After signing Cameron Rupp to a one-year deal to avoid arbitration, the Phillies set their sites on their three other arbitration eligible players and were able to get all three signed to one-year deals. Cesar Hernandez, Maikel Franco and Luis Garcia all agreed to deals today.
Hernandez, in his second year of eligibility, will double his salary from $2.55-million in 2017 to $5.1-million in 2018. Hernandez has become one of the more consistent players on the team and has one more year of arbitration eligibility remaining before qualifying for free agency following the 2020 season.
Last month, the Phillies traded Hernandez’ double-play partner, Freddy Galvis, to the San Diego Padres. On the same day that the Phillies re-signed Hernandez, Galvis was given a one-year, $6.825-million deal by the Padres.
Franco, who is entering what may be a crucial season for his career, agreed to a deal for $2.95-million, a big increase over the $560-thousand that he made last season. Franco has been tagged as somewhat underachieving and having an aloof attitude at times, despite hitting 24 home runs last season. The problem lies more with his .230 batting average and .281 on-base percentage than with his power production.
Garcia receives slightly more than double his $550-thousand deal for 2017, getting $1.2-million from the Phillies for the 2018 season. Garcia was somewhat of a reclamation project for the Phillies, who signed Garcia in March of 2013 after he had been released by the Nationals following the 2010 season and didn’t pitch in 2011. In 2012, he pitched nine innings in independent ball, but had left baseball and was working as a barber when the Phillies signed him.
Both Franco and Garcia are in their first season of arbitration eligibility. Rupp was also a first-time eligible player and signed for $2.05-million for the 2018 season.