With the 2021 season finally over, the Phillies have made their first move of the offseason, declining the club options of Odubel Herrera and Andrew McCutchen. The two outfielders who saw prominent roles on last season’s teams will hit the open market while the Phillies will look at options to replace them this winter.
Neither move comes as much of a surprise as McCutchen was due $15 million next season if he remained with the team. McCutchen simply didn’t play in a way deserving of that contract last year. This may not be the end of McCutchen’s time in pinstripes, but the two sides would have to agree on a more reasonable contract.
McCutchen also would likely have to agree to a platoon role to make it worth the Phillies’ while. All this to say, expect Uncle Larry to only visit Citizens Bank Park next season.
Herrera, on the other hand, was due $2.5 million, but despite the solid production Herrera saw at the plate, the Phillies decided against his return. Whether that was because they like the potentially more affordable options in free agency or they possibly feel confident about the depth at center field remains to be seen.
Hopefully, it has everything to do with the allegations against Herrera accusing him of domestic violence. Herrera’s return this season was controversial, to say the least. Many felt that he should not be allowed to play for the club this season or going forward. Hopefully, the Phillies have finally come around and now see things the same way.
It’s a story of two different goodbyes, but one thing is true in both cases: the Phillies must find a way to replace both starting players.