Yankees insider hints LeMahieu injury could influence trade for former fan favorite

Detroit Tigers Photo Day
Detroit Tigers Photo Day / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

Another injury to the New York Yankees has left (more) questions surrounding the Opening Day roster. DJ LeMahieu, who was said to be "fine" after fouling a ball off his previously injured foot, could now be in jeopardy of missing the start of the regular season with a bad bone bruise.

So does that mean ... Oswaldo Cabrera is going to be the starting third baseman on March 28 against the Houston Astros? Oswald Peraza going down earlier in the month already hampered the Yankees' depth -- he was supposed to be next in line.

But now, it's anybody's guess because there is no clear cut answer. It's so unclear, in fact, that Yankees insider Bryan Hoch is wondering if the Yankees would consider making a trade with the Detroit Tigers to bring Gio Urshela back to the Bronx.

What a twist that would be! Urshela is currently battling for the third base job in Tigers camp, and he's batting .317 this spring. Pretty good but ... he has no walks and just two doubles. Meanwhile, Andy Ibañez is tearing the cover off the ball and getting on base.

If the Tigers like where Ibañez is at and have confidence Jace Jung could make the jump at some point in 2024, they might be willing to part with Urshela, especially if they can get something in return.

Yankees insider hints LeMahieu injury could influence trade for former fan favorite

Urshela signed for just $1.5 million and the Yankees were reportedly interested in bringing him back, but other reports suggested Urshela wanted a more clear-cut chance at winning a starting job, which would not have been the case in New York.

LeMahieu, Anthony Volpe, Gleyber Torres and Anthony Rizzo made up the infield, and Peraza was supposed to be next in line to grab a majority of reps. Perhaps the Yankees weren't thinking that, though, because they were pursuing Urshela before Peraza's injury.

The truth is, Urshela was a fan-favorite in New York and a beloved member of the clubhouse. He played a role in magnifying the best aspects of the Yankees' team chemistry.

That's been something the Yankees haven't put enough of an emphasis on, as evidenced by the blindside trades of Urshela and Jordan Montgomery and the ill-advised imports of Joey Gallo, Josh Donaldson, and plenty more.

Maybe a full-circle moment could give the Yankees just what they need while providing fans with some validation. But more importantly, LeMahieu's 2024 is off to another concerning start and he's been the opposite of durable dating back to 2021. The Yankees need to insure themselves with a familiar and surefire replacement.