Yankees Rumors: Didi Gregorius, NY Discussing Contract Extension

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistFebruary 26, 2019

New York Yankees' Didi Gregorius celebrates as he runs the bases after hitting a home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles Friday, Sept. 21, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

After they locked up center fielder Aaron Hicks for seven more years Monday, the New York Yankees may not be done handing out long-term deals.

Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported Tuesday that New York is engaged in extension talks with shortstop Didi Gregorius—although a deal with reliever Dellin Betances is expected to be done first.

Gregorius had the daunting task in following in the footsteps of future Hall of Famer Derek Jeter at shortstop in the Bronx when the club acquired him from the Arizona Diamondbacks in December 2014—and he's risen to the occasion.

After hitting a modest .265 with nine home runs in his first season in pinstripes in 2015, Gregorius turned into a force with the bat. He has slugged 20-plus dingers in each of the past three seasons, including a career-high 27 last year.

He also continues to hit for a respectable average. He has hit no lower than .265 since arriving in the Big Apple and hit .287 just two seasons ago.

Gregorius slashed .268/.335/.494 with 23 doubles, five triples and 86 RBI in 134 games last year. He also provided solid defense with just six errors in 132 games at shortstop.

It's worth noting that Gregorius is coming off an injury-plagued 2018. He missed more than two weeks during the second half because of a left heel contusion, and he underwent Tommy John surgery in October, which will cause him to miss the start of the 2019 season.

There's risk involved with signing Gregorius before he returns to the field, but he has been one of baseball's better shortstops when healthy. That said, an extension won't be cheap.

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