Didi Gregorius
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Didi Gregorius is now a free agent after the New York Yankees missed the Monday deadline to make the shortstop a qualifying offer.

In all likelihood, Didi Gregorius is already crafting an emoji-coded farewell tweet to his New York Yankees fans and teammates. The Bombers failed to make a $17.8 million qualifying offer to the shortstop on Monday, abandoning him to free agency.

Because the Yankees didn’t make the offer, they won’t receive a compensatory draft pick if Gregorius signs with another club.

The 29-year-old arrived in New York via trade in 2014, filling the gaping hole left by a retired Derek Jeter. Seemingly unfazed by the pressure of that role, Gregorius thrived.

Before donning the pinstripes, he was a .243/.313/.366 hitter with 13 homers in 724 MLB plate appearances. In four and a half years with the Yanks, he hit .269/.313/.446 with 97 dingers.

He played in just 82 games in the 2019 season, due to offseason Tommy John surgery. Despite the missed time, Gregorius contributed 16 homers and 61 RBIs, although he slashed just .238/.276/.441.

If New York does not re-sign Gregorius, Gleyber Torres is next in line to be the everyday shortstop. DJ LeMahieu would then likely become a fixture at second base.

Didi’s stellar play and social media savvy made him a fast fan favorite in the Bronx. Now, a glance at his Twitter may reveal where he hopes to take his charisma next:

Mere hours after the qualifying offer deadline, Gregorius tweeted some love for two of his former colleagues who recently accepted MLB managerial positions. One of those new skippers is Joe Girardi, who is taking the helm in Philadelphia.

Girardi was also the Yankees’ manager when Gregorius came into his own as a player. Also, MLB.com writer Andrew Simon recently mentioned the Phillies as a potential bidder for the shortstop’s services.

Of course, the Yankees could still re-sign Gregorius; they may just be betting on him becoming a bargain after falling through the cracks in free agency.

What’s more likely, though, is the number that stands out of Gregorius’s Yankees-career slash line—the .313 OBP—is not something Brian Cashman and company want to purchase longterm.

As always, only time will tell.

Freelance editor and writer, and full-time Yankees fan. Originally from Monticello, NY, but now lives in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.