On Baseball: Didi Gregorius, Shortstop and Occasional Slugger, Is at Heart of Yankees’ Revival

Cashman could not find a match with the Diamondbacks to work out a trade but wondered if another team could. That August, Shane Greene, then a rookie right-hander with the Yankees, had thrown two gems against the powerful Detroit Tigers, allowing two runs in 15 innings. Cashman told Dave Dombrowski, then the Tigers’ general manager, that he would give him Greene if Dombrowski could get Gregorius.

Dombrowski has a reputation for quick, decisive action, and he came through within two days, trading pitcher Robbie Ray and an infield prospect to Arizona for Gregorius, and flipping Gregorius to the Yankees for Greene. Ray is now an All-Star for the Diamondbacks, and Greene is closing for the rebuilding Tigers after fizzling as a starter.

“At the time, I felt like we were pitching-deficient, and we were depleting one area of need to shore up another area of need,” Cashman said. “It was a difficult decision. I was so desperate for a shortstop, I had to step up and put an important piece on the table to get it done.”

Cashman said he remembered the wisdom of front-office mentors like Gene Michael, Bill Livesey and Brian Sabean, who had always emphasized the importance of…

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