The Phillies got their pitcher last week.
Now they have their infielder.
The club on Tuesday reached agreement with free-agent shortstop Didi Gregorius, according to sources. The deal is for one year and $14 million, according to sources. The New York Post initially reported the agreement.
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The signing likely concludes the Phillies' heavy lifting for the offseason. They signed right-handed pitcher Zack Wheeler to a five-year, $118 million deal last week.
The Phillies have not confirmed the signing or commented on it because it won’t become official until Gregorius passes a physical exam.
The Phils are still looking for some bullpen help and starting pitching depth, but those are expected to be low-profile additions.
Adding Gregorius puts the Phils within about $6 million of baseball’s $208 million luxury-tax threshold. Phillies ownership has not ruled out going over the threshold and paying a 20 percent penalty on overages, but the decision to do so might not come until the 2020 season unfolds and the team sees where it is in the standings. General manager Matt Klentak on Monday said he expects the team to contend. The Phils have not made the playoffs or had a winning season since 2011.
Gregorius’ addition means Jean Segura will come off shortstop in 2020. He will likely move to second base, where he has played before, though a move to third is not out of the question. Scott Kingery will likely fill the remaining spot with Adam Haseley getting a shot to win the job in center field. The Phils could wait until spring training to finalize defensive arrangements in the infield.
In Philadelphia, Gregorius will be reunited with Joe Girardi, his manager with the New York Yankees from 2015-2017. Girardi was hired by the Phillies in October.
According to sources, Gregorius chose the Phillies over the Milwaukee Brewers and San Francisco Giants. His connection with Girardi was a big attraction.
Girardi does not hide his affection for Gregorius.
“He’s a treat to be around,” Girardi said last week. “He brings a smile every day and works extremely hard. He’s a very talented player. I think there’s 30 teams that would love Didi’s services. I’m a big fan.”
The Phillies’ need for infield help became acute after the team cut ties with second baseman Cesar Hernandez and third baseman Maikel Franco last week.
Gregorius, who made $11.75 million with the Yankees last season, turns 30 in February. He hit .277 with a .791 OPS and averaged 24 homers and 81 RBIs with the Yankees from 2016-2018. He played only a half-season as he recovered from elbow surgery in 2019. He hit just .238 but had 16 homers and 61 RBIs in 324 at-bats. By signing a one-year deal, Gregorius can rebuild his value and go back on the free-agent market next season. The Phils can attempt to retain him with a qualifying offer and would receive draft-pick compensation if he leaves.
Last week, Girardi was asked what Gregorius would bring to the Phillies.
“Left-handed bat, power, plays an outstanding shortstop,” Girardi said. “He can play second, as well. He’s a real character guy and he’s a real hard worker that is a really important clubhouse presence. I felt that he was important to the clubhouse in New York in what he brought every day. I’ve always been a big fan of Didi and what’s he’s been able to accomplish. You have to remember, I got him when he first came over and he was replacing a legend (Derek Jeter) and how difficult that was and to see the growth that he made was really pleasing to me.”