On December 4, 2014 the Yankees traded Shane Greene to the Detroit Tigers, and in return got Didi Gregorius in the three team deal from the Diamondbacks. This was the first time that the Yankees were in need of shortstop help since 1996 when Derek Jeter took over. The Yankees opted to trade for Gregorius rather than go to free agency to fill the gap. In my opinion this was the beginning of the rebuilding process for the Yankees as they watched their captain walk off into the sunset, and the core four was officially done.
I will be the first to tell you this trade scared me. I had heard of Didi Gregorius prior to the trade, but I knew that he was supposedly just a good defender with not much of a bat. I also knew that he really struggled against left handed pitching, but the Yankees had just traded Shane Greene. Greene had been a force on the mound posting a 3.78ERA over 78 innings in his rookie year, but he was getting stronger as the year went on.
When Didi got to New York he struggled mightily. He struggled at the plate, in the field, and even on the base paths. In the mean time Shane Greene was dominating in Detroit. Over his first 23 innings in Detroit he allowed just one run and had an ERA of 0.39. I remember thinking to myself that the Yankees had just traded an ace for the next Brenden Ryan.
Since that point things have gone completely south for Shane Greene. He got pulverized over his next 11 innings he gave up 20 runs and he was never the same. He would be moved to the bullpen late in the season and posted a 6.88ERA for the season. He has worked mostly out of the bullpen this season and has posted a 5.75ERA.
Gregorius did the complete opposite. After a slow start that saw him bat .206 in April. He would go onto bat .294 in the second half of the season, and gave the Yankees a great year at short. This year Gregorius has proven to be solid for the Yankees. Even through a recent slump that he has faced he is still batting .276 with 17 homers and 63 runs batted in. The biggest difference for Didi since coming to New York has been his sensational against lefties. This season he is batting .311 against lefties, and that was supposed to be his kryptonite.
Obviously, two years into this trade it looks like an absolute steal to this point. Didi looks like he could have a nice career in pinstripes. He has also developed into a fan favorite in New York. He also has done a great job at stepping in after Yankee legend Derek Jeter.