On Monday, ten players received qualifying offers from their respective teams. These players will have ten days to decide if they will accept the offer or hit the free-agent market. Didi Gregorius was not included on the list, which means the Yankees are letting him hit the free-agent market.
Gregorius has been an important part of this organization over the past few seasons. He has come up with several huge hits in critical moments during his short time as a Yankee. The big postseason moments include: the game-tying home run in the 2017 Wild Card game, the two homers against Corey Kluber in the 2017 ALDS, and the grand slam in the 2019 ALDS against the Twins. All of these contributions coupled with his lovable personality have made Gregorius a fan favorite in New York.
Unfortunately, Gregorius suffered a UCL injury during the 2018 postseason and was forced to miss the first half of the season. He just wasn’t the same when he finally returned, batting just .238 with a .276 OBP in 82 games. On top of offensive struggles, many fans noticed his inaccurate throws in the 2019 postseason, that without a good scoop to save them, could have proven detrimental to the team.
Without Gregorius, it appears that Gleyber Torres will headline the infield and take over at shortstop, his natural position. To his right, completing the middle infield will most likely be second baseman DJ LeMahieu. As most know, LeMahieu was the MVP of the team in 2019, providing incredible consistency at the plate and in the field. At first, base will be Luke Voit. He had a solid 2019 campaign, but a minor injury in August negatively affected the rest of his season. As of now, the Yankees have two great options at third base: Gio Urshela and Miguel Andujar. The former surprised New York with an incredible bat in 2019 after making some offseason adjustments, all of course while flashing his elite glove in the hot corner. Andujar is expected to compete with Urshela for playing time.
As for backups, the Yankees have a large selection to choose from in this year’s upcoming free-agent market. Players like Adeiny Hechavarria, Asdrubal Cabrera, Howie Kendrick, Jose Iglesias, and Jonathan Schoop will all be available and none of them were paid more than $7.5 million in 2019. If they choose to stick within the organization, they’ll have access to contributors from this past season, such as Tyler Wade, Mike Ford, and Thairo Estrada.
Gregorius was a fan favorite and gave us all some incredibly memorable moments to look back on. However, due to age, injury, and a crowded infield, it’s most likely the right move to let Gregorius walk.