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Angels reportedly interested in Didi Gregorius


If the Philadelphia Phillies hope to retain shortstop Didi Gregorius this offseason, they’ll have some competition.

It’s unclear if Didi Gregorius will return to Philadelphia. (John Jones/Icon Sportswire)

George A. King III of The New York Post says that the Los Angeles Angels have interest in Gregorius. It’s unclear exactly how interested the Halos will be, but it’s of interest in New York because there are some that believe the Yankees should bring back Gregorius, who spent five seasons in the Bronx.

After the Yankees pivoted to Gleyber Torres on a full-time basis last offseason, Gregorius inked a one-year/$14 million deal to reunite with Joe Girardi in Philadelphia. In the pandemic-shortened season, Gregorius was a very effective offensive piece, slashing .284/.339/.488 with 10 home runs, 40 RBIs and an .827 OPS for the Phillies.

At his introductory press conference last December, Gregorius was asked why he chose to take a one-year deal with the Phillies, as opposed to a potential multi-year opportunity elsewhere. His answer? There weren’t any multi-year offers on the table. It’s difficult to tell in an an economic climate where many owners are pinching pennies if Gregorius will get a multi-year deal this offseason, but certainly he’ll be looking for one.

Having entered an uncertain market last offseason, Gregorius didn’t seem sure what a second trip into free agency will have in store for him at the conclusion of the 2020 season.

“Wherever will give me a chance,” Gregorius said about where he’ll spend his future. “I love playing with these guys. It’s a great group of guys. I have fun and play the game the right way with these guys. So, we’ll see what’s going to happen.”

Though he didn’t sound certain about whether it will come from the Phillies, Bryce Harper said after the final game of the season that he thought Gregorius had earned a big deal, and was proud of his teammate.

“He’s going to have teams lining up to be able to sign him next year, and I can’t wait to see what we do or what another team does for him,” Harper said after the season-ending loss to the Rays.

The first decision the Phillies will have to make this offseason on Gregorius is whether or not to issue him a qualifying offer. Evan Drellich of The Athletic says that the qualifying offer value will be at $18.9 million this offseason. If Gregorious declines it and signs elsewhere, the Phillies would recoup draft compensation. However, it’s possible Gregorius would accept it, which could make things tight if the Phillies hope to stay under the luxury tax threshold or even cut payroll. Perhaps that possibility will keep them from issuing one at all.

The most notable free agent the Phillies will have to deal with this offseason is J.T. Realmuto. It’s unclear whether re-signing Realmuto would make the Phillies more or less likely to mount a serious effort to hold onto Gregorius.

What we also don’t know is if Gregorius declines the qualifying offer – or if the Phillies don’t extend one – if the Phillies would be willing to go to multiple years to re-sign him. Seemingly the club would take a step back without him in the lineup in 2021, but Bryson Stott, a natural shortstop, is the No. 3 prospect in the organization and may be ready for the majors by 2022. There’s also a potentially historic class of free agents looming next offseason.

Defensive wizard Andrelton Simmons, an Angel since 2016, is one of the external options that the Phillies could consider in free agency if Gregorius doesn’t return. Jean Segura and Scott Kingery could be internal options to replace Gregorius in 2021.

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