The Phillies announced today that right-hander Henderson Alvarez, left-hander Kevin Siegrist and infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly have cleared outright waivers and intend to elect free agency. Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer first reported that Kelly would elect free agency after clearing waivers.
It’s not terribly surprising to see the trio return to the open market after helping to round out the roster for a rebuilding Phillies organization in 2017. All three could have been kept — the former two via arbitration — but the Phils decided to keep the 40-man roster spots (and funds) open for other opportunities.
Though Alvarez made only three appearances in the majors, they were his first since early in 2015. He held opposing hitters to seven earned runs in 14 2/3 frames, but allowed 11 walks while recording just six strikeouts. Alvarez also worked only in the 91 to 92 mph range with his fastball, well off his peak, though he’s sure to get a look with some organization in Spring Training. Once a productive starter with the Marlins, Alvarez is still just 27 years of age.
Siegrist, 28, was claimed by the Phillies after being cut loose by the Cardinals and seemingly was a candidate to be tendered a contract. Upon landing in Philadelphia, he threw five frames, recording seven strikeouts against two walks while allowing two earned runs. Siegrist likely would not have commanded much more than his $1.6MM salary from 2017, and would have come with another year of arbitration control, but evidently he didn’t show enough to convince the Phillies’ front office.
As for Kelly, he still hasn’t shown much indication that he’ll do enough damage offensively to be more than a utility player in the majors. The 29-year-old now carries a .211/.297/.340 slash through 176 MLB plate appearances. He has been fairly productive over six seasons at Triple-A, earning a .382 on-base percentage by walking nearly as often as he strikes out (233 of the former and 237 of the latter through 1,612 plate appearances), though his power has lagged (.385 slugging percentage) at the highest level of the minors.