The Phillies parted ways with two of the longest-tenured Phillies, Maikel Franco, and Cesar Hernandez Monday evening. The Phillies choose to not tender contracts to both infielders, freeing up $17.5 Million this year. Had the Phillies tendered contracts, Hernandez was projected to make $11 million and Franco $6.5, this according to Jim Salisbury.
It comes as no shock that the Phillies have parted ways with Franco, who never lived up to the expectations after a really good rookie year. He had fallen out of favor with former manager Gabe Kapler last season and was eventually sent down to AAA Lehigh Valley. Franco signed with the Phillies in 2010. He became the starting third baseman in 2015.
Hernandez never seemed to be appreciated in this town. He had an uphill battle taking over for one of the greatest Phillies in history, Chase Utley. The Phillies signed Hernandez in 2006 out of Venezuela and had a very nice career in South Philadelphia. He took over as the starting second baseman in 2015.
With the moves, the Phillies now have two spots open in the infield. Scott Kingery can move to his natural position, or he can also remain in his utility role. They are still kicking the tires on possible free-agents Jose Donaldson, Anthony Rendon, and Didi Gregorius. There is also a question as to what to do about Jean Segura? The Phillies could look to trade Segura. The alternative is to play him at second, short or third base if he is not moved. Klentak will have a busy off-season. He needs to get this right, should the Phillies look to compete for the postseason.
The Phillies and catcher Andrew Knapp avoided arbitration as the Phillies signed Knapp to a one year contract. The Phillies also offered contracts to the following player: Zach Eflin, Hector Neris, Vince Velasquez, Jose Alvarez, Adam Morgan, and All-star catcher J.T. Realmuto. The Phillies and Realmuto have been in talks about a multi-year extension.
One other note, the Phillies signed Right-handed relief pitcher Trevor Kelley off of waivers from the Boston Red Sox on Monday. The 26-year-old will have to earn a spot in the bullpen. Kelley had a good season in AAA posting a 1.79 ERA in 52 games.
The off-season continues with the winter meetings starting Monday, December 9th.
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports