Cover Photo: Mike Stobe/Getty Images
As if things couldn't get any worse for the New York Yankees -- after being eliminated at home by their hated rival the Boston Red Sox -- shortstop and clubhouse leader Didi Gregorius needs to undergo Tommy John surgery on a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right throwing elbow.
Even though he will begin rehabbing early this offseason, Gregorius will still miss a "chunk" of the 2019-20 season, which means they are now looking for a new Opening Day shortstop.
There are quite a few in-house options to provide a stop gap before Gregorius returns, but there's also an opportunity for the team to sign a huge star or a veteran replacement.
5. Jordy Mercer, SS, Pittsburgh Pirates
Joe Sargent/Getty Images
There are better middle-tier shortstops available on the market like Freddy Galvis and Jose Iglesias, but it wouldn't make sense for the Yankees to commit to a player who's the same age as Gregorius. Mercer would be a wily veteran to bring in and fill the void until Didi returns, if the Yankees don't yet want to turn it over to their youth.
4. Thairo Estrada, SS, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders
Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images
Thairo Estrada is our deep sleeper here. Currently the top shortstop prospect in the Yankees farm system, Estrada played at Triple-A in 2018. He was hitting .401 in Double-A in 2017 and may have made it to the Majors this year had he not been shot in the hip while in Venezuela. He spent most of 2018 recovering, but might have an opening in 2019 with the big club.
3. Adeiny Hechavarria, UTIL, New York Yankees
Julio Aguilar/Getty Images
Making Adeiny Hechavarria the starting shortstop is a combination of an in-house and a free-agent signing as he isn't under contract for the 2019 season. It's not a bad decision, if you want to keep his speed and glove on the roster to provide a stop-gap prior to Gregorius' return. He's already proven in Miami and Tampa that he can be an everyday shortstop.
2. Gleyber Torres, 2B/SS, New York Yankees
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
This is one of the top in-house candidates to replace Gregorius and probably the most likely scenario that plays out. Gleyber Torres lit the world on fire as a 21-year-old while playing second base this season, and the injury to Gregorius allows him to switch over to his natural position of shortstop.
1. Manny Machado, SS, Los Angeles Dodgers
Rob Carr/Getty Images
If the Yankees are going all out to sign someone, this would likely be their desired move. There were rumors swirling at the deadline that they wanted to trade for Manny Machado and that was when Gregorius was still healthy. With Didi out and a chance to snag a perennial All-Star, the Yankees will clearly go all out to try and get Machado to the Bronx.
Get $20 with your first deposit on FanDuel. Join Now.
Ian McCafferty is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Ian McCafferty also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username itmccaff. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.