Didi Gregorius, the best shortstop available on the market this winter, has reportedly agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. He’ll be paid $14 million in 2020, per Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia.
The left-handed hitter, who missed the first half of 2019 while recovering from Tommy John surgery on his elbow, brings an above-average bat for his position to the Phillies, who finished 81-81 and failed to make the playoffs after an expensive offseason. The move reunites Gregorius with his former Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who was recently hired as Phillies skipper.
The move could mean something else is coming — either a position change or a trade. Jean Segura played shortstop last year for the Phillies, so he could either get dealt or one of them could slide over to an other infield position.
Gregorius, who turns 30 in February, famously took over for Derek Jeter as the New York Yankees shortstop when the future Hall of Famer retired following the 2014 season. His offensive numbers in the Bronx steadily improved during the subsequent seasons, culminating with a career year in 2018, when he posted 27 home runs and 86 RBIs before blowing out his elbow in the ALDS.
In 82 games with the Yankees last season, Gregorius managed a .238 average with 16 homers and 61 RBIs while seeing his strikeout rate rise and walk rate dip compared to 2018. New York opted not to make him a $17.8 million qualifying offer, sending him to free agency.
Still, Gregorius’ 15.7 WAR across the last five seasons with the Yankees ranks eighth in baseball among qualified shortstops and his 97 homers during that span ties him for seventh at the position, which is typically on the lower end of the offensive spectrum. However, playing half of his games at lefty-friendly Yankee Stadium likely benefited Gregorius’ production at the plate.
In the field, Gregorius’ minus-1 in Defensive Runs Saved over 688 1/3 innings last season was not terrible, but not great, either. He has typically done enough with the bat, though, to mitigate any shortcomings with the glove.
The Cincinnati Reds originally signed Gregorius out of the Netherlands, making his MLB debut with them in 2012 before being traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks and then the Yankees.
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