Yankees: Predicting which free agents they’ll bring back for the 2020 season

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – OCTOBER 08: Didi Gregorius #18 of the New York Yankees reacts against the Boston Red Sox during the second inning in Game Three of the American League Division Series at Yankee Stadium on October 08, 2018 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

SS Didi Gregorius

A couple of months ago I would’ve said there’s no way the Yankees would let Didi Gregorius walk as a free agent this offseason. Today, I’m not nearly as confident because of how much Didi has struggled offensively this season. After missing the first two months recovering from offseason TJ surgery Didi has only appeared in 80 games and he’s hitting .240 with 16 HR and 58 RBI. From a power standpoint that’s not bad, but the average isn’t Didi like at all and his OBP is team worse .279.

Didi himself has admitted that he hasn’t taken off yet and recently he went as far as to say “he’s sucked.” As a fan, I think he’s being way too hard on himself because his defense hasn’t hurt the team at all and with RISP he’s still been very clutch hitting .303. However, there’s no doubt it’s been a struggle for him at the plate, especially in September (.194 BA) with the playoffs right around the corner.

Coming off TJ surgery it’s not all that surprising to see Didi’s production take a dip, but it definitely could hurt his market value this offseason. Whether that makes it more or less likely for him to return to the Yankees remains to be seen but the good news for Didi is he’ll have a chance to make a strong final impression with a big postseason.

Didi has stepped up on the October stage before and it would surprise me at all if he gets hoit and does it again this year. That’s his primary focus right now and the rest will work itself out because despite taking a step back offensively this season he’s still going to garner plenty of interest as a free agent and make a lot of money.

It’s going to be a very tough decision for the Yankees because they could let Didi walk and spend some of the money they were going to pay him on an ace like Gerrit Cole. They already have another shortstop in Gleyber Torres who could shift over and replace him and DJ LeMahieu to take over for Gleyber as the starting second baseman. I think that’s a very real possibility but I also know that Didi wants to stay in New York and if he’s willing to agree to a slight hometown discount the Yankees would love to keep him here long term.

There’s really no way of predicting how this will play out until we see how Didi performs in the playoffs, but I have confidence he’s going to make a huge impact this October and the Yankees will realize how much they need him. He’s still their best left-handed power threat and a gold glove caliber defender and there isn’t a player on the roster who’s more beloved by the fanbase. That means a lot and I hope that enough to convince management to bring him back.

Prediction: Didi re-signs on a long term deal