Didi Gregorius was officially introduced as the Phillies' shortstop on Monday as he reunited with his former manager in the Bronx, Joe Girardi.
While the two (and ex-Met Zack Wheeler, who was also officially introduced as a member of the Phillies on Monday) faced questions from reporters about their landing spot, Gregorius was also asked how close he was to returning to the Yankees.
It doesn't sound like conversations got very far.
"Cashman made it loud and clear that Cole was their priority," Gregorius said.
As early as two weeks ago, SNY's Andy Martino reported that the Yankees had put all other offseason business on the backburner while the team competed in the Cole sweepstakes, culminating in the right-hander signing a record nine-year, $324 million contract with the team.
With Gleyber Torres expected to move back to shortstop, the emergence of DJ LeMahieu and the upcoming return from injury of Miguel Andujar, Gregorius became relatively expendable, especially in a role that would be somewhat unclear.
So Gregorius, who missed the first two months of the 2019 season recovering from Tommy John surgery, bet on himself, signing a one-year deal with the Phillies in an attempt to boost his stock for another run at free agency following the 2020 season.
"I wasn't at my best coming back from the surgery, but I showed that I can compete and the more I played the stronger I got,'' Gregorius said. "It was a good step and now I will play this year fully healthy and just go from there and see what I have more in store."