When Jose Altuve killed the Yankees’ season with a game-ending two-run home run off Aroldis Chapman in the bottom of the ninth inning in Game 6 of the ALCS, Didi Gregorius was on the road to free agency for the first time.
The immediate speculation was the left-handed hitting shortstop who was limited to 82 games after missing the first eight-plus weeks of the season following Tommy John surgery on his right elbow could sign a one-year deal with the Yankees and use 2020 to play a full season healthy and secure a long-term deal in his second trip through free agency.
That remains in play, but there are teams that believe Gregorius, who turns 30 in February, did enough prior to his surgery to secure a multi-year contract. One talent evaluator predicted Gregorius will eventually receive a three-year deal.
“When he came back there was enough there to believe he could return to the player he was before he was injured,’’ a scout said of Gregorius, who hit .268 with a career high 27 homers, 86 RBIs and posted a .829 OPS in 2018 before blowing out his elbow in the ALDS.
Had Gregorius not gotten hurt, posted the same numbers in 2019 and continued to play above=average…