The Cincinnati Reds have a need at the shortstop position. They’ve publicly stated that they are looking for a shortstop for the 2021 season. And the current market for shortstops is pretty deep when considering the free agent and alleged trade market. One player in the free agent market is former Red Didi Gregorius. He was on the radio in Cincinnati with Lance McAlister on 700 WLW and confirmed that the Reds have contacted his agent this offseason.

“I’m open to listen to anything, so that’s the thing,” said Gregorius. “I’ll listen and see what they have to offer.”

Didi Gregorius hit .277/.326/.486 in 2017 and 2018 for the New York Yankees. He wound up having Tommy John surgery following the season. When he returned in 2019 in June he struggled to really get going at the plate and in his 82 games played during the year he hit just .238/.276/.441. The power was there, but that was about it as his plate discipline numbers took a big step backwards, as did his average. But in 2020, granted just a 60 game stretch due to the abbreviated season, he looked like the hitter that was playing for the Yankees in 2017 and 2018. Now with the Philadelphia Phillies, Gregorius hit .284/.339/.488 with 15 walks and 28 strikeouts.

Right as the offseason began, MLB Trade Rumors published their projected contracts and teams likely to sign each player. Gregorius was projected for a 3-year and $39M deal with the Cincinnati Reds. We have no idea if that’s actually the market, overselling the market, or possibly underselling the market. That kind of contract, though, would take Gregorius through his age 33 season.

Perhaps Cincinnati wouldn’t like to go three years on any shortstop given where they stand with their belief in Jose Garcia. He, though, is still probably at least a year away from being ready to play every day in the Major Leagues. His glove is clearly ready now, but if what we saw at the plate in 2020 when he hit .194/.206/.194 in 67 at-bats tells us anything, it’s that he likely needs some more time against advanced pitching in the minors before he’s ready to hit big league pitching enough to pencil into the lineup every day. There’s nothing wrong with that – he’s 22-years-old and there’s a lot of time for him in his career. Still, if the Reds believe he’s going to be ready in about a year, then a 3-year contract for a shortstop might be a bit too rich for their blood.

Of course there are some other options on the market, too. Free agents Andrelton Simmons and Marcus Semien are also there for negotiations. The trade market reportedly includes stars Trevor Story and Francisco Lindor, too. Cincinnati’s front office has some options if they are willing to pay the price.

19 Responses

  1. Jake Y.

    I would have no problem bringing Gregorius in on a 3-year deal. As he ages, his bat is good enough to justify moving him down the defensive spectrum. That should coincide nicely with Garcia’s development as well. I’ve though all along Gregorius was the most realistic SS target for Cincinnati.

    • Justin

      Except we have three big contracts around the diamond. 2 years with an option year and if Garcia is ready next year he can be traded.

      • RedBaron

        Move Moose or Suarez to the OF. Votto will start losing AB’s next year as well IMO

  2. DaveCT

    A small market team that is trading and non tendering salary won’t be an attractive workplace for a top player. I will eat my hat like Mike Fink but it’s doubtful Didi, Andrelton or Siemens will select the Reds. Unless it’s a Moose or Castellanos type offer (not happening) they’ll go elsewhere. It’s the same issue, in part, as the international free agent market. Why is a small market team a desirable place to go, unless in a large overpay? It’s not. It just seems things always circle back to drafting and developing and clever trades snd signings. Otherwise it’s extremely hard to compete. Exhibit A, 2020. One year of being competitive then the wheels come off. The all-in of 2020 was a one shot deal. It was never sustainable. They should just be honest. It’d help relieve the massive confusion this off season has created. Nick Krall will be gone in under a year. Hatchet man.

    • LDS

      And Didi reportedly wants to return to New York according to the Post.

    • rednat

      Imo the pandemic has become the great equalizer though. People are not exactly lining up to move into NYC or LA. Players want to play in front of live fans. They don’t want to be in quarantines for the entire season as well. I think teams like the reds may actually be attractive to some free agents.

      • Melvin

        Hmm. Didn’t think about that. Could be right.

      • Nick in NKY

        Net pay could be another consideration for a moving away from the coasts for some players. Didi is certainly already wealthy by my standards, but he must know he’s never going to command record breaking money; the kind of dollars that are so great that it doesn’t matter how much the man takes back in deductions, because you won’t barely notice.

        He may wish to live in a locale that seems a little less harsh on the taxation than NY or CA. For a guy at his net worth, that could be a big consideration.

  3. JayTheRed

    Honestly if I am any free agent I look at what the Reds have done thus far this offseason and listen a little to the rumors and realize that this is not an up and coming team.

    Giving up two of our better bullpen pieces for essentially nothing and them not keeping Disco (signed with San Francisco), Not even making a legit shot at Bauer, and talking about trading away Gray… Not the team I would want to be with.

    • dennis perper

      jay,
      6mil
      ” the 30-year-old logged personal worsts in ERA (7.22), FIP (6.10), K/9 (6.68) and BB/9 (4.28) across 33 2/3 innings. He also had a rough year by Statcast’s standards, ranking closer to the bottom of the league than the top in most of its categories.”
      I dont want you as my financial advisor. But I do want Bob to spend,spend,spend.But spend wisely not wastefully.

      • JB

        Exactly. I’m not sure what the lovefest is for Disco. The Reds have plenty of pitchers who are better than he is. The guy cant keep the ball in the park. San Frans big park hopefully will be kind to him but he will not be missed.

  4. RojoBenjy

    I thought i heard hysterical laughter coming from the direction of Philadelphia.

    “Yeah hi, Didi? It’s Nick Krall,—hello?”

  5. Kevin Patrick

    I have to think that this news of pursuit of Didi “getting out” is probably just meant to increase the value of Didi. Why else would Didi go on the radio? The more the Reds want him, the more somebody will pay. I’ll tell you what, if you would have asked me years ago if Didi Gregorius would have become a power threat in the lineup of the Yankees, I’d a said you’re nuts… and I’d a been wrong. To my eyes, he always seemed like just a lanky all glove kind of guy…and I’d a been wrong. I don’t have a crystal ball…but I get a bit of a happy face thinking about Didi in the infield. That would be a pretty mature infield…and we’ll steal Yankees and Phillies fans too.

    • RojoBenjy

      Fool’s gold like the Moustakis pickup. Sign a guy right as he’s hitting career decline. No thanks.

  6. Gonzo Reds

    I’m fine with a 3 year deal for one of these SS FA. If Garcia proves ready early say 2022 get him some time at 2B, Moose or Winker to 1B, and might have the dreaded DH for Votto at that point.

  7. MK

    If the Reds were at all interested in Dan Straily he has re-signed with the Lotte Giants of the KBO for $1.7 million. Seems like a reasonable price for a quality innings eater at the backend of the rotation.

    • Doug Gray

      Speculation was that an MLB team would have to offer more money because the feeling already was that MLB was going to once again try and shorten the season and prorate salary, while the KBO isn’t going to be doing that. Still could have probably gotten a sub $3M deal, though.

  8. Mike McSorley

    Blue Jay blog post recently suggested that Andrelton Simmons could conceivably receive an offer of 2-years at $17m … $17m for 2 years vs. $13m for 1 for Didi … do the math.