Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius is set to have Tommy John surgery on his throwing arm this off-season. Gregorius has a torn UCL that he sustained in the ALDS against the Red Sox. Typically Tommy John surgery takes a player off the field for at least a year, sometimes more. Aaron Boone however had a different take saying, “We think there’s a realistic chance he plays the bulk of the season with us.” Now I have no idea what gave Boone the confidence to say that but Yankees GM Brian Cashman had no timetable for the recovery. The date of the surgery has not been set, though I’m sure it will be soon.
Gregorius is under contract through 2019 then hits free agency in 2020. That means that Manny Machado to New York would be a smooth transition. With Didi out, Machado could slide right in at shortstop while Gregorius recovers. Should he come back sooner than expected, they could ease him in with a utility role. Gregorius hit .268 with 27 HRs, 86 RBIs, 89 Runs, and a .829 OPS in only 134 Games. He battled injuries all season but took advantage of that short porch in Yankee Stadium and played great defense all season. I could see him coming back late in the season and providing some depth for a stacked Yankees infield should Machado sign. After 2019, Didi will have a chance to make some money and find a well deserved starting role most likely elsewhere.
Manny Machado is one of the best players in baseball, which he has continued to prove this season. Manny hit .297 with 37 HRs, 107 RBIs, and a .905 OPS. He played 162 regular season games between Baltimore and Los Angeles. As he faces off with the Brewers in the NLCS, Machado will look towards free agency, and what that will mean for his career.
Machado has been great for the Dodgers, a large market team that should have interest in signing him to a long-term deal. However, Corey Seager is on his way back from Tommy John surgery and will look to retake his spot as the captain of the Dodgers infield. Maybe the Dodgers make a power move by moving Seager to second-base to keep both stars in Los Angeles.
Should the Dodgers fail to re-sign Machado, expect the Yankees to go all in to bring Manny back to the American League East. The Evil Empire has worked hard to get back under the luxury tax in recent years. They are looking to pay up for a proven seasoned superstar slugger like Manny Machado. It appears as if Machado to New York has been developing for years and now it looks clear as day.
Scott Neville – Head Baseball Writer – WTF Sports