The Philadelphia Phillies should be looking for a new shortstop this offseason
This isn’t speculation; President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski confirmed that Gregorius’ does not currently have a lock on the shortstop position for 2022. The exec’s exact words were “If he comes back.”
Gregorius put up some of the worst numbers of his decade-long career, setting new lows in batting average and on-base percentage.
Defensively, Locked On Mets’ Ryan Finkelstein noted that Gregorius’ -72 Outs Above Average since 2016 make him the worst defender in MLB in that span by a significant margin. Among his fellow shortstops, he was fourth-worst in defensive runs saved this season.
2022 would be the final year of a two-year deal for Gregorius, who signed for $28 million last winter. So, the Phillies have a choice: keep him for $14 million, release him for $14 million, or try to find a team crazy enough to make a trade for him, which would almost certainly require the Phillies to eat at least part of that $14 million.
Two factors make it likely that the Phillies drop Gregorius like a hot potato:
- The excellent seasons Bryce Harper, Zack Wheeler, and Ranger Suárez just had, which culminated in the Phillies’ first winning season since 2011.
- The bevy of big-name shortstops hitting free agency this offseason who can help the Phillies build around the above stars before they burn out.
These two angles put pressure on the Phillies to upgrade now.
Let’s look at four free-agent shortstops the Phillies could pursue…