Shortstop Didi Gregorius is joining former manager Joe Girardi as the two former New York Yankees link up with the Philadelphia Phillies.
#Phillies are in agreement with Didi Gregorius
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) December 10, 2019
Per Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philly, the deal is a one-year, $14 million contract.
Confirming @Joelsherman1 Phillies have signed Didi Gregorius for 1 year, $14 million
— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyNBCS) December 10, 2019
This is the perfect situation for Gregorius. After returning from Tommy John surgery, he struggled to get his legs under him in 2019. He ended the season slashing just .238/.276/.441 for an OPS of .718. Even his defense seemed to suffer as many wondered if he had returned from his injury too early.
Fans know that Gregorius is a better player than his 2019 stats show. Unfortunately, his struggles occurred right before he hit free agency. Signing this one-year deal gives him the opportunity to play every day and re-establish his value.
Additionally, he’ll be walking into a comfortable situation. Gregorius played three seasons for Phillies manager Joe Girardi in New York. Those three seasons saw his OPS jump from .688 in 2015 to .796 in 2017. He’ll also share a locker room with former teammate David Robertson.
Hopefully for Gregorius, he’ll have a strong bounce-back season in 2020. He’ll be competing for a playoff berth with a very talented Phillies team that isn’t done making moves yet. Obviously, if he does bounce back, he’ll enter the free-agent pool again next year in search of a contract that truly reflects his talent.
As for the Yankees, it’s now all but certain that Gleyber Torres will be taking over at shortstop. Torres developed as a shortstop before switching to second base when he was called up to the Yankees in 2018. This also frees DJ LeMahieu to return to his natural position—second base. He won Gold Gloves at the position in 2014, 2017, and 2018.