Don’t take the reinstatement of Odubel Herrera to the Phillies 40-man roster as proof that he’s going to just step right back into the good graces of the organization and all is forgiven. The move was a procedural move that had to be done as teams have to re-add injured and restricted players to their roster by Monday. The Phillies will need to make a couple of moves to get down to the 40-man limit by the deadline.
Herrera was suspended by Major League Baseball and placed on the Restricted List after a Memorial Day incident at the Jersey Shore that resulted in Herrera’s arrest after his girlfriend reported that he had physically abused her. The charges were later dismissed when she refused to testify, but MLB investigated and determined that the allegations fell under MLB’s domestic violence policy resulting in Herrera’s suspension.
The Phillies now have to decide whether they will bring Herrera to spring training or move him out of the organization. One option is to seek a trade for Herrera to send him elsewhere, but with $20.5-million guaranteed over the next two seasons, Herrera and his baggage aren’t the most attractive trade bait. Releasing Herrera isn’t as easy as it may seem. The domestic violence agreement between MLB and the player’s union states that players can not be released as a result of a domestic violence incident. The Phillies could claim “baseball reasons” for releasing Herrera, since he was batting just .222 prior to the incident and had been replaced in the starting lineup. If he were to be released, the Phillies would be on the hook for his remaining salary.
In other moves, all eight of the Phillies potential free agents officially filed for free agency. Pitchers Drew Smyly, Juan Nicasio, Tommy Hunter and Nick Vincent along with infielders Sean Rodriguez, Brad Miller and Logan Morrison and outfielder Corey Dickerson are all officially free agents. Teams have exclusive negotiating rights with their free agents until Monday when free agency officially begins.
With all of the subtractions from the 40-man roster, the Phillies also added reliever Robert Stock, who was claimed off waivers from the San Diego Padres.