It was inevitable. We knew it was coming, but we didn’t think it would come this way, or at this exact moment.
The Phillies, with Jean Segura due to come off the IL, have released shortstop Didi Gregorius. Gregorius was with the Phillies since the covid shortened 2020 season until today. The pickup of Edmundo Sosa may have been the writing on the wall for Didi, and that eventually became the case.
The move comes at a puzzling time as the Phillies are firmly in the playoff race and could seemingly use all the depth they can get, but Dave Dombrowski obviously thought otherwise.
Gregorius played in 226 games for the Phillies, slashing .230/.287/.384. He missed 100 games since the beginning of 2021 due to injuries after playing in all 60 games during 2020. He finishes his Phillies career with 24 homers, 113 runs batted in, and a -0.1 WAR (Baseball Reference).
Didi became a fan-favorite thanks to his social media posts after wins and his overall likable personality. Didi was also well-respected in the clubhouse and was someone young players like Alec Bohm and Bryson Stott could turn to.
From a baseball standpoint, the move makes sense. Didi was having a bad year at the plate, had always been bad in the field, and doesn’t offer much from a baserunning perspective. He pulls the ball too much, evidenced by his zero career opposite field home runs. His hard hit percentage has been consistently down since he joined the Phillies, with 2022 being the worst of his career. His 27 errors at short over 226 games with the Phillies resulted in him having a .967 fielding percentage. For reference, anything under .970 is considered bad.
One would assume this means Bryson Stott moves back to short after playing a lot of second base while Jean Segura was on the IL. Alec Bohm, future Gold Glove winner, will stay at third and Rhys Hoskins will stay at first.
There will likely be interest around the league among teams in adding Gregorius. Anytime a team can add someone with his experience is worth legit consideration. While his bat wasn’t good during this season, he has only made two errors in his 63 games, so that alone may make some team think that he can be at least be a defensive replacement late in games. A return to the Yankees could make sense for him. He had his best years there and the Yankees’ shortstops this season have combined to give them a 0.8 WAR (Fangraphs). Other teams that may look to add him are the Giants, Astros, and Mariners. All of them have questionable depth behind their starters at the moment.
One thing that could hurt Gregorius’ chances of latching on somewhere else is that he only really plays short. Of his 1,062 career games, 1,049 have come at short. He’s only played second base seven times, third twice, and all others have come as the DH.
The release of Didi Gregorius and designations of Odubel Herrera and Juerys Familia further proves that the Phillies are all in on this team and committed to only keeping players that can help them win, something they have been pretty good at lately.