In the last few days, sources have stated that the Brewers as well as the Phillies and Reds have been linked to free agent shortstop, Didi Gregorius. Gregorius has spent the last 5 seasons with the New York Yankees and is considered to be the top shortstop on the market. Last year, in a season ridiculed by injury, Didi hit .238 with 16 homers and 61 RBIs in 82 games. However, even though he struggled last year at the plate, that isn’t always the case with Gregorius. Since 2015, his first season as a starter, Didi has averaged about 145 games per year and has hit .274 with an OPS+ of 104. He has also averaged about 20 home runs, 75 RBIs and 27 doubles per season. His best season came in 2017 when he hit .287 with 25 home runs, 87 RBIs, and 27 doubles. Didi Gregorius will be entering his age 30 season and according to Baseball Reference his similarity scores through age 29 put him with guys like Ian Desmond, Stephen Drew, Juan Uribe, and J.J. Hardy.
Gregorius has proven throughout his career that he is smart at the plate and hits for great power for a shortstop. He bats from the left side but surprisingly doesn’t have issues hitting against left-handed pitchers. Throughout his career, he has also proven to be a clutch hitter who is not shy of big moments. Gregorius hit many crucial home runs for the Yankees throughout his time there. Defensively, Didi is an average shortstop with decent range. He has below average speed that prevents him from being above average at the position.
The best thing about Didi Gregorius is that fact that he has been open about signing a one-year “prove it” deal. If the Brewers signed him, they wouldn’t have to worry about keeping a 30-year-old shortstop long-term.
I really like the idea of the Brewers signing Didi Gregorius. The only problem is, where is he going to play? I have heard a lot of fans state that Milwaukee should put him at third while Luis Urias and Keston Hiura remain up the middle. My problem with that is, Gregorius is going to be 30-years-old and has only played third base in two previous games and that was in 2014. Sure, guys can learn new positions, but why sign a guy who has played shortstop his whole career and not have him play shortstop. What I like, is putting Luis Urias, a young defender who has shown he has platoon capabilities, at third base and letting Didi remain at short. Therefore, the Brewers can get the most out of Gregorius by keeping him comfortable as well as solving their third base problem. Another solution that I don’t particularly care for that I have seen, is sliding Keston Hiura over to first base, putting Urias at second, and Didi at short. Either way, no matter what Milwaukee does if they sign Gregorius, I like the idea of having him because at least it makes the Brewers flexible with plenty of options.