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Yankees decide against tendering qualifying offer to Didi Gregorius

The Yankees will let their shortstop of the past five seasons hit free agency.

MLB: ALCS-Houston Astros at New York Yankees Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The deadline to render qualifying offers to impending free agents passed earlier today at 5 pm EST. The Yankees decided not to tender qualifying offers to any of their free agents, most notably shortstop Didi Gregorius.

Gregorius stands as perhaps the biggest name to go without the qualifying offer. This means he will not have any draft-pick compensation attached to him as he hits free agency. If he walks, the Yankees will receive nothing, and the Gregorius’ new team will not have to yield anything more than cash to sign the shortstop.

Given Gregorius’ struggles throughout 2019, it’s not exactly stunning the Yankees opted against offering the QO, worth $17.8 million. While that amount is nothing but a pittance to a club like the Yankees, Gregorius likely will not sign a contract with an average annual amount approaching that figure, not after a season in which missed 80 games and slashed .238/.276/.441 while on the field.

This certainly does not preclude the possibility that Gregorius ends up back in New York, maybe even on a one-year deal. Gregorius might find attractive the chance to re-establish his value in the Bronx in 2020 before entering the market again at age-31. The Yankees have options themselves, as they could slide Gleyber Torres to shortstop, and DJ LeMahieu back to his natural position at second base, should Gregorius depart for other pastures.

We’ll have more news on Gregorius and his ultimate destination whenever said news breaks.