The Cincinnati Reds could replace one former Philadelphia Phillie with another this offseason.
Jon Paul Morosi of MLB.com reports that the Reds are getting aggressive in their search for an upgrade at shortstop, and are casting a wide net as they attempt to replace Freddy Galvis, the team’s primary shortstop in 2020. Among those under consideration, per Morosi, is Didi Gregorius, who spent the 2020 season with the Phillies.
Morosi does mention two superstars – Francisco Lindor and Trevor Story – as names that the Reds have checked in on. Both can become free agents after the 2021 season, so perhaps trading for either isn’t far fetched, especially if the Reds are comfortable with either as a rental. Still, the three free-agent options that Morosi linked to the Reds – Gregorius, Marcus Semien and Andrelton Simmons – seem more realistic.
Gregorius actually broke into the league with the Reds in 2012, but played in just eight games with the team before being traded to the Cleveland Indians and quickly flipped to the Arizona Diamondbacks that offseason. Their interest in Gregorius is hardly a surprise, as Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors projected the 30-year-old would sign a three-year/$39 million contract with the Reds at the outset of the offseason.
The Reds are the second team confirmed to have interest in Gregorius, with George A. King III of The New York Post reporting in October that the Los Angeles Angels are interested in Gregorius as well. Some have wondered if the Yankees would consider bringing Gregorius back, though he didn’t seem to think that was likely in an interview on WFAN in late October.
In that same interview, Gregorius said he would be interested in returning to the Phillies “if they want me back.” With so much focus on J.T. Realmuto, mum has been the word on whether the Phillies will mount a serious attempt to re-sign Gregorius, who homered 10 times and drove in 40 runs while playing in all 60 games for the Phillies this past season.
With former first-round pick Bryson Stott likely not especially far off from the majors and a potentially historic class of free agent shortstops looming next offseason, the Phillies would probably prefer to bring Gregorius back on a one-year deal, if at all. It does seem very possible, though, that Gregorius will be guaranteed at least two years this winter, if not more.
Should the Phillies lose Gregorius, they could use Jean Segura and/or Scott Kingery at shortstop. They could also consider Semien or Simmons, who may be more likely to sign a one-year deal than Gregorius.
The Phillies did not extend a qualifying offer to Gregorius, so they won’t receive any draft compensation if he leaves.
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