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MLB: Didi Gregorius Signs Minor League Deal With Seattle

 Leif Skodnick - World Baseball Network  |    Jun 9th, 2023 5:20pm EDT

Didi Gregoruis of Algodoneros hit a double in the third inning during the game between Sultanes de Monterrey and Algodoneros Union Laguna as part of Liga Mexicana de Beisbol 2023 at Estadio Revolucion on May 16, 2023 in Torreon, Mexico. Gregorius has signed a minor league contract with the Seattle Mariners. (Photo by Manuel Guadarrama/Getty Images)

By Julian Guilarte
World Baseball Network

Didi Gregorius signed a minor league deal with the Seattle Mariners Thursday and will report to their Triple-A affiliate, the Tacoma Rainers. 

The news of his deal was first reported by Julio Rangel of Con Las Bases Llenas on Twitter.

The deal is for $1.5 millon and has performance bonuses if he makes the MLB club. The plan is for Gregorius to play all around the infield once he passes his physical and is activated by the Rainers, per MLB reporter Daniel Kramer on Twitter. 

On May 1, he signed a deal to play in the Mexican League with Algodoneros de Union Laguna. Gregorius made the most of his opportunity, hitting 11 home runs and driving in 34 runs with an OPS of 1.208.

Gregorius, 33, could be making his final attempt at a Major League comeback. Last season, Gregorius was designated for assignment by the Philadelphia Phillies on August 4. He struggled with the Phillies after re-signing with them for a two-year contract worth $28 million, suffering an elbow injury in mid-April of 2021 and was limited to 103 games in 2021, when he had an OPS of .667. Last season, he had a career-low OPS of .567.  

Gregorius played for the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic in March, and also played with the Netherlands in the 2017 WBC. This year, he played first base since the Netherlands had San Diego Padres shortstop Xander Bogaerts on the roster. Gregorius had three RBI in 12 at-bats during the WBC in 2023.

Gregorius started his MLB career with the Cincinnati Reds after signing as an international free agent in 2008, and made his Major League debut with them in 2012. In the offseason of 2012, Gregorius was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks as part of a three-team deal.

He hit 13 home runs and had an OPS of .682 in two seasons with the Diamondbacks from 2013-2014. He was traded to the New York Yankees in the offseason of 2014 in another three-team deal.

Gregorius struggled in his first season with the Yankees, posting an OPS of .688 in 155 games. In 2016 something clicked, and he hit a career-high 20 home runs. In three seasons from 2016 to 2018, Gregorius had the best stretch of his career, hitting 72 home runs with an OPS of .791.

Gregorius also had some great moments in the postseason, including a three-run home run against the Minnesota Twins in the 2017 Wild Card Game. After 2018, Gregorius underwent Tommy John surgery and missed half of the 2019 season. He hit 16 home runs and had an OPS of .718.

In the offseason of 2019, the Yankees were up against the Luxury Tax threshold and decided to move on from Gregorius in free agency. This led Gregorius to sign a one-year deal worth $14 million with the Phillies.

Now Gregorius is one step away from an MLB comeback.  The Seattle Mariners are underachieving at 30-31 and are in fourth place in the AL West. Could Gregorius be called up and provide a spark to the Mariners at some point this season?

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Leif Skodnick - World Baseball Network