Phillies Rumors: Ex-Yankees SS Didi Gregorius Targeted After Joe Girardi Hire

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 22, 2019

New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius during a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

The Philadelphia Phillies are reportedly interested in free-agent shortstop Didi Gregorius, who spent the past five years with the New York Yankees

Jon Morosi of the MLB Network reported the Phillies are trying to sign Gregorius with the intent of either trading Jean Segura or moving him to a different position.

Gregorius saw his OPS increase in each of his first four years with the Yankees. It rose from .688 in 2015, his debut campaign in pinstripes after a trade from the Arizona Diamondbacks, to a career high of .829 in 2018. He also hit 72 home runs from 2016 through 2018.

The 29-year-old Netherlands native didn't play his first game this year until June as he recovered from Tommy John surgery. Although his power remained with 16 homers in 82 appearances, his overall performance at the plate dropped off as he posted a .717 OPS.

In October, he told Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated his lack of plate discipline was the issue.

"I've been doing the same work I've been doing since I got here," Gregorius said. "I didn't try to change anything, just try to swing at strikes. That's one thing for me right now and be patient. I'm just all over the place swinging at almost every ball. I think that's one thing, and be aggressive in the strike zone."

Meanwhile, the Phillies are looking to upgrade their lineup after finishing 14th in runs scored en route to an 81-81 record that left them eight games short of the playoffs.

Segura, 29, posted a .280/.323/.420 triple-slash line with 12 homers and 10 stolen bases in 144 games. Along with 905 appearances at shortstop, he's also played 142 games at second base during an eight-year career that included stops with the Los Angeles Angels, Milwaukee Brewers, Seattle Mariners and D-Backs.

If Philly shifts him to second base, it would likely make Cesar Hernandez available for trade.

Jon Heyman of the MLB Network reported the Cincinnati Reds are also interested in Gregorius.

The shortstop started his career in the Reds organization, but played just eight games with the club.