The Phillies are showing interest in free agent shortstop Didi Gregorius, according to a report from Jon Morosi of MLB Network (via Twitter). Having not received a qualifying offer from the Yankees, Gregorius will not require draft compensation upon signing.
While the Phils don’t lack for options at shortstop — Jean Segura and Scott Kingery each remain on hand — the club is in need of infield improvements. We noted the Philadelphia org as a possible contender for Gregorius in our listing of the top fifty free agents, though we guessed he’d end up with the Reds on a strong, three-year deal.
The Cincinnati club is reportedly also in pursuit of Gregorius. It’s good news for him to have multiple suitors at this relatively early stage of the market. Despite a somewhat tepid 2019 showing after returning from Tommy John surgery, Gregorius stands out a great deal among the available shortstops for his relative youth and strong all-around track record. While there are some exceptional third basemen and other quality infielders available, teams that want a true shortstop will surely be interested first and foremost in Gregorius.
For the Phils, adding Gregorius would likely set up a chain reaction. Segura, who trailed off a bit in his first season in Philadelphia, could be dangled in trade. But he’d also be an easy fit as a heavy part of the second base mix and fill-in/insurance plan for Gregorius at short. If Gregorius and Segura form the primary double-play combo, that’d likely lead to the departure of second baseman Cesar Hernandez, who is as much a non-tender as a trade candidate. (Meanwhile, the team still seems likely to part with Maikel Franco and bring in a new option at third base.)
The original version of this post indicated that Gregorius had been issued a qualifying offer, when in fact he had not. We regret the error.