Former Phillies SS Didi Gregorius signs with Cangrejeros in Puerto Rico
Former Yankees and Phillies star infielder Didi Gregorius has found a new home.
While the Philadelphia Phillies are in striking distance of their first postseason berth in more than a decade, a player they once thought would have been a key contributor in accomplishing this feat is carrying on his career outside of the U.S.
The Cangrejeros de Santurce — a Puerto Rico-based professional baseball team of the Liga de Béisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente — announced Monday that they have signed 11-year veteran shortstop Didi Gregorius.
A former New York Yankees star who notably replaced Hall of Fame shortstop Derek Jeter, Gregorius was let go from the Phillies in early August — around the same time Jean Segura was activated from the 60-day injured list.
Gregorius was in the final season of his two-year, $28 million contract and struggled in almost every facet of the game in 2022. He slashed a disappointing .210/.263/.304 with only one home run and 19 RBI spanning 63 games and 232 plate appearances. In the field, the Netherlands native committed two errors across 212 chances and 506 innings.
Gregorius’ best stretch in a Phillies uniform came in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. Playing in all 60 games, he slashed .284/.339/.488 with 10 doubles, two triples, 10 home runs and 40 RBI. This performance ultimately led to the organization re-signing Gregorius — who would slash just a combined .210/.267/.345 in 2021 and 2022.
Gregorius now joins a Puerto Rican professional team in the Cangrejeros that has some history, including logging 16 national titles and five Caribbean Series championships and once rostering legendary players that include Roberto Clemente and Willie Mays, among others. Their 2022-23 season will get underway on November 5.
It is good to see Gregorius find a new professional baseball home, but it is somewhat bittersweet that he could not land with another Major League organization. For the Phillies, choosing to give playing time to Bryson Stott instead of Gregorius ultimately paid dividends for the 2022 season and beyond.