The Phillies bench for next season continued to take shape on Wednesday as they re-signed Andres Blanco and claimed utility player Richie Shaffer off waivers.
Comcast Sportsnet reported that Blanco's one-year contract is for $3 million. Shaffer was claimed from Seattle, who acquired him in a trade last month from Tampa Bay. Blanco, who turns 33 in April, is a lock to make the team as an extra infielder. Shaffer will compete in spring training for a bench job. He turns 26 in March and can play as a corner infielder or corner outfielder.
Blanco batted .253 last season with a .721 OPS in 190 at-bats. He was lauded for his leadership in the clubhouse, especially among the team's young latino players. Shaffer was a first-round pick in 2012 by Tampa Bay. He hit 26 homers in 2015 between double A and triple A but hit just 11 homers last season at triple A and batted .227. He has two minor-league options left, which allows the Phillies to start him in triple A if he does not win a job.
The team's other bench candidates appear to be first baseman Brock Stassi, infielder Jesse Valentin, outfielders Roman Quinn, Aaron Altherr, and Daniel Nava. Andrew Knapp will likely be the backup catcher and either Quinn or Altherr should start in right field. The other could move to the bench.
The Phillies made room for Blanco and Shaffer by releasing righthander Phil Klein and designating lefthander David Rollins for assignment. Klein looks to play next season in Asia. Rollins was claimed off waivers earlier this month. Rollins' departure improves the chances for lefthanded reliever Sean Burnett to make the team.