Phillies spring training is finally here. The lockout is over, Philadelphia signed slugger Kyle Schwarber, and Bryce Harper seems primed to repeat last year’s MVP-caliber season.

Then, somewhere in the back of your brain, you’re reminded of the signing that puts a sour note on the quiet optimism surrounding the team — Odúbel Herrera.

The Phillies re-signed Herrera this week, nearly three years after Herrera was arrested on domestic assault charges that were dropped a few months later after his then 20-year-old girlfriend declined to proceed with the case. But a police report indicated that he left “handprint markings” on her neck and “small scratches” on her arms in what police called a “domestic violence physical dispute.”

Herrera was suspended for the rest of the 2019 season by the league and removed from the Phillies’ 40-man roster. He sat out all of 2020 because the minor-league season was canceled by the COVID-19 pandemic, but the team decided to give him a second chance in 2021. He hit .260 with 13 home runs in 124 games.

The Phillies released him in November (paying him a $2.5 million buyout in the process), but decided to give him a third chance, despite outcry from fans opposed to the move. It’s hard to find someone besides Phillies general manager Matt Klentak who wanted Herrera back.

“As a person, I don’t care if he’s changed, or reformed, or whatever. As player, he is what he is, and that ain’t much,” wrote Inquirer columnist Marcus Hayes.

» READ MORE: By re-signing Odúbel Herrera, the Phillies are complicit in a culture of domestic violence | Opinion

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