New York Yankees: Didi Gregorius to undergo Tommy John surgery for his throwing arm

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

The New York Yankees will be without their star shortstop for at least the beginning months of the season due to Tommy John surgery.

According to Marc Carig of The Athletic, Didi Gregorius underwent an MRI on Thursday that revealed a ligament tear in his right elbow.  The ligament tear within his throwing arm will require Tommy John surgery in order to repair it.  This news will also likely alter the upcoming offseason plans for the New York Yankees.

The Yankees have been heavily linked to Manny Machado as he is set to reach free agency following the 2018 MLB playoffs.  If the organization is indeed planning to pursue Machado, the injury to Gregorius could cause Yankees general manager Brian Cashman to go all-out in their pursuit of the soon-to-be free agent shortstop/third baseman.

As Rookie of the Year candidate Miguel Andujar was moved to the bench for the Yankees final postseason game due to questions about his defense, the team could also look to sign Machado to start the season at shortstop with plans of shifting him to third base when Gregorius is able to return to the team.

Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News interviewed Yankees manager Aaron Boone about a potential timetable on when to expect Gregorius back with the team.  In the interview, Boone stated: “We believe there is a realistic chance he plays the bulk of the season with us.”

If the Yankees do not see Machado as a fit, or if he chooses to sign elsewhere, they could potentially re-sign Neil Walker to play second base while moving Gleyber Torres to his original position of shortstop until Gregorius is able to return.

Even though it appears Gregorius will be able to return to the team to play a good portion of the season, the Yankees will have a decision to make on how to handle his upcoming contract situation.  Gregorius is entering his final years of arbitration eligibility and it is expected that his 2010 salary will fall in the $12-12.5 million range, according to arbitration projections by MLB Trade Rumors.

Although the Yankees are expected to be big spenders this offseason after reaching their goal of staying below the luxury tax for 2018, will they choose to non-tender Gregorius in an attempt to retain him at a lower salary?  Gregorius put together 27 home runs, 86 runs batted in, and an .829 on-base plus slugging percentage in 134 games last season, so it may be too risky of a move to allow him to reach the open market, even with the injury.

Next. The Yankees intend to shop Sonny Gray this offseason. dark

Gregorius will only turn 29-years-old prior to the start of the 2019 season, so he still has a lot of his best years ahead of him.  He has improved every single season on the field with the Yankees, and he is a great clubhouse presence off the field.  Due to this, it would be very surprising to see a situation unfold that involves a risk of Gregorius not returning to the Bronx next season.