The Phillies announced that six players — outfielders Odúbel Herrera and Travis Jankowski, infielder Ronald Torreyes, catcher Andrew Knapp and right-handers Ramón Rosso and J.D. Hammer — have all cleared outright waivers. Each member of that group has elected free agency.
Herrera is the most notable of this bunch, although it was apparent his time in the Philly organization was nearing its end when the team declined his option on Wednesday. He has fewer than six seasons of big league service, so he’d technically remained eligible for arbitration, but he was an obvious non-tender decision at that point. Rather than wait until next month’s non-tender deadline, the Phils will cut him loose and clear a roster spot a few weeks early.
The move officially brings to a close Herrera’s six-season tenure in Philadelphia. Selected out of the Rangers’ organization in the 2014 Rule 5 draft, the left-handed hitter offered strong production on both sides of the ball over his first few major league campaigns. The Phils rewarded him with a long-term extension in December 2016, but his production started to slip by 2018.
Herrera performed terribly for the first month and a half in 2019 before being arrested and charged with domestic assault. MLB suspended him for the remainder of that season, and Herrera spent all of last year in the minor leagues after being outrighted off the roster. He returned to the majors in 2021, serving as Philly’s primary center fielder and hitting a slightly below-average .260/.310/.416 over 492 plate appearances.
Knapp has been a career-long Phillie, appearing in the majors in each of the past five seasons. The switch-hitting backstop has worked primarily in a reserve capacity, mashing in a brief 2020 run before stumbling to a .152/.215/.214 mark over 159 trips to the plate this past season. Projected by MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz for a $1.2MM salary if tendered an arbitration contract, he’ll instead be let go as the Phils look elsewhere for a J.T. Realmuto backup.
Torreyes and Jankowski have bounced around the league as role players in recent seasons. Both players were arbitration-eligible, with Torreyes projected for a $1.6MM salary and Jankowski slated to make around $900K. The Phils will let both go and look elsewhere to fill their respective utility infielder and backup outfielder roles. Torreyes hit .242/.286/.346 in 344 plate appearances in 2021; Jankowski slashed .252/.364/.351 in 157 tallies at the dish.
Neither Rosso nor Hammer had been eligible for arbitration, but the front office decided to reallocate their spots on the 40-man roster. Rosso posted a 6.11 ERA/4.95 SIERA over 17 2/3 combined MLB innings between 2020-21. Hammer owns a 4.38 ERA/5.07 SIERA in 39 frames dating back to 2019.