Coonrod, 30, was a starting pitcher as a prospect in the Giants’ system when he lost most of his 2018 season to Tommy John surgery. Since then, he’s been working primarily as a reliever, with a blistering fastball but mixed results overall. With the Giants in 2019 and 2020, he made 51 appearances with a 5.74 ERA, 18.9% strikeout rate, 11.9% walk rate and 47.5% ground ball rate.
He was traded to the Phillies prior to the 2021 season and seemed to take a step forward that year. He tossed 42 1/3 innings for the Phils with a 4.04 ERA, striking out 25.9% of batters faced while walking just 8.1% and getting grounders at a 57.1% clip. He surely would have liked to build on that performance in 2022 but he was shut down in the spring due to a shoulder strain and wasn’t able to return to the club until mid-August. He made 12 appearances down the stretch but was torched for a 7.82 ERA in that small sample.
The Phillies will now have a week to trade Coonrod or pass him through waivers. Despite some inconsistency, it’s possible he would find interest from other clubs. His fastball has averaged 97-99 mph in the past few seasons, which he has occasionally used to good effect. He also still has one option year remaining, allowing a club to keep him in the minors as depth so long as they are willing to give him a 40-man roster spot.
Coonrod surpassed three years of service time last year and qualified for arbitration for the first time. He and the Phillies agreed to a salary of $775K for the upcoming season, just above the $720K league minimum. If he were to clear waivers, he would have the right to reject an outright assignment and elect free agency but might opt against it. Players with over three years of service time have that right but only players beyond the five-year mark can both reject an outright and retain their salary. If Coonrod were really motivated to try free agency, he’d have to be willing to leave that $775K on the table in order to do so.