The Phillies addressed their greatest need of the offseason earlier this week when they agreed to re-sign star catcher J.T. Realmuto to a five-year, $115.5MM contract. The focus now turns to the middle infield, where the Phillies haven’t found a replacement since shortstop Didi Gregorius became a free agent after last season. Gregorius is still on the open market – clearly the best shortstop option left in the wake of the deals Marcus Semien and Andrelton Simmons agreed to this week – but that doesn’t mean the Phillies will re-sign him.
In the event the Phillies don’t keep Gregorius, who was effective during what could be his lone season as a Phillie in 2020, they could choose to shift second baseman Jean Segura to short, Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes. Should that happen, two league sources informed Lauber that the Phillies may pursue a second baseman in free agency. Lauber lists Kolten Wong, Jonathan Schoop and Jonathan Villar as possibilities for the club.
Among the Wong, Schoop and Villar trio, Wong stands out as the most valuable. The longtime Cardinal has typically blended excellent defense with passable offense. Schoop and Villar have been capable offensive cogs, meanwhile, though the latter is coming off a brutal season divided between the Marlins and Blue Jays.
In an ideal world, the Phillies will simply retain Gregorius, as Lauber reported Tuesday they want to keep Segura at the keystone. The soon-to-be 31-year-old Segura has extensive shortstop experience, including as recently as 2019, but he spent almost all of last season at second in the wake of the Gregorius acquisition.