PHILADELPHIA — The Yankees made it clear Gerrit Cole was their top free-agent priority. With the Yankees needing to save some payroll, Didi Gregorius had to find a new home.
What a home he has found in the middle of the Phillies lineup.
Joe Girardi, Didi’s old manager with the Yankees and his new manager with the Phillies, said Monday that Gregorius will be in the middle of the action — not only at shortstop, but in the lineup, too — for his new team.
“Part of this depends on the [possible new] rule. If the pitchers have to face the minimum of three hitters, you think about dividing your lefties up differently,’’ Girardi said at a Citizens Bank Park press conference to introduce Gregorius and ex-Met Zack Wheeler. “Part of it depends on our young players, but it is going to be in that middle area. When I think of Didi, I think somewhere in the three, four, five area, but so much of it depends on the construction of our team when we leave spring training.’’
Gregorius, who turns 30 in February, did not fit into the Yankees plans with the money they were about to drop on Cole.
“[Brian] Cashman made it loud and clear that Cole was their…