Baseball

2021 MLB Predictions: Athletics Need Gregorius

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With spring training coming up, there are plenty of 2021 MLB predictions. The 2021 Oakland Athletics need a shortstop, and Didi Gregorius could be the answer.

Marcus Semien is currently a free agent and could demand more of a financial commitment than Gregorius, even though the two have had very similar careers.

After signing a one-year, $14 million deal with the Phillies for 2020, Sir Didi is ready for a long-term contract after his phenomenal season.

As it stands today, the Athletics have only two left-handed bats in the light-hitting Tony Kemp and the slugger Matt Olson. Gregorius offers a balance between the two and could slot in at the two-hole, replacing where Kemp is currently slotted to be.

Outside of Tommy John surgery after the 2018 season, Gregorius has been extremely durable, appearing in over 90% of his team’s games since 2015. In 2020, he posted the lowest K% of his entire career (11.8%) while slugging 10 homers and appearing in all 60 games for the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Athletics need Gregorius’ presence in the lineup and the locker room, while he’s largely average defense at shortstop can be masked by the Platinum Glove winner to his right.

2021 MLB Predictions: The AL West Looks Weak

The Athletics need Gregorius to improve their league-average offense to establish themselves as clear favorites in the AL West over the Houston Astros.

So far this offseason, every team not named the Toronto Blue Jays, New York Mets, Chicago White Sox, or San Diego Padres has gotten worse or stayed the same, so it’s time for the Athletics to make a splash and secure their shortstop for the near future, especially after not offering to re-sign Liam Hendriks.

The Angels lack a decent starting rotation and even though Shohei Ohtani‘s potential is sky-high, his troublesome injury history holds the Angels back from being serious contenders.

The Texas Rangers lost all of the big pitchers in Lance Lynn, Corey Kluber, and Mike Minor, and their best player, Joey Gallo, was involved in multiple trade rumors last season and looks likely to move from Arlington shortly.

The Seattle Mariners don’t look to be serious contenders, so the Athletics should take this opportunity to establish themselves as the best of the west.

Gregorius would be the second-best shortstop in the division behind Carlos Correa, who is an absolute monster when he’s on the field, trash cans or not.

2021 MLB Predictions: Gregorius’ Gargantuan Impact

Sir Didi is a true Renaissance man, an accomplished physical and digital artist, speaks four languages fluently, and learned to play the piano between workouts while recovering from Tommy John surgery.

After wins, Athletics fans can look forward to Sir Didi’s illustrations and emoji nicknames for his teammates, celebrating each of their personalities and bringing the fans one step closer.

Gregorius is an incredibly responsible player who fans don’t have to worry about finding at a club at 2 am the night before a game or breaking COVID protocols during the season. Gregorius wore a mask at all times on the field in 2020.

The Athletics need Didi Gregorius, and the pairing would launch them to even bigger favorites for the AL West in our 2021 MLB predictions.

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Johnny Jackson is the Athletics writer for Overtime Heroics, and is currently studying broadcast journalism at UCF.