Didi Gregorius is going to sign with the Cincinnati Reds. Or at least that’s the prediction from Tim Dierkes, Steve Adams, and Connor Byrne of MLB Trade Rumors who published their Top 50 MLB Free Agent Predictions on Monday morning.

The Reds notably have an opening at shortstop. In 2020 they played with a combination of Freddy Galvis and Jose Garcia at the position. Galvis is a free agent and Garcia, while young and talented, likely could use another year in the minor leagues after hitting just .194/.206/.194 with one walk and 26 strikeouts in 24 games played.

MLB Trade Rumors, though, believes that Jose Garcia could get more than a year to get ready as they are predicting that the Cincinnati Reds will sign Didi Gregorius to a 3-year deal and $39,000,000. Assuming that all of the years are equal in salary, that’s $13M a year, which is less than he was paid last season. And with Gregorius, there’s no draft pick attached to signing him as the Philadelphia Phillies chose to not extend him a qualifying offer.

After a down 2019 season that saw him return from Tommy John surgery and struggle a bit at the plate (.718 OPS and an 87 OPS+), Gregorius returned to where he was in his breakout 2018 season. With the Phillies in 2020 he hit .284/.339/.488 with 15 walks and 28 strikeouts while playing in all 60 games for Philadelphia.

The projection systems aren’t all available now, with the 2020 season just coming to an end last week. But some of them are available. The Steamer Projections, available at Fangraphs, project Gregorius to hit .260/.318/.445 in the 2021 season.

Among the Top 50 free agents, Gregorius is the only one that the Reds are predicted to sign. But they are mentioned as likely looking at the other shortstops on the market. Marcus Semien is projected to sign with the Angels on a 1-year deal, with the Reds being listed among the other suitors. Andrelton Simmons is predicted to land with the New York Yankees on a 1-year deal and is also mentioned as a player the Reds could be contenders for.

It’s two other names, along with Gregorius, that the Reds are mentioned as potential landing spots, that could be the most interesting. J.T. Realmuto is projected to signed a 5-year deal with the Mets, but Cincinnati is among the teams listed as being other possibilities. With Tucker Barnhart, Curt Casali, and Tyler Stephenson, something would have to give in order for that one to make sense – but if the team could land Realmuto they can figure the rest of it out.

Opinions are a bit varied on Ha-Seong Kim, a Korean shortstop that will be posted this offseason. But the 25-year-old shortstop is projected to sign a 5-year deal with the Texas Rangers for a total price, including the posting fee, of just under $48,000,000 (other publications have his deal as little as half that). MLB Trade Rumors rates him as the 7th best free agent in the class and lists the Reds among several teams that could be in the mix.

29 Responses

  1. Mark Moore

    If Simmons were to only get a 1-year deal, I have to think we’d be in the mix, probably with a 2-year deal. I’m of the opinion (and that’s all it is) that 3 years is an overpay for Didi given all the market factors. Of course, the 4 & 5 year projections are way beyond what I think will happen from anyone for anyone.

    • Jared

      Didn’t the Reds already have Didi once?

      • Doug Gray

        Yes. He was involved in the trade for Trevor Bauer. Not the one that brought Bauer to the Reds, though. The one that involved Bauer going to Cleveland that also brought Shin-Soo Choo to Cincinnati.

      • Rob

        He is a Reds farm system product and i believe was traded to Arizona for pitching.

      • Redleg67

        He was drafted by Reds and was brought up for a quick cup of coffee then was their piece in the three team trade with Diamond Backs and Indians that brought Shin Soo Choo to GABP.

  2. Klugo

    Barnhart drives me crazy, but I believe the metrics were pretty high on our C position this year on both sides of the plate. I just don’t know how.

  3. Russ S

    If the Reds were to decide to dip into the free agent pool this winter, the one move to focus on would be SS. This year’s SS crop is not in the top tier so I would think the Reds could get one on a prudent 1-2 year deal at a reasonable cost. And with next year’s SS crop including top tier talent, perhaps there won’t be as many suitors this winter, which would also work in the Reds’ favor. I don’t personally have a preference between Didi, Semien, or Simmons as I think each of them have pros and cons. All of them would give Garcia a chance to continue to mature his hitting in the minors. I don’t see Bauer taking the QO or re-signing, so I would invest that $18.9 million into a SS and a left-handed reliever like a Brad Hand. This way I’d be upgrading SS and, if I could sign Hand or someone equivalent, it could create an elite bullpen (Hand, Garrett, Antone, Sims, Bradley…) to make up for the loss of Bauer.

    • LDS

      Of the 3, sign the best deal relative to talent and hope that Garcia is ready in a year or so. Why wouldn’t they try to sign Hand? Maybe a good reason but someone to prop up Iglesias seems like a good idea.

  4. enfueago

    Three years at $39 million? Gotta do that if its available. He is a legitimate big time hitter and the nice thing about a SS who can hit is that probably plays anywhere else in the infield you need him if Garcia progresses and presses him. Also Realmuto would be exactly what the Reds need: An upgrade from solid but unspectacular to star. And when he isn’t behind the plate he spell Votto.

    Any idea whether the predictions pretend to have some info suggesting the Reds are willing to spend some money?

  5. Linkster

    Sign Semien (if available) or Didi to a two year with an additional option contract. If a no go, then stick with what you’ve got for another year to see if Garcia can get ready. Put your money on Hand and another quality BP piece.

    Question: Could Simmons, Didi or Semien fill in at 2B? If so, you can move Moose to 1st on some days and rest Joey or use as DH when playing AL teams.

  6. LDS

    It’s the 2019 off season all over again. Remember Gregorius and Realmuto were going to be Reds come spring. Didn’t happen. Likely won’t this time.

  7. JB

    If these guys are thinking about signing 1 year deals then all three of these shortstops will give the Reds a serious look. Nothing like padding your stats in the Reds little band box. The front office has to figure out what to do with the 3 headed monster behind the plate and the excess outfielders. Yankees might be looking for a defensive catcher.

  8. Optimist

    Bauer to the Dodgers is interesting – the per-year $ is doable for the Reds, but 4 years is too much. Same for 3 years for Didi. If we’re lucky (as fans) the Reds may go spending big, but for 2 year deals. It’s the needle they could thread to contention, and the big risk is that next year is still under a variation of the pandemic cloud/financial duress.

    • Rednat

      that is why i feel instead of resigning Bauer and Didi. all money needs to be invested into GABP to make it a coronavirus safe zone. the days of 45k fans packed into a stadium are over, vaccine or not. social distancing will be a major part of the “new normal”. the teams that can create environments where 20-25k fans can attend in a safe manner will just have a huge advantage going forward. it is extra revenue plus I think players want to play in front of fans. this will take creative architecture and engineering and a ton of money but can be done.

      • Jeff Gangloff

        You really think social distancing will be a thing 2-3 years from now? Pandemics come once every 100 years. This thing is temporary. A vaccine is being developed for a reason.

      • rednat

        The virus will likely always be here.It can live in heat and flourishes in the cold. Also it is a very hardy organism. A vaccine may cut the incidence and mortality in half ( at best). But that still means over 5 million cases and over 200k deaths per year. In our “safety first “environment , yeah I think social distancing is here to stay. Just think it is better to prepare for the worst. I just don’t think the reds and baseball can survive without fans in the stands.

      • Big voodoo

        Wake up on the ball park / we need a ss for 3yrs then give García a chance plus we need to sign Bauer back 3 yrs for $66 mil

      • David

        It’s a good point. Covid will effect 2021 directly, and several more years indirectly. At least.

  9. Steve Schoenbaechler

    Given any metrics, what we need is obvious, offense. Any move should be looking to also improve the offense.

    When I looked at the FA SS, I saw either players not as offensively inclined or too old, on their way down, past their prime. If the Reds wanted to go a year or two with that, to get Garcia ready, fine. But, I would try to see if some of the FA 2nd can play SS, also. Some of those 2nd FA are young and good offensive performers. I would look at one of them, again, only if they would accept and be able to play SS. All of this “if” we don’t trade for one.

  10. Jerry Meeker

    Sign Jose Ingelsia.our former SS for 2.5 million and add Hand as 2nd lefty in pen. Cheaper,smarter,and still leaves money for 1 yr shot for Bauer

    • Mark Moore

      Did you see that the O’s already exercised his club option?

  11. Arlene Mullins

    Need to keep Bauer, I don’t know why everyone is talking about getting rid of him. He is a top notch pitcher, and that is someone that is hard to come by. Yes we need a good ss, but don’t sacrifice one position for another.

  12. JayTheRed

    I would just like to point out that MLB Trade Rumors predicted we would sign Did last year as well as Grandal and well we signed neither of them.

    These are simply guess based on areas of need.

    Like most people I am not that interested in Didi…. Will I be mad if we get him, No! but there are other Shortstops out there I would rather have.

  13. RedBaron

    I like Didi but I would gamble on Semien having a bounce back year. Semien will probably only want to sign a 1-2 year contract though and hope for the same.

  14. SteveLV

    Will be interesting to see who gets non-tendered across mlb in a month. Teams with low payrolls that are willing to spend some money this offseason will likely be in a pretty good position to improve. I doubt there is much FA activity until that full list is known. I also imagine there will be a larger than normal gap between what players think they should be paid and what owners are willing to pay. Seems like that all adds up to a pretty slow start to free agency.

  15. SultanofSwaff

    No more than 2 years for Didi, even if it means a higher yearly salary. He could shift to 2B when Garcia is ready, bumping Moose to 1B where he belongs.

    That said, I think Garcia is ready in 2022, so I’m shopping for a one year stopgap, but one who can help win you a title. Trevor Story has one year left in Denver and would be a nice fit.

    We also need to be in on the kid from Korea. The Reds can absolutely afford him.

  16. Thomas

    Defensively, DiDi vs Galvis or Garcia is a wash.

    Offensively, Didi vs Galvis the edge is to Didi, but is it a $40M edge? I’d almost rather the Reds offer Galvis a 2 year/$20M deal, see if he bites and if not roll with Farmer until Garcia shows he’s ready.

    The Reds need the money to sign Bauer.

  17. M.D. Taggart

    To me it seems we need a couple of good hitting coach’s that these young players will respect and try and follow their lead maybe a right handed and a left handed ex-Major leaguers that the young guys will respect their Instructions Ken Griffey Senior Is one, I thought the team hit well when he was a hitting coach or Barry Larkin or Eric Davis. Almost everyone on the team is trying to hit Home Runs every at Bat somebody needs to be getting on base so they can be driven in. And some of the players have no business trying to hit it out. They need team players.

    • TR

      Team players who can get on base and hitters who can hit to the opposite field to avoid the shift which is out of control, and that MLB must do something about to restore offensive excitement to the game. And hopefully, the recently promoted Nick Krall, will give the Reds a new hitting coach for the 2021 season.