The Phillies have two starting jobs for three middle infielders; what happens now?
The Phillies went into 2020 with Didi Gregorius at shortstop, Jean Segura at third base, and Scott Kingery at second base. While there were some question marks — such as whether Segura could handle the hot corner defensively, or if Kingery could finally have a productive season at the plate — there were also reasons to be excited.
Kingery was finally getting a starting job at his best position, and Gregorius was all but certain to be the best Phillies shortstop since prime Jimmy Rollins.
However, Kingery quickly lost his permanent job, as he struggled with injuries and poor performance. It didn’t help Kingery that Alec Bohm came up and quickly earned a job as the starting third baseman — pushing Segura over to second base and leaving Kingery with nothing.
Gregorius is now a free agent; many Phillies fans, myself included, would like to see the team re-sign him. Not only is Gregorius a fun player both on and off the field, but he was one of the most consistent hitters in the middle of the lineup.
If the Phillies do re-sign Gregorius, however, they would have a problem. What are they going to do with Kingery and Segura? Here are the team’s options.
Option #1: Don’t Sign Didi Gregorius
If the team misses out on Didi Gregorius, they could try to sign another shortstop, like Marcus Semien, or they could sign a new second baseman, like DJ LeMahieu, and move Jean Segura back to short. However, if the Phillies don’t re-sign Didi, the most likely scenario is that they go into 2021 with Segura and Kingery starting in the middle infield.
This seems like the worst option. Simply put, neither Segura nor Kingery is as good a player as Gregorius, and this team needs to improve if they want to make the playoffs next season.
However, it may be the most likely scenario. The Phils’ payroll is reportedly likely to shrink next year. With two capable middle infielders already in the fold, the Phillies’ brass may prefer to spend money in other areas.