Phillies trade creates 40-man roster spot for Didi Gregorius

Didi Gregorius #18 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Didi Gregorius #18 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

Spring training is just a week away, but the Philadelphia Phillies are still fine-tuning their 40-man roster. On Wednesday, they made a trade with the St. Louis Cardinals — freeing up a spot for the re-signing of star free-agent shortstop Didi Gregorius to finally be made official.

The Phillies dealt right-handed reliever Johan Quezada to the Cardinals for cash considerations, according to’s Todd Zolecki.

Didi Gregorius is officially back with the Phillies.

Quezada was the last of three remaining players acquired by interim general manager Ned Rice, between Matt Klentak‘s departure from the general manager role and Dave Dombrowski‘s arrival to the president of baseball operations position. The other two players — RHP Ian Hamilton and Rule 5 selection infielder Kyle Holder — were recently claimed off waivers by the Minnesota Twins and traded to the Cincinnati Reds, respectively.

Quezada, 26, never pitched above the Single-A level before the 2020 season; in three major-league appearances with the Marlins, he yielded four hits, three earned runs, one home run, and one walk, while striking out two of his 12 batters faced.

The Dominican Republic native — who throws 100 miles per hour — made his big-league debut in the ninth inning of a September 12 home game against manager Joe Girardi‘s squad. He retired all three batters he faced to finish the 12-6 Marlins loss.

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After officially signing Gregorius, the 40-man roster will once again be filled. But, as The Athletic’s Matt Gelb notes, another spot will be created once Seranthony Dominguez is placed on the 60-day injured list next week. The Phillies could fill that spot with a potential bench or bullpen addition.

The Phillies have been linked to veteran hitters, including utility switch-hitter Marwin Gonzalez. And, while Archie Bradley, Jose Alvarado, and other bullpen acquisitions already made this offseason will drastically improve their 2020 bullpen, the team surely is considering all still-available relievers as the season nears.

Brandon Kintzler could be the favorite the snag Dominguez’s 40-man roster spot. Bryce Harper reportedly helped the Phillies sign the closer to a minor-league deal, instead of him re-signing with the Miami Marlins on a big-league pact.

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