Eleven players have taken a turn in the outfield for the Phillies this season. The latest roster addition, 22-year-old former No. 1 overall pick Mickey Moniak, wasn’t even added to the player pool until last month.
Odubel Herrera never factored into the picture.
“It was an organizational decision,” general manager Matt Klentak said Monday.
Once regarded as a key piece of the Phillies' nucleus and the recipient of a $30.5 million contract extension in 2016, Herrera’s future with the team is almost non-existent.
Herrera was arrested and charged with assault of his girlfriend in Atlantic City on Memorial Day in 2019. She declined to press charges, but he was suspended by Major League Baseball in July and removed from the Phillies' 40-man roster in January. He attended spring training in minor-league camp, and all along, the Phillies maintained that he would have to earn his way back to the majors.
Klentak said the decision not to invite Herrera to training camp in July or add him to the 60-player pool wasn’t financially motivated. The Phillies' payroll is pressed up against the $208 million luxury-tax threshold, but Herrera’s $6.1 million average annual salary counts against the tax even though he’s no longer on the 40-man roster.
It seems the Phillies simply weren’t going to consider Herrera for a call-up, so there wasn’t much point to putting him in a player pool that was capped at 60 players when the season began.
“There was not a financial reason to do it or not do it,” Klentak said. “We’re limited in the number of players we can carry at the alternate site. We added players in waves. At various times we considered a variety of different names, Odubel included, but ultimately made the decisions that we did.”