Phillies hit home run by bringing back Didi Gregorius
By Matt Rappa
At the beginning of the offseason, many thought the chances that the Philadelphia Phillies would re-sign both catcher J.T. Realmuto and shortstop Didi Gregorius would be slim to none.
The Phillies only offered a one-year, $18.9 million qualifying offer to one of the two. There were talks that budget cuts would possibly mean neither player returning. Fast-forward to Saturday, and the organization that brought in two-time World Series champion executive Dave Dombrowski this offseason proved everyone wrong.
Star shortstop Didi Gregorius re-signs with the Phillies.
Just a day after their official announcement that they re-signed Realmuto, the Phillies reached a two-year, $28 million agreement with shortstop Didi Gregorius, first reportd by The Athletic’s Jayson Stark.
Didi Gregorius’ gamble to perform on a one-year deal paid off in 2020.
Gregorius had a strong first season in red pinstripes this past season, while also reuniting with his former longtime manager with the New York Yankees in Joe Girardi. Playing all 60 games, he led the Phillies in batting average (.284), hits (61), RB (40), and total bases (105). In the field, the nine-year veteran committed just seven errors spanning 470 innings and 218 chances at shortstop.
A two-year deal is notable for both the Netherlands native and the Phillies organization. Considering next year’s star-studded free-agent market that could include Francisco Lindor, Trevor Story, Javier Baez, Corey Seager and Carlos Correa, Gregorius no longer will have to compete to land a desirable contract. Meanwhile, the Phillies have more of a long-term solution in place at shortstop.
Another angle to consider is top hitting prospect Bryson Stott, who many thought perhaps he could assume the full-time shortstop role starting in 2022. Gregorius being under contract through that season gives the former 2019 first-round draft pick extra time to develop and not be pressured or rushed into performing at a high-level so soon.
The Phillies hit a home run re-signing both Realmuto and Gregorius. More work is still to be done, but considering their other moves made, such as Archie Bradley and Jose Alvarado to the bullpen, it is hard not to like what Dombrowski has done so far this offseason.