First 3 moves Phillies need to make in 2020-21 offseason
By Matt Rappa
2. Issue qualifying offers to J.T. Realmuto and Didi Gregorius
The Phillies have several players entering free agency this week, with the two most notable being catcher J.T. Realmuto and shortstop Didi Gregorius.
And, now that the World Series is complete, a Sunday deadline is set for the Phillies to issue the duo one-year, $18.9 million qualifying offers. If either accepts the offer, they are signed for the 2021 season at that value; meanwhile, if they reject the offer, the Phillies would receive draft pick compensation once they sign with another team.
Surely, the Phillies will offer Realmuto the qualifying offer, because it would be a win-win scenario for them. If he accepts, the biggest uncertainty for them this offseason would immediately be resolved, and for a much cheaper price. If he rejects and signs with another team, the Phillies would get an extra draft pick to allow them to somewhat replenish their farm system. Of course, Realmuto could also reject the offer and still come back to the Phillies down the line as well.
Whether or not the Phillies would issue a qualifying offer to Gregorius is not as simple. The slugging shortstop may feel as though he will not be able to land a contract near that value in free agency — considering teams are expected to spend less amid depleted revenues due to the COVID-19 crisis. If this is the case, Gregorius would accept the Phillies offer.
Likewise, the Phillies could decide to not offer Gregorius the qualifying offer altogether and try to re-sign him on a cheaper deal; doing so would be a gamble, however.
In reality, Realmuto is probably worth more than an $18.9 million contract, while Gregorius is worth slightly less. Average the two out, and it is a no-brainer for them to offer both the qualifying offers and see what happens from there.