If fans were waiting for the Yankees' hot stove to warm up, Brian Cashman might have just brought it to searing levels. The Yankees have a gaping hole at shortstop right now with few attractive options on the free agent market to replace Derek Jeter, so it should not be surprising that they have considered trade targets instead. Since the shortstop market is currently led by Jed Lowrie, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Stephen Drew, the Yankees certainly should not be blamed for trying something more creative.
Today, rumors swirled that Cashman brought in young Diamondbacks shortstop Didi Gregorius. The first report came from WFAN's Sweeny Murti:
Barely twenty minutes later, Ken Rosenthal reported that the trade was finalized:
Well, the Yankees have a new shortstop now, and it is the 24-year-old Gregorius. Shane Greene is now a Tiger, and former Tigers prospect Robbie Ray (acquired in the still-puzzling Doug Fister deal) is now in Arizona. Some fans are not going to be happy at all about sending a young, cost-controlled starter like Greene, who was very good last year, in exchange for Gregorius, who hit just .226/.290/.363 last year with an 81 OPS+.
However, shortstops are a very rare commodity and teams typically have to pay a substantial price to get even an average shortstop. Gregorius isn't much of a hitter, but he only turns 25 next February and already has a nice defensive reputation. There is definitely potentially for growth into a very talented player. His bat just needs a little more time for development.
Greene was barely a Top 20 Yankees prospect entering the 2014 campaign, and he improved his stock so much that he was used as the Yankees' solution to filling Derek Jeter's spot. It was a tremendous season. As much as it might hurt to see him go, the Yankees dealt Greene while his stock was higher than ever before. There is a good chance that he might never have a season like 2014 again; he would be far from the first starter to fade after a solid rookie season.
Although Greene has a legitimate shot to be a steady major leaguer for quite awhile, fans should not react negatively to the trade. The Yankees received a significant return in Gregorius, and he is poised to immediately help the team at shortstop in 2015. It was a move that simply made sense.