The Phillies announced that they have reinstated infielder/outfielder Scott Kingery from the injured list and outrighted him to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Kingery cleared waivers and is no longer part of the Phillies’ 40-man roster, though he’s still with the organization.
Needless to say, this is not what the Phillies had in mind when they signed Kingery to a six-year, $24MM guarantee entering the 2018 season. Kingery hadn’t even played in the majors at that point, making his deal the largest for anyone who hadn’t yet appeared in the bigs. The former second-round pick was a top-tier prospect then, which led the Phillies to gamble on locking him up at what they thought were team-friendly prices for the long haul. He’s earning $4MM this year, and the club owes him a combined $15MM from 2022-24 (including a $1MM buyout for the last of those seasons).
While Kingery’s pact also includes team options ranging from $13MM to $15MM from 2024-26, it seems doubtful he’ll ever rake in that money. After all, the 27-year-old has failed to establish himself as a viable major leaguer, having batted just .229/.280/.387 with 30 home runs and 25 stolen bases in 1,127 plate appearances. Kingery, who’s just 1-for-19 with 12 strikeouts in the bigs this season, hasn’t played with the Phillies since May 16. He’ll now have to try to make his way back to their roster via Triple-A, where he’s a .291/.330/.453 hitter across 307 trips to the plate.