Phillies set to bring back Didi

January 30th, 2021

After a mediocre 2019 in which started late while recovering from Tommy John surgery, he bounced back with a strong 2020 with the Phillies, slashing .284/.339/.488 with 10 homers and 40 RBIs while playing in all 60 games. That should set up the steady nine-year veteran for a multiyear deal, something he missed out on last offseason due to the injury.

Below is a list of the latest news and rumors surrounding the shortstop, who turns 31 in February.

Sources: Phillies reach two-year deal with Didi

Jan. 30: The Phillies and Gregorius have agreed to a two-year, $28 million contract, sources told on Saturday. Gregorius, 30, hit .284/.339/.488 with 10 home runs and 40 RBIs last season with the Phillies, playing in all 60 games. More >

Semien, Simmons reportedly agree to deals; is Didi next?

Jan. 26: Gregorius' market potentially gained a lot of clarity Tuesday as two premier free-agent shortstops that were also available this winter -- Marcus Semien and Andrelton Simmons -- reportedly agreed to deals with the Blue Jays and Twins, respectively.

While reports circulated earlier Tuesday that the Phillies' top target was Simmons, his reported deal with Minnesota could now make Philadelphia a clear favorite to bring Gregorius back into the fold.

But MLB Network insider Jon Heyman points out that the Reds -- another club seemingly searching for a shortstop this winter -- could also be in the mix for Gregorius, especially now that Semien and Simmons are off the market. Cincinnati signed Gregorius and saw him make his Major League debut in a Reds uniform in 2012.

Gregorius is a better hitter historically than Simmons, meaning the Phillies may need to pay Gregorius more than the reported $10.5 million Simmons received from the Twins. Gregorius produced 10 homers with a 119 OPS+ over 60 games in 2020, while Simmons failed to go deep a single time and had a 95 OPS+ in 30 games.

Didi's market pointing toward Phillies

Jan. 16: Gregorius' market keeps trending toward the Phillies, especially in the wake of DJ LeMahieu's return to the Yankees, writes NBC Sports Philadelphia's Corey Seidman.

New York's deal with LeMahieu takes one of the players for free-agent infielders out of the market. If they couldn't re-sign LeMahieu, the Yankees could have tried to bring Gregorius back instead after all the success he had there in his five seasons in the Bronx. Gregorius even caused a stir by posting a Throwback Thursday photo of him in a Yankees uniform to his Instagram page this week -- but that was before reports emerged of LeMahieu's return to the Yankees.

The Phillies, on the other hand, are still a perfect fit for Gregorius, and want him back after the strong season he put together for them in 2020.

Seidman suggests the Phillies could offer Gregorius a two-year deal in the $20-30 million range, based on the amounts other free-agent hitters have gotten like Carlos Santana and Kyle Schwarber. A two-year deal would also let Gregorius avoid next year's loaded shortstop free-agent class that currently includes Francisco Lindor, Corey Seager, Trevor Story, Javier Báez and Carlos Correa.

This is Gregorius' best fit

Dec. 26:'s Anthony Castrovince sums up the best fits for each remaining free agent from the top 25, doling out only one free agent per team. He focuses on a reunion with the Reds as Gregorius' best fit. The team signed him as an international amateur free agent in 2007, and he played eight games for them in 2012 before heading to Arizona in a three-team trade that sent Shin-Soo Choo to the Reds. Gregorius' offense would be an upgrade for the Reds, especially at the shortstop position.

This reunion with Didi makes sense

Dec. 24: A return to Cincinnati makes the most sense for Gregorius, former general manager Jim Bowden writes for The Athletic (subscription required).

In his column detailing the best fit for each of the top 40 remaining free agents, Bowden picks the Reds for Didi.

"Gregorius would fit nicely in this underrated lineup, which includes Eugenio Suárez, Mike Moustakas and Nick Castellanos," Bowden writes.

He also thinks the Reds can get a deal done -- they're prioritizing shortstop this offseason, they've wanted to bring back Gregorius for a long time (he made his MLB debut with the Reds in 2012), and they've freed up money by trading Raisel Iglesias to the Angels and non-tendering Archie Bradley.

Sources: Reds eyeing Gregorius (among others)

Dec. 2: According to's Jon Paul Morosi, Cincinnati is "prioritizing the addition" of a starting shortstop this offseason -- and former Reds shortstop Didi Gregorius is on the club's radar.

He's certainly not alone, though, as Cincinnati is said to also be considering fellow free agents Andrelton Simmons and Marcus Semien, as well as pursuing trade opportunities for Francisco Lindor and Trevor Story.

Gregorius, who turns 31 in February, hit .284 with an .827 OPS and 10 homers while playing in all 60 games for the Phillies in 2020 after signing a one-year, $14 million deal last offseason.

The nine-year MLB veteran began his career with the Reds, appearing in eight games in 2012 before being traded to the D-backs as part of a three-team blockbuster that included Trevor Bauer and Shin-Soo Choo, among others. Gregorius played the next two seasons with the D-backs before being traded to the Yankees, where he spent five seasons from 2015-19, while receiving a share of American League Most Valuable Player Award votes in '17 and '18.

MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reiterated the Reds-Didi connection on Wednesday, but noted that Jose Garcia, Cincy's No. 6 prospect, could be ready to take the shortstop reins soon.

Angels find their shortstop with trade for Iglesias

Dec. 2: With Andrelton Simmons hitting free agency, the Angels were one of the clubs with a hole at shortstop at the start of this offseason. Consider that hole plugged.

The Halos have acquired José Iglesias from the Orioles, bringing aboard a player who hit .373 with three homers and a .956 OPS over 39 games this past season.

Owed just $3.5 million in 2021, Iglesias fills a need for the Angels without breaking the bank, allowing the club to potentially make a run at some of the higher-priced free agents on the market.

That said, we can probably rule out the Angels as a destination for the top two free-agent shortstops, Gregorius and Marcus Semien. DJ LeMahieu is also an unlikely target, with David Fletcher at second base and Anthony Rendon at third.

The Reds, Phillies, Yankees, A’s and Giants are among the playoff hopefuls who could look to add a shortstop, though some clubs may prefer to hold off until next offseason, when Francisco Lindor, Trevor Story, Corey Seager, Carlos Correa and Javier Báez can become free agents.