Brett Gardner's Comments on Didi Gregorius Prove Yankees Need to Lock up Their Shortstop ASAP

ST PETERSBURG, FL - JULY 24:  Didi Gregorius #18 of the New York Yankees is congratulated after scoring Brett Gardner #11 on a sac fly in the first inning during a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on July 24, 2018 in St Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
New York Yankees v Tampa Bay Rays | Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Didi Gregorius joined the New York Yankees with gigantic shoes to fill -- those of longtime shortstop Derek Jeter. After a tough first few months of his tenure, Gregorius earned his pinstripes and became arguably the Yankees' most consistent hitter over the past few seasons.

At season's end, Gregorius is set to become an unrestricted free agent. While he's a tremendous talent on the field, Brett Gardner stressed Gregorius' importance off the diamond, proving that the Yankees need to get a deal done as soon as possible.

“He’s a guy that loves talking to everybody in the clubhouse,” Gardner said, via Sweeny Murti of WFAN. “He’s not someone that’s closed off or unwilling to help others. He’s great with the young guys that come up.”

Gardner's comments on Gregorius' leadership are a pivotal reason as to why the Yankees should give him a contract extension way before he hits the open market.

The old Yankee way is dead. No longer are the Bronx Bombers spending money left and right to bring in the biggest names to compete. Instead, general manager Brian Cashman has a love for the farm system and cost-effective talent.

As evidenced by this season's trade deadline, Cashman is particularly fond of his prospects, and he expects them to make an impact in the very near future. With young players, general managers would want a leader to take them under their wing in order to make their transition easier.

That's the role "Sir Didi" fills to a T.

Add that to the clutch postseason hits and becoming the first Yankees shortstop to register three consecutive 20-HR seasons in franchise history, and you've got yourself a possible new captain manning the shortstop position.