Yankees News: The perfect stopgap solution at shortstop is an old friend

New York Yankees, Didi Gregorius

The New York Yankees have a big decision to make at short-stop this off-season, and they’ve been connected to a variety of different options involving trades and free agency acquisitions. Ranging from Carlos Correa to Matt Chapman, the Yankees are exploring every possible option to find a stopgap or long-term solution at a position of desperate need.

However, the Bombers could look to a familiar face as an answer. The Philadelphia Phillies signed Didi Gregorius in 2021 to a two-year, $28 million deal. The former Yankees fan favorite had arguably the worst season of his career in 2021, recording a. 209 average with 13 homers and 54 RBIs.

Gregorius provided fantastic defensive efficiency with solid contact hitting and power during his time with the Yankees. He hit 27 long-balls with the Yankees back in 2018, thanks to a short right porch in the Bronx.

Gregorius still has one year left on his deal at $14. 5 million in base salary. The Phillies may be looking to part ways with Didi, given he just turned 32 years old and he’s coming off a poor season. They may trade him away for pennies just to unload his contract.

The Yankees could easily utilize him for one year and extend him for another season if they need more time developing Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza. However, giving Peraza an opportunity in 2022 could be the right move, as other teams have injected young talent into tough spots before and reaped the rewards.

Gregorius’s experience with the Yankees and providing solid defensive play makes him an intriguing target to smooth over the shortstop position moving forward. Fans would undoubtedly love to have him back, and he is a reliable option.

Overspending on Correa, Trevor Story, or giving up premium prospects in a prospective deal with the Oakland Athletics is not the route general manager Brian Cashman wants to go.

New York Yankees: Yankees weekend news round up, check it out

New York Yankees, Miguel Andujar

Is a Didi Gregorius reunion be in the offing?

With the New York Yankees’ front off not even giving a sniff as to what they will do to replace Gleyber Torres at short, only rumors have been swirling. At first, a statement came out that the Yankees would be going big in filling the position. Not much later, they seemed to indicate they might go the stopgap way and fill the position with a lesser player while waiting for Oswald Peraza and Anthony Volpe to develop to the major league level.

Two of the four best shortstop free agents went off the market to the Texas Rangers during that time. With Marcus Semien and Corey Seager gone, it leaves just Carlos Correa and Trevor Story as major contenders. Neither of those is likely to end up a Yankee, one due to cost and the other with questionable health issues. This has most recently caused the rumor that Didi Gregorius might be headed back to the Yankees.

Gregorius has certainly not been quiet on social media about his future. This is the last year of his contract with the Phillies, and if he was to go to the Yankees, the Phillies would likely have to eat a large amount of his salary. This is not the Didi of his first stint with the Yankees. Last season in 103 games, he hit only 13 home runs with a batting average of only .209. His defense is still there, but his performance at the plate may be a no-no for the Yankees. This writer does not see a reunion as an option.

Would slugger Aaron Judge consider a move away from the Yankees?

The no longer young Aaron Judge has suggested recently that leaving the Yankees is an option for him after this season. This is probably the only time, due to his age (30), that he will be able to make that big score in the money department.

“If we get an extension done before the season starts, that’d be great. I’d be completely honored to wear pinstripes for a couple more years. But if it doesn’t happen and this is my last year [as a Yankee], I had a lot of great memories.”

That statement was not Derek Jeter-like, with an indication that if the Yankees don’t sign him up, he may look elsewhere.

At least one Yankee player is likely to be gone in 2022

Many Yankees fans feel that first baseman Luke Voit may have been held over, only to be used as a trade piece. Others feel that in the end, the Yankees will not be spending big for a new first baseman, and Voit will be their man. That won’t be cleared up until the lockout is over. One thing that is relatively clear is that Miguel Andujar may have seen his last days in pinstripes.

After Gio Urshela became the everyday third baseman for the Yankees, the team has tried everything to salvage the young man, but to no avail. He is not the best choice at third, he has also been tried at first base and in the outfield without impressive results. This writer believes he will be traded off for one of the Yankees’ needs.

As the lockout persists, when will spring training start?

Major League Baseball, unable to come to a new agreement with the players union after the start and stop negotiations, has announced that spring training will be moved back at least until March 5th.

“We regret that, without a collective bargaining agreement in place, we must postpone the start of Spring Training games until no earlier than Saturday, March 5,” the league said in a statement.

Now the question remains, is March 5 a realistic date? The two sides in the negotiations, although making some progress, is still deadlocked on the main issue, and that is money and who gets what in revenue sharing. With all the back and forth so far, an agreement seems no closer today than it did two months ago. That March 5th date may be too optimistic unless there is compromise.

Meanwhile, non-roster players who are not members of the players union are working out at local high school fields in both Florida and Arizona.

Only one infield position seems to be a lock

With sitting out the offseason before the lockout, the Yankee team seems not closer to who will be the Yankee shortstop. For that matter, who will be the first baseman as well. The only infield position that seems a lock is that Gleyber Torres will be the second baseman after being moved from short at the end of the 2021 season.

The Yankees do have options for who will play at first and at short; some of those options put Gio Urshela’s career at the hot corner in question, as well. If Gio is not traded to fill one of the other positions, he will remain at third or will be shifted to short. The Yankees at the end of the lockout will have to look closely at Carlos Correa or Trevor Story at short as well as the Rangers Isiah Kiner-Falefa. Kiner-Falefa also is versatile, showing off at third base last season.

As far as the dilemma at first base, the Yankees could, but hopefully not, keep Luke Voit as their first baseman. They could also resign Anthony Rizzo, go after Matt Olson, or even the big prize, Freddie Freeman, who has failed to make a deal with the Atlanta Braves.

Yankees: Here is why bringing back Didi Gregorius doesn’t make sense

New York Yankees, Didi Gregorius

As the New York Yankees are desperately looking for a starting-caliber shortstop, speculation on potential targets is in full swing. Carlos Correa and Trevor Story should be the preferred options, as both are free agents and available just for money.

Other potential alternatives could be signing a low-cost free agent like Andrelton Simmons to fill in until Oswald Peraza or Anthony Volpe are ready to take over.

But MLB Trade Rumors recently discussed the possibility of the Yankees trying to swing a trade for a familiar face: Didi Gregorius. The left-handed hitter covered the shortstop position for the Bombers from 2015 to 2019.

Here is what MLB Trade Rumors had to say about a hypothetical interest from the Yankees: “Despite a legendary crop of superstar free agent shortstops, there are a handful of teams that have stayed out of the sweepstakes thus far and could potentially be interested in Gregorius.. … Bringing Gregorius back to the Bronx would be a fun story and also make some sense, as he could diversify a righty-heavy lineup with his lefty bat while holding down shortstop until one of the kids takes his spot.”

The Yankees should pursue other options

In reality, trading for Gregorius doesn’t make much sense. After peaking over a three-year span between 2016 and 2018, Gregorius’ performance has fallen off a cliff in recent years. During that period, he hit 20, 25, and 27 homers with wRC+ marks of 97, 109, and 122, respectively.

However, he slumped all the way to .238/.276/.441 with an 84 wRC+ in 2019, regained some his level in the shortened 2020 campaign (.284/.339/.488, 116 wRC+) and then struggled again last year (.209/.270/.370, 68 wRC+). He is a liability with the stick, and also with the glove: he has -21 DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) at shortstop since 2019, his last season with the Yankees.

He is about to turn 32 and is entering the final year of a two-year, $28 million contract. He has also struggled with injuries in recent seasons. Overall, the it sounds like a bad plan for the Yankees: he was a beloved member of the organization, but it’s time to move on from the idea.

Yankees could bring back fan-favorite shortstop as stopgap

New York Yankees, Didi Gregorius

The New York Yankees have been reportedly monitoring the shortstop market this off-season as they wait for the astronomical price tags of several players to decrease. General manager Brian Cashman has had a positive experience waiting patiently for the right option to reveal themselves, and that often comes with a reduced price.

However, even the second-tier options like Marcus Semien are asking for a boatload of money, so Cashman could look to take a more cost-efficient route this off-season instead of targeting one of the biggest names on the market. In fact, trading for a familiar face might not be a terrible idea.

Former Yankee Didi Gregorius spent last season with the Philadelphia Phillies, hitting .209 with 13 homers and 54 RBIs. This was by far his worst season to date, but his performance may open the door for the Bombers to swoop in and acquire him at a lesser cost.

The Athletic stated that the Phillies may be willing to trade Didi Gregorius after a tough 2021 season:

After his poor, injury-filled 2021 season, the Phillies might be willing to chalk that up as a mistake and shed as much of the $14 million left on his contract as possible. His defense has slipped below average at age 32, but Gregorius is one season removed from an .827 OPS and has a track record of 25-homer power.

Gregorius signed a two-year, $28 million deal in 2021, and given he’s owed $14.5 million in base salary this upcoming season, the Phillies could look to eat some of his cap hit and trade him to a different team.

Didi is only one year removed from hitting .284 with 10 homers and 40 RBIs back in 2020. He posted a .968 fielding percentage during that season with seven errors over 470 innings. Gregorius represents an average defender with a solid lefty bad, and as a fan favorite, it is not out of this realm that Cashman could inquire about his services once again.

Relying on Didi for a few seasons until the team’s star prospects are ready to make the jump could be a cost-efficient solution to a serious liability in the infield. However, it is not normal for this many star free agent shortstops to be available, and Cashman would hate to miss out on one of the top names and the opportunity to plug the vulnerability once and for all.

New York Yankees News/Rumors: Should the Yankees consider Brad Miller if they can’t sign DJ or others?

The New York Yankees have been stuck in neutral while waiting to see if they can re-sign DJ LeMahieu. According to reports, the sides are far apart in the negotiations. Meanwhile, LeMahieu is tired of waiting for the Yankees to meet his demands; he and the Wasserman Group, his agent, are re-engaging with the Toronto Blue Jays, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and even the Boston Red Sox. The Yankees would want to see the last thing for him to go to a team in their same division. However, the Yankees don’t seem to be budging from a contract more to their liking.

If the Yankees find that they can’t sign the batting champ for another tour on the Yankees, the Yankees will have to scramble to fill another hole in the team. The Yankees could solve the problem quickly by reuniting with their old friend Didi Gregorius. Gregorius knows the territory and is one of the best shortstops in the game. Gregorius was unhappy with the Yankees when he was not offered a contract after the 2019 season. He ended up going with Joe Girardi’s Phillies, where he had a bounce-back year.  He hit .284 with ten homers; in a normal year, that’s the equivalent of 27 home runs.

However, adding Gregorius would be the most expensive of available options. With the Phillies saying they don’t have the money to re-sign Didi, they are still interested in keeping him. For the Yankees, they would most likely have to offer him at least a short-term multi-year contract. It would probably cost the Yankees at least $20 million on a two-year deal. However, the Yankees would get a no questioned asked shortstop, move Gleyber Torres to second base, and get an active lefty bat in the Yankee’s right heavy lineup.

Should the New York Yankees consider Brad Miller?

If the New York Yankees cant signed DJ LeMahieu and chose not to reunite with Didi Gregorius, there are other options. One is to consider is Brad Miller, who the St. Louis Cardinal did not offer a contract extension. The Veteran Miller is 31 and is a utility infielder. His prime spots are at short and second base, but he also is a very satisfactory player at first and at the hot corner. He is not the greatest hitter, but he does hit for contact and is a lefty bat for the lineup. Last season he hit .232 with seven home runs. Miller seems to get on base more than his stats would suggest he had a .807 OPS last season.

If his hitting is lacking and being fair, he hit .263 in 2019; his defense is not; he is one of the best defenders of infielders. He had a 1.000 fielding percentage last season both at short and at second base. He also had the same fielding percentage at short during the 2019 season. With those stats, he is certainly an upgrade over Torres at short. The big plus for the cost-conscious Yankees is that they could probably get him on a short term contract for $2 million annually.

Miller has played with the Seattle Mariners, Tampa Bay Rays, Milwaukee Brewers, and Cleveland. In the spring of 2019, the Yankees showed an interest in Miller when they signed him to a minor league contract, but he ended up with the Indians

 

Yankees News: The perfect backup plan if ‘dismayed’ DJ LeMahieu leaves in free agency

New York Yankees, DJ LeMahieu

As most of you have heard, the New York Yankees are in danger of losing star infielder DJ LeMahieu. He’s becoming fed up with general manager Brian Cashman taking his good old time in offering him a reasonable contract extension. The Yankees are settled in at four years and aren’t biting on his aggressive tactics to speed up the process. Cashman is daring him to find an alternative club they will offer him more, but it could be ruining their relationship in the process.

According to Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports, the Yankees are in danger of losing DJ LeMahieu:

A two-time batting champ and the New York Yankees’ best player for two seasons running, LeMahieu, according to a source close to his family, has become dismayed by the slow-play tactics of the Yankees, along with other clubs. Teams that have engaged with the LeMahieu camp say LeMahieu expects more than Josh Donaldson’s four-year, $92 million deal with the Minnesota Twins and at least on par with J.D. Martinez’s five years and $110 million with the Boston Red Sox. The Yankees, LeMahieu’s preferred club after two successful seasons in the Bronx, have not met those terms.

The 32-year-old LeMahieu has, therefore, asked his representatives to re-engage with teams that have previously shown the most interest, the source said, among them the Los Angeles Dodgers, Toronto Blue Jays and New York Mets, and to reconnect with teams that reached out early in the free agent period, including the Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Red Sox and others.

At this point, it is reasonable to consider alternative plans of action, LeMahieu could easily strike a deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers or Toronto Blue Jays. Things are moving quickly with competing teams, as the Mets just concluded a massive blockbuster deal, acquiring Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco. The Yankees need to ensure they have the talent to compete, and while DJ represents arguably their best player, they could supplement his loss with more pitching and a shortstop with a familiar face.

The perfect backup plan:

1.) SP Trevor Bauer

While Yankees’ ace Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer might not get along, there’s nothing that solves feuds better than winning. Adding a player of Bauer’s quality to the rotation would instantly make the Yankees’ unit one of the best in the MLB.

Trevor won the Cy Young this past year and is extremely vocal on social media, which could be a negative thing in New York. However, he posted a 1.73 ERA with 12.33 strikeouts per nine over 73.0 innings this past year. Of course, the sample size is smaller than usual and should be considered as such.

The Cincinnati star is extremely a talented starter but has been inconsistent in the past and is looking to cash in after his best season yet. It doesn’t seem as if his market is astronomically high, so the Yankees might be able to land him and an additional infielder to supplement the loss of DJ.

2.) SS Didi Gregorius

Earlier this off-season, general manager Brian Cashman stated that Gleyber Torres was out of shape when the MLB started back up over the summer. He also indicated that his better position is second base, which could indicate a desire for the Yankees to replace him at shortstop.

In this scenario, they look to a familiar face, Didi Gregorius. Didi had a fantastic bounce-back season with the Philadelphia Phillies after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2019. He recorded a .284 average with 10 homers and 40 RBIs, including a career-low 11.8% strikeout rate.

Gregorius is a fan favorite and would plug an inconsistent position with ease. Torres would be able to move back to his more comfortable spot at second base, and the Yankees would have another lefty batter to work with in the lineup.

Adding Bauer and Gregorius might even be more beneficial than keeping LeMahieu in the first place.

Yankees News/Rumors: A perfect backup plan if the Yanks lose DJ LeMahieu

New York Yankees, Didi Gregorius

The New York Yankees are coming increasingly closer to losing star infielder DJ LeMahieu to an alternative club. There are three teams that have entered the picture for his services, including the Toronto Blue Jays, New York Mets, and LA Dodgers. All three, especially the Blue Jays, are serious about potentially acquiring LeMahieu and his offensive capabilities. However, the Dodgers are even viewing him as a potential solution at third base, despite minimal reps in the past at the position.

General manager Brian Cashman has to be gearing up for the possibility of supplementing DJs loss, despite his desire to stay in pinstripes. Reports have indicated that he and the team are about $25 million away from finding a compromise, but Cashman has strict orders not to overspend on free agents this year.

The Yankees are essentially hoping that other teams don’t outbid them for his services, so they can lower his price tag. It is a risky move for Cashman, but they won’t overspend for a player who will be 37 at the end of his desired contract.

Here’s how the New York Yankees could perfectly reallocate his money:

Don’t expect any big-name free agent signings, but there are a few players that could immediately help their cause and upgrade several spots.

1.) SS: Didi Gregorius

Reuniting with Didi Gregorius would be a great idea for the Yankees, considering he is 30 years old and had one of his best seasons ever in 2020. Despite a smaller sample size over 60 games, Gregorius hit .284 with 10 homers and 40 RBIs, collecting a career-low 11.8% strikeout rate and career-high .339 on-base percentage.

Once again, Gregorius was a consistent defender, and signing him to deal would allow the Yankees to move Gleyber Torres back to second base, where LeMahieu is currently expected to play. It would be an efficient move, solidifying the infield’s defense and injecting a known commodity back into the batting order. In addition, he’s a lefty hitter, adding a bit of diversity to a Yankee team that is heavily right-handed.

2.) SP: Jake Odorizzi

Odorizzi has a projected market value of about $14 million per season, far less than Masahiro Tanaka was making in 2020. He’s a quality pitcher at 30 years old but had a down 2020 season that could allow the Yankees to acquire him on a cheaper deal. In 2019, Jake finished with a 3.51 ERA, earning a 35% ground ball rate and 10.08 strikeouts per nine. He pitched 159 total innings, winning 15 games.

Odorizzi’s primary pitches are his fastball, slider, and change-up. His fastball averages out at about 93 mph, but he has very solid curve-oriented pitches. His pitch diversity makes him a solid starter with potential, and the Yankees might be willing to take a flyer on him to supplement some of their losses in the starting rotation.

New York Yankees News/Rumors: Two comebackers the Yankees should consider that don’t involve DJ LeMahieu (video)

All the New York Yankee’s buzz is on batting champ DJ LeMahieu the team has everything on hold while the DJ negotiations plod along. The is no question that re-signing LeMahieu is the most important priority the Yankees have this offseason. But if they can’t sign him, believe it or not, it’s not the end of the world.  If the Yankees continue to wear blinders for that possibility, they may wait to fill other holes until it too late to find quality players.

Today I explore bringing two players back to the Yankees that the Yankees know can play successfully at Yankee Stadium. One carries a risk, and the other doesn’t. The Yankees should bring back Didi Gregorius; this is especially true if they can’t sign LeMahieu. The fact of the matter is that the Yankees should never have let him walk, to begin with. After having successful seasons with the Yankees, Didi returned from surgery and didn’t perform as well as the Yankees hoped for, so they let him go to the Philadelphia Phillies.

After the second year from surgery, Didi returned to the excellent player he was with the Yankees. Last season Didi hit .284. To put that into perspective, with 100 at-bats or more, only DJ LeMahieu and Gio Urshela had a better batting average for the Yankees last season. Didi also hit 10 homers in the short season and drove in 40 Phillies. In a regular-season that over 100 RBI’s. What’s not to like with that performance? It’s something the Yankees certainly could have used last season. Another plus to bringing him back to the Bronx is his lefty bat for a lineup that is too right-handed heavy.

The New York Yankee fans love Gregorius, and he fits in beautifully with the team. Unfortunately for Didi, the Philadelphia Phillies can no longer afford him and his $14 million contract. The Phillies lost a lot of money last season and are basically dumping payroll, including the best catcher in baseball J.T. Realmuto. With the Phillies not wanting to pay Didi, his value on the open market is most likely reduced. Gregorius has lately been tweeting his thoughts of being open to returning to the Yankees. To me, this is a no brainer move.

The next bring back player will make some of you laugh, David Robertson. Yes, he has been with the Yankees twice already, and each time he left, the Yankees lost out. Here is where the risk comes in, D-Rob is now 36 years old and is coming back from Tommy John surgery, but in my opinion, the potential reward far outweighs the risk involved.

Let’s start at the beginning. Many newer Yankees fans hear the name David Robertson they think of a relief pitcher that has pitched for many teams. The fact is that D-Rob is a Yankee homegrown pitcher. The Yankees signed him in the draft of 2006. He worked his way up through the minor league system and made his major league debut for the New York Yankees on June 28, 2008; after mixed results, he was sent back down to Scranton Wilkes/Barre.

2009 would see Robertson go up and down between Scranton and the bigs. He had a good season with the Yankees, but he made his name in the 2009 postseason. Both in the ALDS and ALCS, he was called in with multiple players on base; he never allowed a run and got the win in both games. Robertson would pitch in relief for the Yankees as Mariano Riveras set up man through 2013 when Rivera retired. D-Rob became the Yankee closer in 2014; he saved 39 of 44 save opportunities. He made $5 million that year. The Yankees offered him a $15 million qualifying offer, which he refused.

Robertson signed a big-money deal with the Chicago White Sox, but when the Yankees were making a run on the postseason in 2017, the Yankees again called on Robertson to help them via trade. In his first game back after the trade, he struck out the side in the seventh inning to preserve a 5-1 win over the Mariners. He ended the regular season 5-0, giving up just four runs on the season. In the 2017 Wild Card Game, Robertson set career post-season single-game highs in innings pitched, with ​3 1⁄3, and pitches thrown, with 52. He allowed no runs and earned the win.

In 2018 after another successful season with the Yankees, he became the only pitcher in major league history to average at least 10 strikeouts/9 innings pitched in each of his first 11 seasons. But after the 2018 season, Robertson would again be a free agent when the Yankees did not exercise his option. Before the 2019 season, he became a Philadelphia Philly for $23 million and a two-year contract.

Unfortunately, his time with the Phillies was not a productive one; he required Tommy John surgery and pitched in only seven games in 2019 and none in 2020. The Phillies did not exercise his $12 million option for 2021. For the Yankees, few pitchers have pitched better than David Robertson during the last 12 years. He has a 38-22 record with the Yankees with a tiny ERA of 2.75.

The New York Yankees could probably get both of these fine players for under $20 million. It’s an idea the Yankees should at least kick the tired on.

 

 

 

New York Yankees Analysis: Is the Yankee’s wait to sign DJ LeMahieu risking his return?

New York Yankees, DJ LeMahieu

For the New York Yankees and all the 29 other MLB teams, we are into the offseason’s eighth week. The Yankees have made it widely known that their primary need this offseason is to re-sign the baseball batting title second baseman DJ LeMahieu. DJ was given the only qualifying offer the Yankees doled out for $18.9 million for a one year contract. LeMahieu immediately refused that offer, making him the most sought-after free agent in baseball.

New York Yankee general manager Brian Cashman pulled off a deal no one expected before the 2019 season. With Yankee fans hoping the Yankees would sign Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, Cashman came home with the little known to Yankee fans, DJ LeMahieu. He signed LeMahieu to a two year $24 million contract. What the Yankees got in return was one of the best baseball players in the game that greatly exceeded expectations and the performance of the other two players many wanted.

In 2019 LeMahieu eventually took over the leadoff position from veteran Brett Gardner and all he did was get on base by hitting or walking. He turned out to be an excellent defender at second base. He ended his first season with the Yankees as a Silver Slugger batting .327; he was an All-star and came in 4th in the MVP voting. The Yankees knew that they had a star player in their lineup but questioned if he could repeat his performance.

The Yankees didn’t have to wait long. As the coronavirus season finally started in 2020, DJ didn’t waste time; he started where he left off in 2019. He not only showed Yankee fans that he hadn’t missed a beat but was out to outdo 2019. And did he ever; he ended the season with the highest batting average in the American League, a brilliant .364, and won the batting title, the first player ever to do so in both leagues. He was again a Silver Slugger and came in 3rd in the MVP voting.

Now DJ is a free agent, and the Yankees are ardently working with the Wasserman Group, DJ’s agent, to get a deal done to keep him in pinstripes. But unfortunately, the negotiations have been deadlocked for a while now. DJ wants five years at $100 million, and the Yankees want three years at $75 million.  So the deal is being held up by dollars and contract length. DJ has let it be known that his future security is of most interest to him.

LeMahieu has let it be known that he loves playing in New York, likes the Yankees and his teammates, and especially the demanding Yankees fans. He had indicated that he would likely take less money per year if the contract provided the security he is looking for. There is no question that DJ is clearly worth every penny he is asking for. Still, the Yankees don’t have a lot of money to spend after losing the most money in baseball last season and with owner Hal Steinbrenner announcing that he wants to stay under the luxury tax threshold.

The question is are the Yankees risking losing LeMahieu the longer the negotiations drag on. The answer is probably yes. Other teams have shown and interest in LeMahieu, particularly the Toronto Blue Jays. If the Yankees refuse to budge from their position, the Blue Jays could swoop in and offer exactly what LeMahieu wants. Shortstop, Bo Bichette of the Jays, has promoted the idea of having DJ play next to him. Citing that he is “the best hitter in baseball, and I don’t even really think it’s close.”

It would be devastating to the New York Yankees to lose LeMahieu to the Jays within their own division. Yankee fans would surely come down on general manager Brian Cashman every time they had to face LeMahieu in a Blue Jays uniform. The Yankees need to avoid the risk and get the deal done. Possibly they can come together with an $88 million deal for four years, meeting in the middle. If that doesn’t make it happen, the Yankees need to give LeMahieu want he wants. If they do, he is still a bargain compared to similar players.

In baseball, there is always a plan B, no matter how bad the sides want plan A to be successful. If the Yankees can’t make the deal with LeMahieu, that would open up Gleyber Torres to move to his natural position at second base and for the Yankees to offer Didi Gregorius a contract to return to the Yankees. Recently Gregorius has let it be known that he would be open to returning to the Yankees after comeback season, and the Phillies having let him loose. The Phillies not having the resources the Yankees have, and citing their losses, dumped both Gregorius and star catcher J.T. Realmuto.

Yankees Rumors: Didi Gregorius hints at a potential return if DJ LeMahieu deal falls through

New York Yankees, Didi Gregorius

As the New York Yankees navigate the off-season with DJ LeMahieu as their priority, the expectations are that the club stays frugal in their pursuit of free agents.

General manager Brian Cashman has made it clear that LeMahieu is the primary target, but his representatives have indicated that they will begin listening to other offers as the Yankees stall negotiations.

In the scenario that DJ moves on from the Yankees, they will have to find a supplement at second base, or rather shortstop. The assumption is that Gleyber Torres will move back to his familiar position, and the Yankees could reunite with an old friend who took his talents to Philadelphia in 2020.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Didi Gregorius said regarding his future. “The Michael Kay Show” on Wednesday.

“All I can say is I had a really good time playing there [New York]. But at the end, it’s in their hands. Who knows what’s going to happen in the future with LeMahieu or with the Yankees and all that stuff? They’re making their decision of what they plan to do.”

It is clear that Gregorius would love to reunite with the Yankees after having a fantastic season with the Phillies this year. He finished the campaign with a .284 batting average, 10 homers, and 40 RBIs. He recorded a career-low 11.8% strikeout rate and played in all 60 games, alleviating any concerns of injury.

Didi underwent Tommy John surgery in 2019, missing the first half of the season, but he did return an impressive form, hitting 16 homers and logging a .276 on-base percentage. His 2020 statistics were simply fantastic, though, and he would bring better defense to the team over Torres.

Aside from Gregorius’ obvious connection to the Yankees, their fans still hold him in high regard. The mentality he brought to the team and positive emotion he displayed made him a fan favorite, and he still has immense respect for those that still follow him in his endeavors.

“I still get (Yankee fans) commenting on stuff that I post on Instagram or on Twitter. It just makes them happy if you go out there and give it your best. I think fans can actually see that you’re not being nonchalant and playing hard.”

Of course, most would welcome Gregorius back with open arms, especially after the season he enjoyed in 2020. However, the length of a deal would be a big question, and if the Yankees lose out on DJ, supplementing his loss would take an army of players.