Last week the Yankees somewhat surprised people by not extending the $17.8M qualifying offer to Didi Gregorius, which many took as an indicator that Didi’s time in pinstripes is over. Yesterday, Cashman was asked about the chances of the Yankees re-signing their shortstop.
Brian Cashman asked if it was more or less likely that Didi Gregorius re-signs the longer he stays on the market: "I can't tell you less likely more likely, I can just tell you a Didi was a great player for us he's a free agent now, so it's gonna be competition for services."
Cashman is usually a master of speaking without saying anything. He also indicates the Yankees are “in” on every Free Agent and trade candidate, and this year is no different. So far this off-season the Yankees have been linked to Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg, and Madison Bumgarner, among others. These comments however are an indicator to me that the Yankees have decided they are moving on from Gregorius.
2019 was a weird year for Didi. He began the season on the IL recovering from Tommy John Surgery. He returned earlier than most predicted, but put up the worst offensive numbers in his Yankees career — 84 wRC+ in 344 PA. Despite the late-season movement among some fans that Didi should sit in the playoffs, most still loved him for his “clutch” postseason homers, postgame emoji tweets, and speedy injury recovery. But the Yankees run a business, and the fact is, re-signing a shortstop to a long term deal who will be on the wrong side of 30 this upcoming February is not good business, especially when they have a more than suitable backup plan of Gleyber Torres and DJ LeMahieu up the middle.
This just flat out sucks. Logically, I know the Yankees should move on from Didi. A year ago I would have slapped myself across the face for thinking that but I don’t see the value in re-signing him to a long(ish)-term deal. Emotionally, I would love to have Didi back. When Didi replaced Jeter in 2015 I didn’t think he’d last the season. In the first month he made countless mental errors, looked lost against left-handed pitchers, and was basically a slap singles hitter. Fast-forward to the 2017 Wild Card game and I was hugging strangers after he smashed the game-tying home run vs Minnesota. Didi also gave us a tremendous moment in the ALDS this year when he hit a grand slam to the #BPCrew. We’ll always have those moments, but it looks like there will be a new shortstop in the Bronx next season.
Meanwhile, Brian Cashman is sleeping in the cold outside Yankee Stadium.