Bronx, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - When former Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers acquired Didi Gregorius from the Cincinnati Reds back in 2012 he said the shortstop reminded him of a young Derek Jeter.
Gregorius will now be the one who will replace Jeter, as the New York Yankees obtained the slick-fielding shortstop from the Diamondbacks as part of a three-team deal that also includes the Detroit Tigers.
The Yankees sent right-hander Shane Greene to Detroit in the swap, with the Diamondbacks receiving lefty Robbie Ray and minor league infielder Domingo Leyba from the Tigers.
Known more for his glove than his bat, Gregorius hit just .226 with a .290 on- base percentage in 80 games for the Diamondbacks last season. For his career, the 24-year-old Gregorius owns a modest .243 average in 191 games with the Reds and D-backs, and has hit 13 home runs over 647 at-bats in the majors.
Greene pitched well in his first big league season a year ago, going 5-4 with a 3.78 ERA in 15 games (14 starts) for the Yankees. He also struck out 81 batters in 78 2/3 innings.
Ray, rated the No. 2 overall prospect in the Tigers' system by MLB.com, was just 1-4 with an 8.16 ERA in nine games (6 starts) in the majors last season. He compiled a 7-6 record with a 4.22 ERA in 20 games (19 starts) at Triple-A Toledo.
The 23-year-old Ray was considered one of the key pieces that came to Detroit in last offseason's trade that sent pitcher Doug Fister to Washington.
Leyva was ranked as the Tigers' fifth-best prospect by Baseball America entering this season. The 19-year-old switch-hitter split the 2014 campaign between Short-Season A Connecticut and Low-A West Michigan, hitting .323 with 18 doubles, two homers and 24 RBI over a combined 67 games.