The Phillies aren’t fond of going to arbitration with players, an approach that pre-dates the current front office leadership. In an effort to avoid arbitration hearings, the Phillies signed the first of four arbitration eligible players to a deal for 2018 when they signed catcher Cameron Rupp for $2.05-million on a one-year deal.
Rupp was originally signed by the Phillies after they drafted him in the third round of the 2010 Draft out of the university of Texas at Austin. This was Rupp’s first time heading for arbitration and he received a healthy raise over the $565-thousand that he made last season.
Rupp, 29, lost considerable playing time to Jorge Alfaro last season and his status with the club could be in question for the 2018 season. Some thought that Rupp could be non-tendered after seeing his slash line fall to 14-34-.217/.299/.417 in 88 games with the team last season. Alfaro is back, as is Andrew Knapp, who was the understudy to Rupp prior to suffering an injury that put him on the DL and opened the door for Alfaro to be added to the 25-man roster last season.
There has been some speculation that manager Gabe Kapler could carry three catchers on the roster, especially since Knapp can also play at first base. Barring that, someone would have to be either released, traded or optioned to Lehigh Valley prior to Opening Day. Alfaro is out of options, which pretty much cements his spot on the roster.