For all the conversation and worry and fear surrounding J.T. Realmuto's contract status ... Didi Gregorius is a free agent after the season, too, you know.
He has been a seamless fit at shortstop for the Phillies. He's batted fifth or sixth most nights and has hit consistently for average and for power.
Gregorius homered in his first two games as a Phillie. He hasn't gone more than two straight games without a hit or two straight days without reaching base.
He's hit .286/.353/.505 this season, getting it done in all three departments. He has 11 extra-base hits and 19 RBI in 30 games.
Most importantly, he's been a force with runners in scoring position, going 10 for 25 (.400) with 15 RBI. The Phillies have needed that kind of run production behind Rhys Hoskins, Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto, who get on base a ton.
Gregorius has also been surprisingly strong against lefties. He has two triples, three homers and 10 RBI against lefties this season. He's not Harper in terms of beating same-handed pitching but those extra-base hits have been hard to ignore.
The Phillies signed Gregorius to a one-year, $14 million deal. Based on his production, he'll be in line for three or four years on the open market. A deal in the range of three years, $45-50 million would make a lot of sense for the Phillies but the 30-year-old Gregorius might find a better offer elsewhere. He will want the additional year or two, at which point the Phillies would face the tough question of whether he's worth four years and $60-65 million or more.
"I mean, that's up to the GM and everybody," Gregorius said Sunday night when asked if he could see himself in Philly long-term.
"If they want me here, I'll stay here. I don't think I have a lot of control over that right now."
The on-field production is what will determine his next contract, but you can't discount the energy and personality Gregorius brings to a clubhouse. His teammates enjoy him and this fanbase has taken to him quickly. Just look at the replies to this.
Gregorius will not be the only shortstop on the market. Andrelton Simmons, a wizard with the glove, will hit free agency after 2020. So will Marcus Semien, who finished third in AL MVP voting a year ago. Jonathan Villar, traded at the deadline from the Marlins to the Blue Jays, will be another option for teams.