Phillies nominate Odubel Herrera for assignment
The Phillies named the outfielder Odubel Herrera for assignment, according to Matt Gelb of The Athletic (Twitter link). With Brandon Marsh having just been acquired in a trade with the Angels, Herrera now becomes an expendable part of Philadelphia’s outfield image.
Herrera has hit .238 / .279 / .378 in 197 plate appearances this season, having re-signed with the Phils on a one-year, $1.75 million post-lockdown deal. Center field continuing to be a revolving door for the Phillies, Herrera and Matt Vierling have shared most of the time in the middle this year, after Herrera missed the first two weeks with an oblique injury. Herrera and Vierling posted rather lackluster results at the plate, and the likes of Mickey Moniac, Roman Quinn, Oscar Mercadoand Simon Muzziotti also saw action at center, as the Phillies hope Marsh can finally stabilize the position.
Selected away from the Rangers in the 2014 Rule 5 Draft, Herrera spent most of his professional career with the Phillies and, at one point, looked like a showpiece for the organization. After an All-Star year in 2016, the Phils signed Herrera to a five-year, $30.5 million extension, but his performance quickly began to decline. In May 2019, Herrera was changed with a simple assault by his girlfriend, then suspended for 85 games by Major League Baseball under the Joint Domestic Violence Policy.
This is actually the second time the Phillies have DFA’ed Herrera, as they previously drafted him after his suspension ended after the 2019 season. Unsurprisingly, no team claimed or took the decision to acquire Herrera due to both his remaining salary and the cloud of suspension still hanging over him. As a result, the Phils beat him outright in Triple-A, but Herrera ended up not playing at all in 2020 due to the cancellation of the minor league season. Amid much speculation the team just released Herrera entirely, he returned to regular action in 2021, appearing in 124 games. Philadelphia then declined its $11.5 million club option on Herrera for 2022, buying him out for $2.5 million before re-signing him for the smaller fee in March.
It’s possible that Herrera could be claimed this time around, depending on how the rival teams’ roster needs might change following the deadline. A club that just handed out outfielders, for example, might want Herrera just as a stopgap for the rest of the 2022 season. It’s also possible, of course, that Herrera will go through the waiver wire again – due to his Past outright, Herrera can choose to become a free agent if the Phillies try to fire him outright to the minors.