Didi Gregorius knows you want to know when he’s going to come back this season from Tommy John surgery.
“April!” Gregorius said with a laugh on Tuesday at the Thurman Munson awards dinner at the Grand Hyatt near Grand Central. “But we all know that’s not going to happen, but that’s what I want to do. It’s a wait-and-see until everything is cleared, everything is ready to go and that’s when they will let me play.”
The Yankees have been careful to say Gregorius may return anywhere from June to August. They signed veteran Troy Tulowitzki as a free agent and also can slide second baseman Gleyber Torres over to short and use free agent signee DJ LeMahieu at second if Tulowitzki is unable to overcome his own daunting physical concerns.
One player the Yankees have not signed and don’t appear to be signing is Manny Machado. Gregorius said he was unfazed when the Yankees met with the free agent. Gregorius will be a free agent after this season.
“If he comes over, he makes the team better,” Gregorius said. “I think that’s the best thing we can do, if he comes over.”
Gregorius said he is heading to Tampa, Florida, on Wednesday to continue his rehab.
“Hopefully, next week I start throwing exercises,” he said. “It’s another step, so I’m waiting for that to come.”
And that first game of 2019?
“I have no clue,” Gregorius said. “I have no clue yet.”
When Gregorius returns, will last year’s rookie sensation Miguel Andujar still be the team’s third baseman? The Yankees are counting on Andujar improving his defense, which was so poor in the postseason that manager Aaron Boone benched him for the final game of the ALDS loss to the Red Sox.
“There’s definitely room for improvement and the team asked me to focus on that area, which I did this offseason,” Andujar said through a translator. “I feel really good about where I’m going to be defensively.”
What about the trade talk he may have heard about all winter?
“All of that is in the background and I kind of leave it in the background,” Andujar said. “I try to stay positive and focus on my work rather than what’ll happen. But I can say that I am very happy to still be a Yankee.”
Boone said Gary Sanchez (left shoulder surgery) is progressing well, but might be left out of the first week of spring training games.