The New York Yankees might have immense infield depth, but the time has come to sign SS Didi Gregorius to a contract extension.
Leading the way with the best record in baseball, the New York Yankees have a good problem on their hands. With immense infield depth, some might wonder if it’s worth signing Didi Gregorius to a contract extension. The answer is an emphatic yes.
The 29-year-old shortstop might be having a down year at the plate, but he’s been one of the most consistent players in baseball. He’s also been one of the best at his position since joining the Yankees in 2017. A fan favorite, Gregorius has taken over the clubhouse as one of its most-trusted leaders.
Even with phenom Gleyber Torres becoming a budding superstar, Gregorius is still the best candidate to hold the role as the king of the infield. He’s the unquestioned leader of the unit—both on the field and in the locker room. He’s part of the glue that holds the clubhouse together, keeping star-studded roster focused on one singular goal of winning a championship.
Gregorius hasn’t been the same hitter in 2018 as he has been over the last two seasons. Yet, he’s still a force from the left side that can be plugged anywhere in the lineup. Since 2017, his 9.2 WAR is 11th-best at the shortstop position across the MLB. His 63 home runs since joining the Bronx Bombers are good for sixth-most among shortstops.
The Amsterdam native has flashed in all aspects of hitting. He hits for power when the Yankees have needed it. He puts the ball in play when the situation calls for it. Gregorius has simply been everything the Yankees could have hoped for in a replacement for the legendary captain in Derek Jeter—which was a seemingly impossible task.
What makes the Gregorius extension even more necessary is his defense. A smooth defender with a strong arm, Gregorius is a consistent playmaker in the six-hole. He’s easily the best shortstop the Yankees have on the roster—better than Torres, whose defense still needs a little more work.
Paying Gregorius an extension shouldn’t be a problem. The Yankees are well under the luxury tax threshold and even though free agency can be unpredictable, especially with Gregorius set to be a top option, it would behoove Brian Cashman to get a deal done before other teams can make offers.
The Yankees have infield depth. They’ve shown that throughout the 2018 season. But Sir Didi has proven himself worthy time and time again over the last three seasons. It’s undeniable the Yankees have some young talent on the infield, and depth is always a vital aspect of building a championship roster.
If that mentality is to stick with the Yankees, giving Gregorius—the leader of the infield—a contract extension is a no-brainer.