The Phillies have announced the release of veteran outfielder/infielder Chris Coghlan. He was an Article XX(B) free agent, meaning today was the deadline for the organization either to promise him an active roster spot or commit to paying him a $100K retention bonus.
Coghlan, 31, had signed a minors pact over the offseason and seemingly had a good chance of cracking the rebuilding Phillies’ roster. But he didn’t do much to win a job with his performance in the Grapefruit League. Coghlan ended up with a .231/.319/.282 batting line in camp.
Still, the veteran has done enough in recent years to think he’s still plenty capable of functioning as a handy MLB bench piece, featuring defensive versatility and quality production against righties. While he got off to a terrible start last season, he finished strong with a .252/.391/.388 batting line over his final 128 plate appearances.
With Coghlan on his way back onto the open market, the Phils may be set to turn to Brock Stassi as a bench option. He certainly has done all he can this spring to earn a shot, with a .320/.370/.680 batting line in game action.
That said, there could be something else afoot, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer (via Twitter). The organization may end up dealing a pitcher off of its 40-man roster in a swap that would deliver an alternative bench option, Gelb suggests.