A quick post this week as there were only a few notable happenings for the Philadelphia Phillies despite the Winter Meetings.
A Phillies Rumor that Came to Pass:
As noted in last week’s Phillies ICYMI Monday post, the main rumored FA signing came to be.
That came about on Tuesday as multiple sources were announcing that the Phillies had an agreement with SS Didi Gregorius. This came the day after the Zack Wheeler deal was made official, as was this signing, three days later.
They will both be introduced at a press conference today.
Gregorius, 29, will be around for at least one year at $14M. The conventional wisdom is that this now moves Jean Segura to 2nd. and Scott Kingery to 3rd. Gregorius has never played 3B at the MLB level. It also opens up the trade opportunities for Segura, as they would prefer Kingery to play at 2B, but then they would have to bring back a third baseman. Spring training will tell a lot for how this shakes out.
The 2019 season, the second following Tommy John surgery for Didi, were well below his eight year career average of .264 Avg/.313 OBP/.429 SLG/.742 OPS, except for his 13HR, 52 RBI. Last year was .238/.276/.441/ .718 with 16 HR, 61 RBI.
What they are hoping for is a return to the three years prior where he hit over 20 HR, and 70 RBIs each year.
Another thing in the Phils favor is the familiarity of Gregorius and new Phillies Manager Joe Girardi, from their time together with the Yankees.
In a recent interview with WFAN’s Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts, Girardi had this to say about Gregorius:
“This guy played needing Tommy John and no one really even knew about it. He’s tough, too,” he says. “I think the experience of having to replace Derek Jeter helped mold who Didi is today. Because I think in the beginning he tried too hard and realized that’s not working; ‘I got to get back just doing my work and understanding who I am’ … and he blossomed as a player.”
Rule Five Draft:
The Phillies did make a selection in the first round, SS Vimael Machin from the Chicago Cubs. They then traded him to the Oakland Athletics for cash. At the time they already had 39 men on the 40 man roster, and were going to need that spot for Gregorius.
Still a lot can happen between now and Pitchers and Catchers report on 2/11/20. To fill some time when nothing is going on, I will spotlight the new coaching staff, and then the non-roster invitees for spring training as they are added.