2:12pm: Herrera’s contract will be worth $1.75MM with another $750K in incentives, according to Matt Gelb of The Athletic.
7:59am: The Phillies have reached an agreement to bring back center fielder Odubel Herrera on a Major League deal. The story emerged through tweets from Jim Salisbury of NBCSPhilly, Jon Heyman of MLB Network, Matt Gelb of The Athletic, and Todd Zolecki of MLB.com. A center field platoon with Matt Vierling appears to be in the cards.
Herrera, 30, took over the regular center field job for the Phillies back in 2015 after being selected from the Rangers in the Rule 5 draft. He made the All-Star team the following year, and then inked a five-year, $30.5MM contract extension. Matt Klentak was the Phillies’ GM at the time. After a third straight solid year in 2017, Herrera powered up for a career-best 22 home runs in 2018 but didn’t finish particularly well and lost playing time. He showed impressive maximum exit velocities in each season up through 2018.
Entering a competition for the Phillies’ center field job in 2019, Herrera hit the IL with a hamstring strain in April. In May of 2019, Herrera was arrested in a domestic violence incident and charged with simple assault of his girlfriend. His girlfriend later declined to press charges. After reviewing the incident, MLB issued an 85-game suspension to Herrera that ran through the rest of the 2019 season. It stands as the third-longest domestic violence suspension MLB has given out.
In January 2020, with his suspension served, the Phillies designated Herrera for assignment. He cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A, but had $19.5MM remaining on his contract. With no minor league season in 2020, Herrera sat out until joining a Dominican Winter League team in November of that year. Last spring, Herrera emerged as the frontrunner for the Phillies’ center field job once again. Though he failed to make the team out of camp, they selected his contract in late April and he was ultimately the club’s primary center fielder by a wide margin despite an IL stint for ankle tendinitis. Upon re-adding Herrera to the team, manager Joe Girardi said, “We just felt it was time,” having not received objections from other Phillies players.
Faced with a $12.5MM club option or a $1MM buyout, Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski chose the buyout back in November prior to the lockout. Several alternatives came off the board since then, with Byron Buxton and Michael A. Taylor signing extensions, Starling Marte signing with the Mets, and Jackie Bradley Jr. getting traded to the Red Sox.
Rays president of baseball operations Erik Neander recently told Kevin Kiermaier to find a place near spring training, and furthermore, Jayson Stark of The Athletic says the Phillies are officially out on him. Other than Brett Gardner, who remains a free agent, options have become limited for the Phillies in center field. Teams continue to try to pry Bryan Reynolds loose from the Pirates, but with the season less than a month away the Phillies seem to have settled for Herrera once again.
Vierling, 25, played 34 games for the Phillies in 2021 as a rookie. Baseball America ranked Vierling eighth among Phillies prospects, noting big exit velocities and adding, “Vierling is an impressive athlete who can play both corner infield spots and anywhere in the outfield, with plus speed and above-average defense in center field to go with a plus arm.” Though Herrera, a left-handed hitter, hasn’t shown an extreme platoon split, former Phillies manager Gabe Kapler did deploy him in that way.
As a hitter, Herrera has a career wRC+ of exactly 100 and has sat in the 93-111 range in each season outside of 2019. A left-handed hitter, the Phillies increasingly shielded Herrera against southpaws until his post-suspension return, at which point he was not deployed in a platoon. Defensively, Herrera has generally graded well in Statcast’s Outs Above Average. Stats like Defensive Runs Saved have generally shown him to be average or better, outside of a down year in 2018. Herrera rated as one of the game’s slowest center fielders in 2021, with a sprint speed of 27.3 feet per second.
The Phils beat all the other teams to him.
His hair bothers me bc it does not look like it fits well under a baseball hat. Does his hat even stay on? What does “hat head” look like afterwards?
He looks like a muppet
To platoon with Vierling I’d imagine. As much as I’m not an Odubel fan, there aren’t a lot of left handed center fielders who posted average defensive metrics combined with above league average k%. I imagine the two will handle CF and DD signs Schwarber or Castellanos for LF.
Dubes needs the Phils more than they need him. I’m ok with this so long as he’s a reserve outfielder…
I’m fine if he’s OF4 or a platoon with Vierling. I’m fine starting off the season with Harper/Nick/Odubel/Vierling or Harper/Schwar/Odubel/Vierling
Theres just very few reasons that this team continues to let DV offenders play. Odubel/Vierling is a sad excuse to be the primary plan coming into the season
not to be that guy, but the DV ship sailed last year.
Signing 2 former DV cases is horrific optics for any fanbase, particularly a playoff starved fanbase coming out of a frustrating lockout.
Familia’s arrest was expunged from his record within two months and the MLB investigation literally found nothing actionable. these two are not in the same category.
Both were cases were the significant other dropped charges. I’m not saying every DV case is the same, but both moves give off bad optics to your fanbase. And from a talent perspective, the Herrera platoon wasn’t very thrilling in 2021. Hard to justify the same moves to fans in 2022.
Agree 100% . He did his time (more than) for one mistake. It was only a matter of time unless we couldve pried away Laureano Mullins or Reynolds. I’d rather pay Odubel a fraction of what a Kiermaier makes. Let’s go get our two big pieces now that the BP + CF have been addressed (for now)
How has CF been addressed with bringing back a guy who was terrible to begin with?
He wasn’t terrible. He had a 1.8 bWAR in 92 PAs. Know your facts before you post.
So you posted one stat with a sample sized 92 plate appearances. Really moves the needle. Thanks for the facts Joe
Joey Votto's bat warmer
The Philly Phanatic can wear a jailbird suit or have a bobble head night with him in an orange jump suit.
That’s really good for 92 PAs
Not saying it isn’t. Maybe it moves the needle where he isn’t “terrible”. More like a mediocre?
Gross. It is super disappointing that even an ounce of their time/focus/money would be spent in this direction.
Can you take Bauer off us then?
braves fan 138
I’d take him on the Phils. I’d also like to see the Eagles trade for Deshaun Watson, so I’m not exactly the moral compass for society.
braves fan 138
Looking at Bauer and Marcell Ozuna
Take note: Fire sale next season. They have no desire to compete. Harper, Wheeler, and Realmuto deserve better. They likely tried to acquire a CF, but failed. This is what happens when years of development doesn’t pan out.
you read all the articles about them looking at big names (most of which still arent signed) and you come to this conclusion? cmon. This signing does not preclude any other moves from happening.
We aren’t 1 big signing away. Nick C and Kris Bryant don’t swing the pendulum enough. This offseason has been horrendous. Over paying for Familia and then signing Herrea who both have domestic violence history and are both not very talented. The Phillies are far worse off now than they were in 2021. Sure they can still splurge on one big name, but this ancillary moves have been terrible and teams are making better and cheaper deals left and right.
away from what? obviously they arent one big signing away, but what would show you they’re trying? they’ve already added to the pen, an area of need.
Signing an OF who’s not a platoon player. Signing a SA or 3b. So far I like the Kneubel signing…that’s it. Feels like we wasted money on Familia. Could have got his equivalent for 4m. Mets did it with Ottavino.
SA=SS. Apologies for typos galore. The android app is annoying to navigate. Nats just signed Sanchez. Another move the Phillies should have looked at, particularly if Wheeler, Suarez and Eflin aren’t ready to start the season.
How do you know they didn’t look at Sanchez? Just because a guy signs with someone else doesn’t mean the Phillies, or any other team, didn’t make an effort. The player does get to make a choice, after all.
Fair. They weren’t reported as suitors so far so I’m assuming. But maybe they were.
von is picking an odd time to suddenly turn into a full-blown pessimist; the offseason roster building JUST started and you’d thin that the hope for the season would be pretty high at the moment, especially coming out of the disappointing back-and-forth of the lockout/negotiations.
there will be time to be angry, von, I can assure you; but the time is not now, is it??
haha. you’re not wrong raltongo. it’s just i can’t wccept another year of Herrera starting in the OF. I also think the Phillies were too quiet pre-lockout. I see players like Joe Kelly, Boxberger and Ottavino signing and I’m baffled as to why the Phillies are throwing money at Herrea and Familia. it’s a tough time. my patience is gone. there’s really not a lot of time left.
You’ll have Stott as your SS, barring a Correa/Story signing, and then a trade of Stott. You have ~ $40M left, so you’ll likely land someone big. Nola figures to have a substantial comeback. Having Gibson all year instead of Moore should be worth a couple of wins. Some reversion from Suarez.
I have you down for 84 wins before additional signings.
84 wins is generous. Harper and Wheeler will be solid, but they can’t be expected to match their 2021 campaigns. The Phillies have done nothing to address their defense. And as crazy as it sounds, losing Neris is going to hurt. We also need to replace Cutch’s production on offense and our bench is looking awful.
I think signing Nick C and Kris Bryant DOES swing the pendulum enough.
We may sign only 1 and that is CLEARLY not enough.
Thanks Little Matty Klentak!
Again thanks are extended to Little Matty Klentak.
There’s your answer for the Phillies big plans to fix the outfield..
Castellanos will be in LF. Defense not great obviously, but I like giving Harper even more protection in the lineup. Can’t fill every position with a high-priced FA. If they couldn’t get KK, I expected them to go cheap/in-house for CF
Can’t wait to watch that defense!
Looks like Phillies got their outfielder of their choice.
This is the blockbuster move that Philly has been waiting for since their 72-hour World Series clinching game in 2008.
This is absurd. Maybe I should switch to the Mets.
You mean the Braves. The Mets are cursed.
Beyond disappointing unless he’s a backup.
Kiermaier must have cost too much or they didn’t like the injury history.
I wouldn’t want Kiermaier either.
Sheeeeez! I waited through the lockout for this?
No. Just no. NO.
Same ol’ Phils. Looking forward to watching subpar baseball at the Bank again this season. I feel for Bryce and JT.
They’ll foolishly sign one big name like Schwarber or something. Leaving defensive holes everywhere. Two stars carried this team in 2021 and ownerships response has been to get worse.
I agree that they seem unwilling to address the defensive leaks.
Would we agree that Stott is a possible defensive upgrade for SS?
Stott is not major league ready.
Losers…won’t finish 0.500, nothing has been done to improve any part of the phillies. Cutting people like Herrera , Quinn, and Kingery was just a tease, neither are major league talent.
It’s time we change our allegiances! I have been a fan for my 55 years and never been so disappointed in the organization as I currently am!
Joey Votto's bat warmer
A Philly Brother from another mother. …Reds country!
This is a joke
Not quite sure what the hatred for this move is. I hate watching his low baseball IQ as much as anyone. But, this is in the context of filling other holes. Somebody needs to play CF and this is likely an inexpensive option. He is at least competent defensively and assuming they’re going to sign one of Bryant/Schwarber/Castellanos, he’ll bat 9th. Once Buxton was re-signed, the CF market wasn’t exactly booming. They were about $44 million under the first luxury tax thresshold before this. By taking a lower option here, they may be able to add a 2nd bat (they are linked to Chapman, for instance). I, for one, don’t assume yet that this is a bad move. There is plenty of time left to see how things play out.
Agreed. Look, if the Phils grab one of Story or Castellanos or Bryant, then they can get away with a cheaper alternative in CF. At a certain point, you gotta go this route, as high priced sexy FA signings at every position is simply not a sustainable solution. If people are gonna get mad about this, then the anger should be directed away from this specific signing and toward the Phils’ inability to produce a cheap, productive, homegrown outfielder–that’s why they’re in this situation. I, too, kinda hoped that the odubel ship had sailed, but if they got a big FA and a nice trade or two coming, then CF will no longer look like the weakness that it appears to be now.
@raltongo It’s not just this move that’s causing anger. It’s the lack of other smart moves. Bullpen pieces like Ottavino, Boxberger, Joe Kelly are signing elsewhere. The Phillies went with Familia who has poor numbers in Citizen’s Bank Park. They also gave him 6 million while these others are getting less. As it stands even the Nats improved more than the Phillies. I can see this team finishing 5th. Now I fully expect 1 big signing, but that’s not enough. They don’t need a star. They need good role players. Going backwards to Obdubel is not the answer.
Joey Votto's bat warmer
DD, You can have Senzel for a pair of Harpers cleats…signed..Reds management.
Insert GIF of Ryan Reynolds “But why??”
They better pull some magic out of their hat soon. This will be a horrible signing. Phillies fans can only hope he gets into another off field incident again so he can immediately be taken off the field.
Should’ve stayed with Roman Quinn or try to get Michael Bourn out of the radio booth
Joey Votto's bat warmer
Ellsbury was spotted hanging out peaking over the CF fence at practice yesterday!
This is easily the most pathetic offseason in Phillies history.
So far it definitely is. It’s only because there’s so much top-heavy talent and the Phillies aren’t surrounding it with anything viable. We had an owner tease stupid money, but he turned off the faucets when the team got close to the tax. He spoke like Steve Cohen, but he’s not in his league. Stupid money or a fire sale are the two options and the Phillies don’t seem willing to do either.
three. days. it’s been three days since they’ve been able to make moves again. look at what teams like ATL and NYY have done. there is time.
They seem to be adding around the margins in anticipation of a larger move. An article came out today saying Middleton won’t go over the tax. That really is starting to piss me off. If you’re not going to go over the tax, at least shake up the team.
While it’s been three days, they cannot go into the season with this defense. It’s beyond disappointing to wait 100 days only to see them add Hererra and Familia. These were your backup plans? After 100 days this is the best you could come up with? I’m not buying it.
they’re still estimated at about $40 million under. they have plenty of space to work with even just under the CBT.
$43 million in room before Familia. Now $37 million before Herrera, who shouldn’t get more than $1-$2 million tops. So they might have $35 million left to spend.
that’s hardly nothing, especially given they could also move money around and may try and find a taker on Didi.
pre-lockout days count too. it’s been more than 3 and waiting for some last-minute splurge while the entire division gets better seems like a dumb strategy to me. Yanks and ATL are already built to win. Phillies have far more holes.
NYY has plenty of holes and ATL still needs at least a 1B and two OF.
I just want to emphasize that DarkSide is far more rational than I am. I respect his comments far more than mine.
Phillies gonna Phillie…
I’m good with this move considering the alternatives and or the cost. One spot filled cheaply now need Bryant + another OF maybe Soler? I dont think Schwarber is worth the asking price
Why? Do they expect him to suddenly “find himself?” After seven years, will he suddenly mature and become an asset?
What an indictment of the previous reigns of error who drafted such failures as Quinn, Moniak, Heasley and Randolph!
Great, another year of Odumbell. Really impressive off season, DD!
Should have left double D in Nashville
If you sign Odubel Herrera, you’re basically telling the fans you don’t want to compete. How does he help you win? And spare me the “4th outfielder, platoon, depth” nonsense. He’s terrible
Gotta love the hypocrisy, as usual; “We won’t stand for abuse! … Unless we can’t find a leftie hitting outfielder.”
While I won’t give up baseball, I will not attend any phillies games this season for this signing. Last couple of years they get a pass bc he was under contract prior to negative events. This time it is all in phils brass.
Why are we signing 2 abusers??
This is embarrassing. Dombrowski and Middleton apparently love men who abuse women, signing Herrera and Familia. Sad and pathetic people.
3-4 prospects not named Stott or Abel for Reynolds would’ve been ideal. Probably not realistic, but considering so many people want to fill all the holes (CF, LF, 3B, pen) with superstars then why not expect them to pull off a trade like that?
“A center field platoon with Matt Vierling appears to be in the cards.” This is unacceptable for a team that wants to compete.
My thoughts exactly Von. You’re basically telling the fans you don’t want to compete
What’s done is done…..So on to the next question:
If he hits ANYWHERE in the top half of the line-up..urrrrrghhhh…
Wow. Really? Dombrowski your a joke to bring this woman beater back to the team. Need I mention he is garbage
When you platoon in CF you have no CF. The Phillies would be wise to turn SS to Stott and try to get a reasonable, defensive CF that can hit at little. Put the rest of the budget into an LF bat and the pen, maybe a 3 or 4 starter. Live with Bohm at 3B and hope he bounces back.
The 1986 Mets were pretty good.
Dykstra and Mookie Wilson were legit starters that happened to be on the same team.
Phillies gonna Phillie…
Bringing back what didn’t work is a sure-fire way to make the changes necessary to win. Bravo, DD.
Stone Cold Steve Austin
Gooo Phillies now sign Correa
Looks like Correa is going back to Houston.
That’s too bad. The guy seems like he needs a new environment to play in.
phillies a joke
Some said he might play overseas but I think we all knew in our hearts he would end up as domestic.
Joey Votto's bat warmer
rather have Joc Pederson or AC back!
You Can Put It In The Books
What’s next? Swing a trade with NYY for Aroldis Chapman and Domingo German? Yikes.
I’m disappointed the Phillies didn’t address CF and are settling on Odubel. I’m not an Odubel hater, I would have liked to have seen them sign Marte or trade for Kiermaier. KK is a Philly type of player with his all out defense, hustle and will to win games. Has anyone seen the video of him running over to LF on a sacrifice fly, jumping in front of Arazorena to make the throw to the plate? If not you should YouTube it. Vierling is a very interesting talent, and maybe just maybe Moniak, Hasely and/or (gulp) Scott Kingery can contribute at that position if they aren’t traded. I’m on the Kris Bryant train, like that he can play LF and 3B- if Bohm doesn’t improve defensively. Im also all for a Matt Chapman trade. His value to a pitching staff is understated.
So, most were going to be okay with KK in center. The guy was just a glove..We were all okay as long as they got that big bat DD told us about.. To me, nothing has changed. The pen is much improved considering all the league leading blown saves last year..almost impossible to repeat that..
Von, Respectfully disagree with you..Maybe I’m just a hopeful person..My concerns are mostly at first and 3rd. At least at first, RH is a steady bat. AB is Mr. Iron Glove..Let’s hope he can regain his confidence at the plate.
Here for the comments…
That’s a good deal for the Phillies honestly. There’s 4th OF’s making 10mil around the league. Love him or hate him, Odubel is a decent hitter that doesn’t strike out a lot, isn’t afraid to go the other way, has some pop and plays solid D. Considering there is nothing in the way of CF’s available, this is a good deal.
$1.75 mil for a 1.8 WAR player is actually a good deal. I was looking forward to Odubel being gone, but there weren’t many CF options and hopefully this cheap deal saves us enough money to land at least one of Bryant, Conforto, and Schwarber.
Quality CF’ers across the league are incredibly scarce. I too though Odubel was gone for good, but it’s difficult to complain about $1.75mm. With the last three signings it’s easy to see a bigger signing coming – perhaps Bryant or Story.
1.75 isn’t really an overpay. It’s hard to pay a major league 1.8 WAR player less. It’s just that for CF, the Phillies need to do better, but there isn’t much there.
ITT: People sleeping on Matt Vierling.
Big Matt Vierling fan! Glad he will get a chance to play more regularly. Could be breakout star.
Herrera is to the Phillies what a cockroach is to a kitchen in the ghetto or a trailer home. Or to anyone that thinks they’ve done in the slasher in a slasher film. You think they’re gone, but…
Can’t argue with the price. Not an Odubel fan, but nowot looks like they can move on and address the other 3 or 4 holes on the team.
This is a bad move at every possible level.
What is there that makes you want to see this team even play? What a pathetic signing!
Herrera makes too many base running mistakes and too many poor decisions in the outfield. Last year, I was happy his contract was up, I’d rather see Halsely or Moniak play. They may be a weaker option but they won’t make the routine mental mistakes Herrera was making.
Do the Phillies still hold out hope for a Scott Kingery comeback?