Free-agent Didi Gregorius does not know whether the Phillies will push to keep him, but he knows one team that likely won't come calling this offseason.
"I don't think they would want me back in New York, to be honest, right now," Gregorius said Friday on WFAN in New York when asked about a reunion with the Yankees. "I think Gleyber (Torres) is the future shortstop."
What about the Phillies?
"If they want me back, sure," he said. "I can't force or say that I have to do this, I have to be there. At the end of the day, it's up to them, what they want to do. I really enjoyed playing with the guys over there, I had a great time."
Gregorius was very consistent this season, hitting .284/.339/.488 with 10 doubles, two triples, 10 homers and 40 RBI. He did not slump. He hit .345 with runners in scoring position.
In a normal offseason, Gregorius would be in line for a four-year deal in the $60 million to $72 million range. But this is not a normal offseason. MLB's 30 teams lost a combined $3 billion this season because of the pandemic, according to commissioner Rob Manfred. That will certainly have some bearing on the offseason to come.
J.T. Realmuto, the top position player on the market, still thinks stars will get paid this winter like Mookie Betts did in July (12 years, $365 million). Realmuto isn't in the same tier as Betts, but he's closer to it than Gregorius.
There are three above-average shortstops on the free-agent market this winter: Gregorius, Marcus Semien and Andrelton Simmons. All three players will be 31 years old next season.
MLB's qualifying offer for 2021 is $18.9 million, the average of the game's top 125 salaries. If the Phillies extend Gregorius the qualifying offer and he declines and signs elsewhere, the Phils will receive draft compensation in 2021.
More specifics here on how the draft compensation works.
It's an interesting decision for the Phils, whether to make Gregorius that qualifying offer. It would net them something if they lose him, but with the financial uncertainty of this winter, he could also accept it. After the 2016 season, the Phillies extended Jeremy Hellickson the qualifying offer and he surprisingly accepted it. The Phils had to pay him $17.2 million that year.
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