Phillies fans bond over hilarious impossibility of trading Didi Gregorius

Didi Gregorius #18 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
Didi Gregorius #18 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) /

Phillies fans joke that it will be impossible for Dave Dombrowski to trade Didi Gregorius

Will the Philadelphia Phillies be able to unload Didi Gregorius’ costly contract?

Fans don’t seem to think so.

Popular Phillies fan account @ExplainingPhils posted a screenshot of a popular TikTok trend in which people propose fake trades and superimposed President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski’s face over the original user’s. They then proposed an absurdly lopsided trade (as a joke):

More. Didi Gregorius’ cryptic tweet has Phillies fans speculating. light

The trade doesn’t name any specific return for the Phillies, which actually makes it even funnier. Any star player for Gregorius – even with cash considerations – would be a laughably unbalanced swap, though fans can dream.

Who will be the Phillies shortstop in 2022?

In his end-of-season presser, Dombrowski told the media that Gregorius was not guaranteed a spot at shortstop in 2022:

"“It very well could be him. But he knows, we’ve had a discussion with him, that he needs to be better.We’re in a position where we also are going to be open-minded to what’s going to take place at shortstop next year. It could be internal. It could be him if he comes back.”“We need to get better at shortstop. We need to, if it’s internally or externally, whatever it may be, we need to do that.”"

“If he comes back” suggests what many have speculated: that the Phillies will try to unload the final year of Gregorius’ deal, for which he is owed over $15M.

Combine this quote from Dombrowski, specifically the “It could be internal,” with what he told top infield prospect Bryson Stott – to come to Spring Training with the goal of earning a spot with the big boys – and it seems almost certain Phillies are looking to move on from Gregorius.

Will the Phillies be able to trade Didi Gregorius after MLB’s lockout ends?

The real question is, can they move on? As the meme suggests, finding someone willing to take the shortstop, who will be 32 next month, won’t be easy. He’s coming off one of, if not the worst season of his 10-year career. Over 103 games, he hit .209/.270/.370 with a .639 OPS, setting new lows in average and on-base percentage.

While the Phillies could dangle Gregorius in front of prospective teams as a bounce-back candidate, they have no answer to his defensive struggles, which long predate his time with the club. Going back to 2016, the infielder’s -72 Outs Above Average make him the worst defender in the game over that span. And in 2021, he was the fourth-worst shortstop in defensive runs saved.

When the lockout ends, the Phillies will certainly try to trade Gregorius, though they’ll likely end up paying at least part of his remaining salary. They certainly won’t get any team’s star player in return, but it would free up a spot for Stott to become a star himself.

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