The Phillies may not be bringing back star shortstop Didi Gregorious. Gregorious played well in an abbreviated season for the Phils (.284 AVG, 10 HR, 40 RBI). According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Phillies did not make Gregorious a qualifying offer. A bit surprising considering how well he played, but the front office has been unpredictable.
Gregorious is offensively the best shortstop in this year’s free agent class, and with next year’s free agent group that could include names like Lindor, Baez, Seager, Correa and Story…Gregorious’s opportunity to get his money is now.
So, if Didi ends up with another team, how might the Phillies replace him? Jean Segura spent most of the season going back and forth between third and second but played mostly second after the team brought up rookie third baseman Alec Bohm. Bohm is a Rookie of the Year Finalist, and it seems he will be the starting third baseman going forward. Scott Kingery played 28 games at second and had a dismal .140 average. Joe Girardi’s options could be to move Segura to second and have Kingery play shortstop or vice versa.
But what about looking externally? Athletics Shortstop Marcus Semien could be an option.
Semien’s numbers in 2020 might not look pretty (.223, 7 HR, 23 RBI), but remember it was a shortened season. I’m not saying that we should disregard it, but Semien played 53 games this year. In his 2019 season, where he finished third in MVP voting, he played all 162, finishing with an 8.9 WAR, .285 Avg, 33 HR, and 92 RBI’s. In ‘19 he had his best stretch in September when he hit .347 with a .441 OBP and 8 home runs. According to FanGraphs, he finished in the top 10 among shortstops in defensive runs saved that year with 12. Semien doesn’t just do it with the bat.
If Semien can put up close to the numbers that he did a year ago, he would be a good fit for this Phillies offense. The Phillies could use a solid bat in the lineup to compliment the middle of the lineup in Harper, Hoskins and possibly Realmuto.
The Athletic’s Jim Bowden predicts a 2 year $18 million dollar contract for Semien. If Semien plays anywhere near the level that he did in 2019, that type of deal is a bargain for the Phillies. Semien is 30 years old and a cheaper short term contract wouldn’t be a bad gamble on a guy who played like an MVP just a year ago.