MLB Non-Tender Deadline
By 8pm ET today teams must choose whether to tender contracts to their arbitration eligible players (and pre-arbitration eligible players). For some teams today is about what they can afford to keep on their roster, but the Phillies only have Odubel Herrera on their roster with a guaranteed contract. This means today is about the 40 man roster and what players the Phillies want to make some level of commitment to. Here are the players affected by today’s decisions as well as MLBTradeRumor’s estimated arbitration salary.
- Freddy Galvis – $7.4M (Arb 3)
- Cesar Hernandez – $4.7M (Arb 2, Super 2)
- Cameron Rupp – $2.1M (Arb 1)
- Luis Garcia – $1.4M (Arb 1)
- Maikel Franco – $3.6M (Arb 1, Super 2)
The Phillies are clearly going to tender contracts to Galvis and Hernandez even if they plan on trading them this offseason. Hernandez still has two more years of control so if the Phillies find themselves looking at keeping him going forward, the arbitration conversation may be more of an extension conversation. Galvis’ price will be a bit high, but he is a good defender with a light bat so the Phillies should still be able to find a take at $7.4M
Luis Garcia somehow survived all of the ups and downs to hit arbitration the year before his age 31 season. From 2013 to 2016, Garcia posted a 4.24 ERA and 5.7 BB/9 for the Phillies over 127.1 innings. He had a breakout year in 2017 posting a 2.65 ERA an a BB/9 of only 3.3, to go along with his always great ground ball rate. Ideally Garcia will work in the lower leverage 6th/7th inning type role, but he was fine down the stretch sharing 8th inning opportunities with Adam Morgan. If Garcia repeats his 2017 season he will be a bargain, if he regresses to his previous state his salary will be easy to part with.
Maikel Franco probably doesn’t “deserve” $3.6M given his on field play the past few years. However, the talented 25 year old should get another chance given the state of the Phillies right now. If he doesn’t turn things around this year he could find himself gone before we hit the 2018 non-tender deadline.
That leaves Cameron Rupp. I wrote a lot of thoughts about Cameron Rupp in his report card, so I am not going to go in depth into Rupp as a player. Rupp at $2M isn’t prohibitive to the Phillies, even if he is bad. The problem is that Jorge Alfaro is going to be in the majors next year because he is out of options and has the talent to be the Phillies’ catcher of the future, leaving only one more catcher spot. Andrew Knapp showed flashes of promise at the plate as a rookie and a lot of the same problems as Rupp behind it. The Phillies also could be in the market for a good defensive veteran and move away from both Knapp and Rupp. So while $2M is not prohibitive for Rupp, it may be $2M that doesn’t have a spot on the Phillies’ roster. The Phillies could look to trade Rupp today or tender him a contract and trade him this offseason. They could also look to sign him to a contract that is not fully guaranteed and choose to part ways later in the offseason.
While he is not arb eligible, the same questions will be surrounding Tommy Joseph who clearly does not have a spot on the Phillies’ roster going forward. Expect his market or lack of market to become clear after the non-tender deadline as teams get a look at what players are available.