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MLB Hot Stove Update: Didi Gregorius to the Phillies, Zack Cozart to the Giants

Heath examines the Hot Stove with a fantasy baseball slant.

Getty Images/Pete Rogers Illustrations

The Hot Stove League was left for dead these past couple of years, but no more! Yours truly is doing his level best to bring you MLB news as it happens!

On top of Strasburg moving, we’ve seen a bevy of other pieces move around, too. Zack Wheeler, Tommy Pham, Hunter Renfroe, Dylan Bundy, and more. You can find it all here, ladies and gentlemen.

Let’s get to Tuesday’s happenings, shall we? There’s a Lynyrd Skynyrd reference here somewhere, but I’m too lazy to dig it up. So away we go...

Didi Gregorius signs with the Phillies on a one-year deal

The report is that Sir Didi has inked with the Phils for a year, for the cool price of $14 million. We don’t care a ton about the dollars for fake purposes, but if you want to buy the narrative that this is a “show me” deal or a way for Didi to rebuild his value, the narrative is staring you directly in the face. Gregorius missed quite a bit of 2019 as he returned from Tommy John, and wasn’t his usual self when he returned. But 2016-2018 were quality years, and this is only his age 30 season. Citizen’s Bank Park has ranked 1st, 4th, and 7th in home runs over the last three years, too. So this is obviously a quality landing spot, and the team context is very good, too.

One report has the Phillies moving on from Jean Segura after this move, but I’d assume that Segura mans the keystone, Gregorius sticks at shortstop, and Scott Kingery handles the hot corner (unless the Phillies make a move for that position). And if they do, Kingery can slide into the outfield. Of course, the Phils could unload Segura and speed up the clock for Alec Bohm, but that won’t affect Didi at shortstop.

Current ADP for Gregorius has him as the 29th shortstop off the board, which is indicative of just how deep the shortstop position is. In his most recent healthy year (2018), he finished as the 8th best shortstop in the fake game, slashing .268 with 27 dingers and 10 swipes. In 2017, he hit .287 with 25 homers and three steals, ranking as the 12th best shortstop in the fake game. I view him like an older version of Jorge Polanco...and even Polanco is only being drafted as the 19th guy at his position. During positional weeks (starting in January at Fake Teams!) I’ll likely make my case for Polanco as a Top 12 shortstop—but I don’t think that’s wise to expect from Gregorius. And it’s a moot point anyway, since you won’t have to pay that much for Didi, even if his ADP rises now that he’s signed with Philly.

I’ll have to dig in more during the offseason, but right now Gregorius ranks as a solid middle infield option to me. He’s someone you’d snag and bank on a decent average and across-the-board contributions, except in speed.

Zack Cozart to the Giants

I don’t know what it is about the Giants and boring veterans, but here we are. I mean, they already have Evan Longoria there...right? Cozart is 34 years old and not someone we are into for fantasy purposes. He did have a banner 2017, when he smacked 24 homers and slashed .297/.385/.548. So that’s something. But his career slash is .247/.300/.399, and given his age and the futility of 2018-2019, I’m simply not interested. He reads like a bench bat for the Giants, unless he unseats Brandon Crawford at shortstop. Still not interested.

I don’t think I missed anything else today, but if so, let me know! My biggest takeaway is that the Phillies are building something very good. A managerial change to Joe Girardi, getting Andrew McCutchen back healthy, adding Didi’s defense and offense, and giving us more Scott Kingery all seem like really positive moves. Now announce Dellin Betances (another former Yankee) to reunite with Joe Girardi in Philly, and then I’ll really be intrigued.