The Phillies are closing the door on Odubel Herrera.
Herrera was designated for assignment Tuesday as the Phils claimed outfielder Nick Martini off waivers from the Cincinnati Reds.
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Herrera is off the 40-man roster. Technically, he could be optioned to the minor leagues if he clears waivers but it is unlikely he ever plays again in the Phillies' organization.
Herrera is still owed $20 million — $7 million in 2020 and $10 million in 2021 with two buyouts in 2022 and 2023 totaling $3 million.
Herrera was suspended for violating Major League Baseball’s policy against domestic violence last May and missed the rest of the season.
Phillies GM Matt Klentak made pretty clear at the Winter Meetings that the team was moving on from him.
“I expect that Adam Haseley's going to be our regular centerfielder,” Klentak said in San Diego. “But having said that, I recognize that when Roman Quinn is healthy and playing to his potential, it's hard to take him out of the lineup. I think that combination of players likely takes down the majority of our center field reps this year.”
Herrera spent five seasons with the Phillies. He hit .288 with a .774 OPS in his first three seasons and his slugging percentage rose each season, but that's where he plateaud.
He's always been an uncoventional player who extends the strike zone. When he's going well, he can turn pitches out of the strike zone into singles. When he's not, he's one of the easiest three-pitch outs in baseball.
Herrera was one of the least productive regulars in the majors in 2018-19, hitting .249/.306/.405 in 187 games.
The Phillies signed Herrera to a five-year, $30.5 million contract in December 2016. He had completed two big-league seasons and was a year away from the arbitration process but the Phillies thought they had an ascending talent and they locked him up early.
It clearly didn't work out.
As for Martini, he has two seasons of big-league experience with the Athletics and Padres. He hit .226 with a .653 OPS last season for those clubs. He should provide outfield depth. He's had a successful run at Triple A, hitting .305 with a .401 on-base percentage in parts of five seasons.