused his fall off, he could rebound this season to his previous numbers.

Cutting ties with Urshela now would be a big mistake, only to get a stop-gap shortstop. Most trades would be costly for the Yankees, both in dollars and assets. The Yankees need to look elsewhere to accomplish a 2022 shortstop.

Here is Urshela’s path to the New York Yankees: 29-year-old Giovanny Urshela is a Columbian baseball player for our Yankees. He has previously played for the Toronto Blue Jays and the Cleveland Indians. Urshela signed with the Cleveland Indians as an international free agent in July 2008. He made his professional debut in 2009, playing for the Dominican Summer League Indians and the Arizona League Indians. He spent 2010-2013 in single-A. He started the 2014 season with Akron and was promoted to the Columbus Clippers of the Class AAA International League during the season.

After the 2014 season, the Indians added Urshela to their 40-man roster. He was named the Indians’ fourth-best prospect by MLB.com in 2015. He batted .227 for the Indians before being traded to the Toronto Blue Jays. Urshela batted .233 with one home run and three RBIs in 19 games for Toronto before he was designated for assignment by the Blue Jays on June 26. During his time with the Jays, he was noted for his timely hitting and competent play on the 3rd. Base.

On August 4, 2018, the Blue Jays traded Urshela to the New York Yankees in exchange for cash considerations. The Yankees assigned him to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. Urshela was called up by the Yankees to the bigs on April 6, 2019, as a fill-in for Miguel Andujar at third base. Urshela has been an out-making specialist in the big leagues and has certainly shown his worth at the hot corner.

In his brief stay with the Yankees, he has played well at 3rd, even making spectacular plays that many wondered if Andujar could have made, considering that Miguel’s play at third has been questioned. Gio is well-liked in the clubhouse and fits in quite well. Some of this may be his not-so-young age and experience. So far, although not a home run hitter, he is a timely hitter. He played so well he has received praise from manager Aaron Boone and a tweet of support from the Columbian President.

The New York Yankees expected that he would be able to handle third base. What they didn’t expect was his discipline, timely and powerful hitting behind the plate. It was a win-win situation for the Yankees as they got Glove Glove-like defense at third base and a powerful bat at the plate. When Gio would make near impossible plays at third, he became an immediately loved Yankee player.

As the season progressed, Urshela just got better and better. He ended the season with the second-highest batting average, only second to MVP DJ LeMahieu. Gio’s average was .314 with a .889 OPS and a career-high 21 home runs in just 132 games. In the shortened 2020, he started where he left off in 2019. He didn’t miss a beat. He ended the season hitting .298 with 6 home runs that translate to the same number in 2019.

The only reason we are talking about a Urshela trade is that his performance fell off during 2021. But if that decrease was caused by injuries that are not part of his career stats, dumping him now could leave the Yankees in worse shape than they are in now.