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Updated: November 5, 2019
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Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
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(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photo by Henk Seppen)

Didi Gregorius becomes Free Agent

THE BRONX, NEW YORK, New York (USA) - Didi Gregorius officially became a Free Agent on Monday-afternoon (November 4), as the New York Yankees did not extend a $ 17.8 million qualifying offer to the Amsterdam-born short stop before the deadline that expired on 5 PM local time.

...Didi Gregorius is greeted after hitting a homerun for the Netherlands...
...during the 2017 World Baseball Classic...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
The contract of Gregorius expired after this season, meaning he became a Free Agent. Clubs can make a qualifying offer for an one-year contract extension to players who have never received such an offer before and who have spent the entire season on a team-roster. A player then had ten days to accept of deline this offer, during which time he can negotiate with other teams. When a player accepts the offer, he will be signed. When an offer is rejected, he becomes a Free Agent. When a player who has rejected an offer signs with another team, that team will lose a Draft pick. A qualifying offer is an one-year contract worth the average value of the top 120 player contracts of the preceeding season.

While Gregorius didn't receive a qualifying offer this doesn't mean he will leave the New York Yankees. In the upcoming weeks, a new (multi-year) contract can be offered, but he is also eligible to sign with another club. The infielder from the Netherlands has said recently that he hopes to remain with the Yankees. During his years with the Yankees, Gregorius became a popular player with the fans.

Gregorius, who turns 30 in February, missed part of this season, as he was recovering from Tommy John-surgery. He got injured during last years Play-Offs and underwent the operation on the off-season. This season, Gregorius played in 82 games and batted only .238. But he hit 16 homeruns and batted in 61 runs.

Gregorius is one of seven players of the Yankees who became Free Agent. The others are righthanded pitcher Dellin Betances, righthanded pitcher Cory Gearrin, lefthanded pitcher C.C. Sabathia, catcher Austin Romine, first baseman Edwin Encarnacion, outfielder Brett Gardner and outfielder Cameron Maybin. Sabathia retired after the season, while the Yankees declined a 20 million dollar option on Encarnacion and instead payed him a 5 million dollar buyout.

Didi Gregorius made his Major League-debut in 2012 when he played in eight games for Cincinnati Reds. In December 2012, he was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks. The short stop played for the D-Backs in 2013 and 2014, hitting respectively .252 and .226.

In December 2014, Gregorius was traded to the New York Yankees. There, in 2015, he took over the short stop-position of Derek Jeter, who had retired.

In his first season in Yankees-pinstripes, Gregorius played in 155 games and batted .265 with 56 runs batted in and nine homeruns. In the following three seasons, his performances became better and better, setting personal highs each season. He batted .276, .287 and .268 in 2016, 2017 and 2018. His run-production in these seasons increased from 68 to 73 to 89. In these three seasons, his RBI-totals were 70, 87 and 86, while his homerun-total grew from 20 to 25 to 27. During these seasons, Gregorius set several records for short stops in the Yankees-history.

This season, his fifth with the Yankees, Gregorius statistics were lower (.238, 47 runs scored, 61 RBI's, 16 homeruns). However, due to his injury, Gregorius of course missed Spring Training to prepare for this season. When he returned in June, he first played some games in the Minor League to work on his comeback.

(November 4)

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