If one had any doubts on Philadelphia Phillies’ intentions in the off-season, the MLB winter meetings have drawn it to a close. After signing Jack Wheeler for a mammoth $118 million earlier, the Phillies have now snapped up Didi Gregorius. Gregorius is all set to play for the Philadelphia franchise in a 1-year deal worth $14 million.
Didi Gregorius’ acquisition is the latest noteworthy free-agent business the Philadelphia Phillies have done in recent years. The Phillies signed Zack Wheeler earlier in the off-season for a $118 million deal till 2024. Phillies spent heavily last season, acquiring the likes of Bryce Harper, Andrew McCutchen and David Robertson. Those moves didn't help Phillies much, as the club failed to qualify for the playoffs after an 81-81 record.
After the disappointing campaign last time out, Philadelphia Phillies sacked Gabe Kapler and replaced him with former New York Yankees boss Joe Girardi. Gregorius and Girardi are no strangers, having had a player-manager bond from 2015-17 at the Yankees. Girardi will now try to rebuild the team after a disappointing 2019 season. Didi Gregorius underwent the Tommy John surgery on his right elbow last fall and missed the first few months of last season. Gregorius came back to slash just .238/.276/.441 in 344 plate appearances with 16 home runs, a far cry from his 4.0-fWAR type of shortstop a couple of seasons ago.
With Didi Gregorius added to their roster, the Philadelphia Phillies will now move starter Jean Segura to replace Cesar Hernandez at second base. The Phillies look in good shape in the infield with the quartet of Gregorius, Rhys Hoskins, Segura and Scott Kingery. The Phillies have shown considerable interest in Anthony Rendon and Josh Donaldson, but the moves seem unlikely after their acquisitions of Wheeler and Gregorius. The Philadelphia Phillies are closing in on the first level of the luxury tax of $208 million and it is unlikely that they'll be looking to add any more players to their roster.
As for the New York Yankees, they’re bidding farewell to an accomplished player who had been a crucial part of their roster. The Yankees acquired Gregorius from the Arizona Diamondbacks before the 2015 season. But the Yankees do look well-equipped to move on from Didi Gregorius, as they could move star second baseman Gleyber Torres to short and use DJ LeMahieu at second base.