Didi Gregorius Considering One-Year Contracts

As the highest shortstop on the free agent market, Didi Gregorius had been broadly tabbed as a candidate for a multi-year deal, even within the wake of his injury-shortened 2019 season.  Whereas a number of groups have certainly proven curiosity in Gregorius this offseason, he and his brokers are additionally contemplating the opportunity of accepting a one-year provide, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal studies (subscription required).

There will surely be threat in such a maneuver, although Rosenthal notes it could be a “guess on himself” transfer from Gregorius within the hopes of guaranteeing himself a bigger multi-year deal subsequent winter than he would this offseason.  Even within the brief time period, it may lock in extra money for Gregorius over two seasons than he would over a hypothetical three-year contract.

For instance, let’s take the three-year, $42MM that MLB Commerce Rumors projected Gregorius would obtain on the open market.  That works out to $14MM in common annual worth, and there’s absolutely sufficient curiosity in Gregorius (particularly on a one-year pact) that he would simply surpass $14MM for 2020, and certain get greater than the $17.8MM worth of this winter’s qualifying gives.  So let’s say Gregorius indicators for $18MM in 2020, after which delivers a efficiency akin to his 2017 (4.1 fWAR) or 2018 (4.7 fWAR) seasons with the Yankees.  Such a 12 months would absolutely put Gregorius in line for a qualifying provide from his new crew subsequent winter, which might land within the ballpark of $17.8MM.  In a worst-case state of affairs, Gregorius may simply settle for the QO if he nonetheless didn’t like his probabilities in free company, giving him roughly $35.8MM over the 2020-21 seasons — a hefty bump up from the $28MM he’d have in the identical span if he accepted our predicted three-year pact.

As Rosenthal notes, the 2021-22 offseason could possibly be heavy with star shortstops obtainable in free company, as Francisco Lindor, Javier Baez, Carlos Correa, and Corey Seager are all scheduled to hit the open market.  That might seemingly make it unlikely that Gregorius takes a two-year deal this winter, as he could be a 32-year-old shortstop competing totally free agent {dollars} towards all these youthful stars.  A contract provide of 4 or extra years, in the meantime, doesn’t appear to be too reasonable, as even the groups most all in favour of Gregorius would in all probability balk at guaranteeing 4 years to a participant coming off such a lackluster platform season.

The counter to accepting a one-year deal, in fact, is that Gregorius would possibly need long-term safety after going through such a critical damage just like the Tommy John surgical procedure that sidelined him for a big chunk of 2019.  Provided that we’ve already seen some fairly surprisingly excessive figures on the free agent market to this point, Gregorius may additionally profit past our $42MM projection.  The Phillies, Brewers, and Reds have already been linked to Gregorius, and it’s doable extra groups may enter the fray relying on different trades, signings, or accidents.

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