The Phillies have announced a series of roster changes ahead of tonight’s game. Deadline Pickups Noah Syndergaard and Brandon Marsh have been activated. Launcher Kyle Gibson was reinstated from the mourners list along with the infielder Jean Segura be activated from the 60-day injured list. Three spots on the active roster were created after last night’s game, with the right-hander Marc Appelleft-handed Bailey Falter and outfielder Simon Muzziotti all optional. To create space on the active and 40-man rosters for Segura, they released the infielder Didi Gregoire.
Gregorius, 32, is perhaps best known for the five-year streak with the Yankees he had from 2015 to 2019. During that span, he played in 660 games, hit 97 homers, stole 27 and cut bases. 269/.313/. 446 for a 101 wRC+.
After reaching free agency, he signed a one-year, $14 million contract with the Phillies for 2020, hitting 10 home runs in the shortened season and producing an overall line of .284/.339/.488, 116 wRC+. After that successful campaign in Philadelphia, the two sides re-entered a two-year, $28 million deal that unfortunately preceded an incredible drop in the shortstop’s production.
Last season, Gregorius hit a miserable .209/.270/.370, 68 wRC+, meaning his output was 32% lower than the average hitter in the league. After this dismal campaign, his mastery of the shortstop position for 2022 looked tenuous at best. Philadelphia baseball operations president Dave Dombrowski publicly admitted as much in October.
Although there has been a superstar class of shortstops available in free agency this winter (Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, Javier Baez, Trevor’s Story, Marcus Semien), the Phils focused on improving their outfield, adding Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos. Although they apparently lost faith in Gregorius, they felt they had a potential insider shortstop solution with a prospect Bryson Stott.
Stott cracked the opening day roster and looked to be a bit of a competition for playing time on the field next to the second baseman Jean Segura. With Gregorious and the third baseman Alec Bohm having down years in 2021, Stott has had time in various positions on the pitch to start the year. However, he struggled to get out of the gate, earning an option to return to minors on April 25. At that time, he was only hitting .133/.161/.167. These struggles seemed to give Gregorious and Bohm more time to get back on track.
In May, Stott was recalled, followed a few weeks later by Segura who fractured his finger, opening the infield for the three Stotts, Gregorius and Bohm. Meanwhile, Stott and Bohm improved from slow starts, unlike Didi. Since June 1, Stott has hit seven homers and cut .227/.296/.384. That’s still below average production (90 wRC+), but that comes despite a .222 batting average on balls in play. Bohm, meanwhile, struggled through June but experienced a monster July, reaching 0.405/0.427/0.583 since the beginning of this month. Gregorius had a good start to the year, hitting .288/.338/.356 through May for a wRC+ of 96, but has reduced .181/.234/.284 since, wRC+ of just 42 since the start of June and 57 over the whole season. With the return of Segura and Bohm and Stott looking like better options, the Phils decided it was time to move on from Gregorius as they prepare for a pennant race in the final two months of the season.
Gregorius earns $15.25 million this year from that two-year deal he signed, leaving around $5 million to pay. Any team signing him then would only have to pay him the prorated league minimum with the Phillies on the hook for the rest.