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Yankees trade for Didi Gregorius: What does it mean for the team going forward?

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The Yankees have found their successor to Yankees icon Derek Jeter.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

It took a little while, but Brian Cashman and the Yankees are making their presence felt just before the Winter Meetings begin in San Diego on Monday. Reminiscent of the three-way deal that brought Curtis Granderson to New York back in December of 2009, the same three teams appear to have come together again as Didi Gregorius will head to the Bronx. In exchange for Gregorius, Shane Greene will head to the Tigers, while lefty reliever Robbie Ray and infielder Domingo Leyba will head west to the Diamondbacks. Give credit to Sweeny Murti for breaking the story, Ken Rosenthal for the confirmation, and Jon Morosi for adding that Leyba was the second player headed to Arizona. Bob Nightengale, baseball columnist for the USA Today, also chipped in with this tweet:

What this means for the Yankees are a few things. First, they’ve got a young cost-controlled, soon to be 25-year-old shortstop that is going to be cheap and under team control through the 2019 season. Second, unlike the past few seasons in which we all saw Jeter struggle, he is considered a defense first and bat second type of player that will help shore up the middle infield defense. Third, this didn’t cost the team any of their top prospects, nor did it cost them any money, which will allow the Yankees some much needed financial flexibility.

Detroit appears to have shored up its rotation as Max Scherzer appears headed elsewhere as a free agent. This season saw Shane Greene rise from a mediocre fringe prospect to a legit backend Major League starter after being called up from Triple-A. With Scherzer most likely gone this year, along with David Price and Rick Porcello being discussed in trades, this move makes a lot of sense for Tigers General Manager Dave Dombrowski. It provides the Tigers with some cost certainty with Greene remaining under team control through the 2020 season.

For Arizona, Dave Stewart dealt from an area of strength since they already have prospect Nick Ahmed and incumbent shortstop Chris Owings in the fold for 2015. In return, they reportedly have received the Tigers' #7 prospect, lefty reliever Robbie Ray, along with the Tigers' #8 prospect infielder Domingo Leyba.

This move made perfect sense for the Yankees in every way. They didn’t have to pay for an exorbitant contract, trade top prospects, or settle for Stephen Drew. The value is simple, give up a number four or five starter that was a 15th round draft pick and cost them $100,000 back in the 2009 draft in return for a young, cheap and talented shortstop that will have enormous shoes to fill. Give credit where it’s due, Cashman has been on his game during the past year on the trade market with moves such as this, along with this year’s trade deadline moves. This move may not be the flashiest, like a move for Andrus or Tulowitzki would’ve been, but this is the smart move.