Justin Bour, Philadelphia hardly got a chance to meet you.
Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia is reporting that the Phillies have waived the 30-year-old first baseman, with an eye on clearing a 40-man roster spot.
Tuesday, November 20 is the deadline for players to be on the 40-man roster, protecting them from being eligible to be selected in the Rule-5 Draft next month. Adonis Medina – the Phillies No. 2 overall pitching prospect; Tom Eshelman – a RHP with strong control acquired from the Houston Astros in the December 2015 Ken Giles trade; and Arquimedes Gamboa – a 21-year-old shortstop that MLB Pipeline says projects to be a 60 fielder on a 20-80 scale are among those that the Phillies will have to place on their 40-man roster to protect from potentially being selected in the Rule-5 Draft. Moving Bour would give the Phillies a sixth open spot on the 40-man roster.
The Phillies acquired Bour from the Miami Marlins in an August waiver trade as they hoped to reach the postseason for the first time since 2011. That, of course, didn’t ultimately happen, with the Phillies finishing at 80-82. Bour became part of manager Gabe Kapler’s consistent day-to-day lineup changes in the final month of the season, with Kapler occasionally inserting Bour into the starting lineup hoping he would inject some life into a stagnant Phillies offense. In total, he slashed .224/.296/.347 with one home run and five RBIs in 49 at-bats for the Phillies.
While Bour – who has topped the 20 home run mark in four of the last five seasons – will be on a roster in 2019, it comes as little surprise that it likely won’t be with the Phillies. With both Rhys Hoskins and Carlos Santana, the Phillies added Bour in August hoping he could DH a few times in American League parks and potentially provide a pinch-hit home run off of the bench. But you don’t carry that type of player for a full season. With two more seasons left of arbitration, the expectation was that the Phillies would either non-tender Bour or trade him for a warm body. Waiving him now gives the Phillies an extra 40-man roster spot, allowing them to either protect another player in their organization from the Rule-5 Draft or acquire a player another team hopes to clear off of their 40-man roster.
It’s unclear whether Bour will be claimed on waivers. Though National League teams would get the first crack at claiming Bour – because the Phillies are a National League team – he would appear to be a better fit for the American League, where he could also serve as a DH. Again though, his type of player is seen as especially valuable in August. Teams may not be especially eager to carry him on their 40-man roster now, which likely means he will clear waivers, be outrighted and elect free-agency.
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