The Phillies announced today that they have outrighted seven total players off of their 40-man roster. For those unfamiliar, outrighting exposes the players to waiver claims but allows the team to keep players in their minor league system should they clear waivers. In the event the player is a veteran, read: has, at some point, exhausted arbitration or other circumstances, the player can reject the assignment and choose to become a free agent. Generally, the outright process occurs when the player has run out of option years. Housekeeping like this occurs as the end of every season when a team has to choose to protect valuable prospects who become Rule 5 eligible and to clear roster space for potential free agent signings.
The most surprising player outrighted was Justin De Fratus. De Fratus struggled in 2015 after posting a 3.08 ERA in 114 innings from 2011 through 2014. His 5.51 ERA was a career-worst while his 80 innings pitched was a career high. De Fratus had expressed displeasure becoming a long reliever having spent most of his career in pro ball as a high-leverage reliever.
Jonathan Pettibone was activated from the 60-day DL, as per MLB procedure, and promptly outrighted. Pettibone had been shut down since July after multiple surgeries.
The others outrighted weren’t as surprising. Catcher Erik Kratz was a late season addition and saw action at catcher and first base. Infielder Chase d’Arnaud spent time at short and third base for the ‘Pigs but struggled in a limited sample with the Phillies. Adam Loewen returned to the Majors for the first time since 2008 as a pitcher after a transition to and back from an outfielder but posted a 6.98 ERA in 20 appearances as a Phillie. Outfielder Jordan Danks went hitless in four games with the Phils after hitting six homers at Lehigh Valley. And finally, Kenny Roberts, 27, has also been outrighted after being claimed off waivers from the Rockies on August 30.
The Phillies 40-man roster officially sits at 40, including Cliff Lee, whose option for 2016 has yet to be officially declined. Pending Lee’s declined option becoming official, the Phillies may also look to trim the roster further to accommodate upcoming Rule 5 prospects and free agents. Stay tuned for the the latest roster updates.