The Phillies made changes to their roster for the first time in three months by releasing outfielder Matt Szczur and reliever Drew Storen, both of whom were on minor-league deals.
The transactions came hours before Sunday’s 4 p.m. deadline for teams to set their 60-player pools before spring training resumes on Wednesday. There had been a moratorium on transactions since late March as the Major League Baseball season was postponed by the coronavirus pandemic.
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Rosters will be expanded to 30 players when the regular season begins in late July. Two weeks later, the rosters trim to 28 before going to 26 two weeks after that.
Szczur spent last season with Arizona’s triple-A affiliate, where he hit .322 with a .967 OPS in 44 games. It was the first time since 2013 that the 30-year-old did not play in the majors. Szczur, who starred at Villanova and is from Cape May, was sidelined with a hamstring injury for most of spring training but said he was healthy now. Szczur won a World Series ring with the Cubs in 2016 and was a key bench player during his time in Chicago.
Storen has not pitched in the majors since 2017 but was a candidate to make the team’s bullpen when spring training was canceled. He missed the 2018 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in September of 2017 and struggled last season with Kansas City’s double-A team before being released in June.