The Philadelphia Phillies have agreed to a deal with shortstop Didi Gregorius to round out their infield.
With his value and bargaining power reduced after a down year in 2019, veteran shortstop Didi Gregorius was open to taking a one-year deal with an eye on re-establishing himself as a high-end offensive option at a premium position. According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the former New York Yankees infielder has agreed to reunite with former manager Joe Girardi and the Philadelphia Phillies.
The deal is reportedly worth $14 million. Gregorius was not given a qualifying offer by the Yankees, so he will not cost them a draft pick.
Gregorius joins a Phillies infield that had gotten painfully thin in a hurry after Maikel Franco and Cesar Hernandez were jettisoned at the non-tender deadline. In five seasons with the Yankees, Gregorius established himself as a shortstop who could hit for power while playing solid defense. His best year came in 2018 when he hit .268/.335/.494 with 27 home runs and 86 RBI in 134 games.
With Gregorius in the fold, the Phillies have a complete infield with plenty of upside. Jean Segura will slide over to second base to accommodate Gregorius, with Scott Kingery taking over on a permanent basis at third base. Kingery hit 19 home runs in 126 games last year, while Segura is a two-time All-Star. Rhys Hoskins will continue to man first base, and is good for close to 30 home runs and 100 RBI per year.
Philadelphia is a solid choice for Gregorius on a one-year “prove-it” type of deal. Citizens Bank Park is one of the best hitting environments in the National League. Gregorius slumped to a .238/.276/.441 line last year, but hit 16 home runs and drove in 61 in only 82 games after recovering from a freak elbow injury that forced him to undergo Tommy John surgery. Injuries have been a consistent issue for the 29-year-old, who has not played over 140 games in a season since 2016.
This signing seemingly rules out the Phillies from making a run at All-Star third basemen Anthony Rendon or Josh Donaldson. It has already been a successful offseason, though, as the team came out on top in the pursuit for Zack Wheeler. With a few million left to spend below the luxury-tax threshold, the Phillies may still be able to add one more role player. Regardless of whether or not they’re done tinkering with their roster, it has been a successful offseason for the Phillies, who appear to have executed their plan to a tee.