Odúbel Herrera and Andrew Knapp may have played their last games with the Phillies as they became free agents Friday after they were among six players to be outrighted from the 40-man roster.
Herrera and Knapp were both eligible for salary arbitration this offseason but will instead become free agents for the first time. The Phillies also outrighted right-handers J.D. Hammer and Ramon Rosso, infielder Ronald Torreyes, and outfielder Travis Jankowski.
If any of the six players return as free agents, it would likely be on a minor-league contract with an invite to spring training.
Herrera hit .260 last season with a .726 OPS as he returned to the majors following his 2019 arrest on domestic violence charges and subsequent 85-game suspension. The Phillies declined Herrera’s $11.5 million option earlier this week but still could have retained him through arbitration. His team option came with a $2.5 million buyout.
The 29-year-old started a team-high 63 games as the leadoff hitter and his .720 OPS from the top spot ranked 16th in the NL among the 19 players who had at least 200 plate appearances in the leadoff spot.
The Phillies were already in the market this winter for a new leadoff hitter and Herrera’s departure means they’ll be shopping for both a left and center fielder as Andrew McCutchen became a free agent earlier this week.
Knapp hit just .152 last season with a .429 OPS, which was the second-lowest OPS among catchers who had at least 50 plate appearances. The 29-year-old was excellent in 2020′s shortened season as J.T. Realmuto’s backup but he failed to maintain that production in 2021. The Phillies could replace Knapp with a veteran free agent or give the backup job to 22-year-old Rafael Marchan, who is a premier defender and has impressed the team’s decision makers during short stints in the majors.