Heyman added that such a price point might take the Cincinnati Reds out of the bidding, who "like him but are covered there with Freddy Galvis, in case." The Philadelphia Phillies and other teams are expected to make a run at Gregorius, however.
The Phillies have been linked to Gregorius for several weeks now, with the team seeking an upgrade to the infield:
Philadelphia has also been linked to a pair of star third basemen this winter. According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the "Phillies, luxury tax be damned, plan to strongly pursue free-agent third baseman Anthony Rendon, with third baseman Josh Donaldson as a potential fall-back plan."
They would also "like to pursue another starter and relief pitching, but Rendon has become their No. 1 target."
So it's possible that Gregorius is the team's backup plan in the event they don't land Rendon or Donaldson. It's also possible that such an addition may not preclude them pursuing the former New York Yankees shortstop. The Phillies could also seek to trade Jean Segura for pitching help, clearing the three years and $42.5 million he has remaining on his contract (with a $17 million club option for 2023).
Segura does have a full no-trade clause in his contract, meaning he'll have to agree on his ultimate destination in such a deal. That limits Philly's flexibility in such a scenario. But the possibility of clearing his $14.2 million off the books for next year means the Phillies could still go after both Rendon and Gregorius.
The 29-year-old Gregorius appeared in just 82 games last season, missing the first half of the season while recovering from Tommy John surgery for a tear of his right ulnar collateral ligament. He had a solid campaign nonetheless, hitting .238 with 16 homers and 61 RBI.
Coming into the 2019 campaign, Gregorius had posted three consecutive seasons with at least 20 homers and 70 RBI. He would be an upgrade in Philadelphia over Segura.
He would also be an upgrade over Galvis in Cincinnati, though the Reds may be hesitant to offer him big money after doling out a four-year, $64 million contract to infielder Mike Moustakas this offseason. Galvis set career highs in homers (23) and RBI (70) last season between Cincy and Toronto, so the Reds could choose to give him a full season as the everyday shortstop and focus their spending on other needs.