Report: Yanks, Tigers and D-backs complete deal

The Yankees have apparently found Derek Jeter’s replacement, reportedly acquiring shorstop Didi Gregorius from the D-backs as part of a three-team swap, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.

The deal involves Gregoriues going to the Yanks, while the Tigers will acquire right-hander Shane Greene from New York and the D-backs will receive lefty Robbie Ray and another Minor Leaguer from the Tigers. It’s unclear at this point if there are any other pieces involved.

Gregorius, 24, is coming off a down year at the plate in which he hit just .226/.290/.363 with six home runs and 27 RBIs over 80 games. Overall, he’s now posted a .243/.313/.366 batting line over parts of three seasons in the Majors, but has shown the potential at times to be an improved hitter to go along with his solid defense up the middle.

As for Greene, the 26-year-old righty could potentially round out a Tigers rotation that currently consists of David Price, Justin Verlander, Anibal Sanchez and Rick Porcello. Greene is coming off an impressive debut with the Yankees this past season, going 5-4 with a 3.78 ERA over 15 outings (14 starts). He is also under team control through 2020, something that certainly interests the Tigers with Price and Porcello both set to hit free agency next offseason.

The D-backs were willing to part with Gregorius partially because of the other shortstop options they had in-house. Chris Owings will likely assume the starting role up the middle, while Nick Ahmed and veteran Cliff Pennington are two other options at the D-backs’ disposal.

As for their haul, Ray could help fill part of the void Arizona’s rotation, though he is coming off a wildly disappointing 2014 campaign in which he allowed 26 earned runs over 28 2/3 innings (8.16 ERA) in nine appearances with the Tigers. He also struggled to a 4.22 ERA over 20 outings with Triple-A Toledo.

All this, however, came in the season immediately after he was acquired by the Tigers as the main cog in the deal that sent Doug Fister to the Nationals. That alone indicates the type of potential that Ray possesses, hence the D-backs’ willingness to bank on a bounceback season in 2015 and beyond.

— Paul Casella

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