The Phillies retained three of their arbitration-eligible players but discarded Cody Asche, a former fourth-round pick who could not carve a spot as an everyday player in the majors, to add a well-traveled lefthanded reliever.
Freddy Galvis, Cesar Hernandez and Jeanmar Gomez were offered 2017 contracts before Friday's non-tender deadline. Asche was designated for assignment so the Phillies could claim David Rollins, a lefthander with a 7.60 ERA in 31 career big-league games, off waivers from Texas.
The Phillies were the fourth different organization to employ Rollins in the span of 15 days.
Asche, 26, would have earned close to $1 million had the Phillies offered him a contract through arbitration. He is now a free agent. Had the Phillies retained Asche, a career .240 hitter with a .684 OPS, he could have provided some bench versatility as a corner infielder and outfielder in 2017.
Instead, the Phillies chose Rollins, who like Asche has minor-league options remaining. Rollins pitched in 11 games for the Seattle Mariners last season, was claimed off waivers on Nov. 18 by the Chicago Cubs and claimed again on Nov. 22 by the Rangers. He turns 27 at the end of the month.
The Phillies prioritized another lefty; the only lefthanded reliever on the 40-man roster was Joely Rodriguez.
Galvis and Hernandez, the franchise's two longest-tenured players, are expected to again form the middle of the infield. Galvis, 27, made $2 million in 2016 and could double his salary through arbitration. The shortstop is under club control through the 2018 season. Hernandez qualified for Super Two status, which grants him four years of salary arbitration instead of the traditional three. The 27-year-old second baseman will earn close to $2 million in 2017 and is under club control through 2020.
Gomez, 28, is due a significant raise through arbitration and that created doubt about his status. He made $1.4 million in 2016, but the arbitration process rewards traditional counting statistics like saves. While Gomez may return to a middle relief role in 2017, his 37 saves as the Phillies' closer in 2016 could push his salary toward $5 million.
The Phillies have such little committed to 2017 payroll -- $33.7 million to Jeremy Hellickson, Howie Kendrick and Pat Neshek -- that they were willing to offer that raise to Gomez, who may be nothing more than a role player.