Didi Gregorius is officially a free agent after the Yankees didn't extend the qualifying offer to the shortstop.
The Yankees had until 5 p.m. on Monday to extend the $17.8 offer to Gregorius. If they did so and he rejected it, the Yankees would have received a compensatory pick.
This move isn't too surprising from the Yankees, as it was always a toss-up as to what they would do regarding the veteran shortstop. Gregorius didn't have the best 2019 season to give himself a strong case for a new contract. After recovering from Tommy John surgery, Gregorius returned in June, but didn't have that good of a year at the plate.
He slashed .238/.276/.441 with 16 homers and 61 RBI over 82 games. And though he was solid in the ALDS against the Twins, Gregorius went 5-for-23 against the Astros in the ALCS.
But that might not be a factor more than the depth the Yankees currently have. Gleyber Torres is a natural shortstop, and could make the transition to short to give DJ LeMahieu an everyday home at second base. Torres has become one of the brightest young stars in the game, and more importantly, is under team control until 2024.
Also, Gio Urshela, who was a critical depth piece this season, is under control until 2023. He can bounce around the infield if something were to happen to Torres, though he should be the team's third baseman next season.
Gregorius' market value, per Spotrac, is currently $13.4 million per season. So Cashman could be letting him hit the market to potentially bring him back, or save that money for other improvements -- say a Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg, or Zack Wheeler to the starting rotation.
There is no denying Gregorius' contributions on and off the field as a leader in the clubhouse, and of course, a fan favorite. But is he worth the money? Right now, the Yankees don't believe that high price tag at $17.8 million is.