Didi Gregorius
Can the Phillies afford Didi Gregorius long term? Didi has been the spark plug Philly needs and they can’t let him go. (Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire)

How great has Didi Gregorius been for the Philadelphia Phillies? In 30 games, Didi has hit .286/.353/.505 this season. Look, we’re all working with short sample sizes here but Gregorius has been the spark plug Philadelphia needs. The decision to sign Didi to the one-year contract worth $14 million has worked. Now the question is, can the Phillies actually keep him long term?

Didi has been so important for this team. Last year, the Phillies just got really poor production out of Cesar Hernandez and Maikel Franco. Philadelphia upgraded with Gregorius who has done nothing except deliver.

Like always, Didi delivers with above average power for an infielder. Didi has 11 extra-base hits and 19 RBIs on the season. It just feels like Gregorius is always clutch when it counts. That’s been no different this year. With runners in scoring position, Gregorius has come through going 10 for 25 (.400) with 15 RBI.

Rhys Hoskins, Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto are the core group in this lineup but don’t forget about Didi. He’s been the Phillies X-Factor and has performed well. Didi has hit both right and left handed pitching and provided a steady force in the middle of the lineup. Philadelphia cannot afford to lose Gregorius.

It’s a big offseason for the Phillies. Both Gregorius and Realmuto are impending free agents. The pressure is on to extend themselves to keep Realmuto after they gave up Sixto Sanchez in the trade with Miami. So what’s it going to cost to keep Didi?

The good news is the Jake Arrieta and David Robertson contracts come off the books. There’s some wiggle room in the payroll but not much. Bryce Harper, Zack Wheeler, Andrew McCutchen, Jean Segura, and Aaron Nola already make a pretty penny. It’s going to be a challenge.

Gregorius will likely command anywhere between $30-$65 million depending on length and end of the season performance. Philly has some things working in their favor. Having Joe Girardi around helps. There will also be other options on the market. Marcus Semien and Jonathan Villar will also be free agents to increase options available. Philly has to find a way to keep Didi.