Earlier this week, the Yankees learned they were losing shortstop Didi Gregorius for . Facing the possibility of not having a starting shortstop until, say, the middle of May, can be a daunting thought for any team.
While the Yankees, other teams might see the chance to consummate a deal. As such, the rumor mill has already started to churn.
According to the New York Post, the Reds called the Yankees to discuss veteran shortstop Zack Cozart. It makes total sense from the Reds’ perspective. Cozart is an acceptable everyday starter at short and also a free agent after this season. The Reds are in a rebuild and have several middle-infield type youngsters they’d like to give extended looks this season.
Of course, the Post reports the Yankees said no.
Next up in the Post article: Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias. We can’t exactly say the Tigers are in a rebuild right now, but they might not be far off if they don’t contend this season. Of course, Iglesias is coming off a terrible offensive season and is a free agent after next year. Maybe they felt it time to move on or simply see what they could get in return, assuming the report is true.
Again, though, the report said the Yankees declined.
On the flip side, a report from Arizona (azcentral.com) says that shortstop Nick Ahmed has been receiving interest on the trade market and the Yankees are among those teams, along with the Padres and Rays.
Ahmed, 27, isn’t much with the bat, but he’s an exceptional defender. In only 90 games last season -- due in part to hip surgery -- Ahmed hit .218/.265/.299 (again, yuck), but he also had 13 defensive runs saved. The only shortstops better than that were Brandon Crawford (19), Addison Russell (19), Andrelton Simmons (18) and Francisco Lindor (17), also known as the four best defensive shortstops in baseball. Keep in mind that’s a cumulative stat and Ahmed only saw 721 1/3 innings at short, compared to far more than 1,000 for those four (Lindor and Crawford were over 1,300).
He seems the best fit for the Yankees, because once Gregorius is back, Ahmed could simply be a defensive replacement either at second or short.
Regardless, expect the rumors to continue swirling. That’s what comes with late-spring injuries to major lineup pieces.