Though former All-Star outfielder Odubel Herrera wasn’t placed on the Phillies’ initial 53-man roster pool, general manager Matt Klentak said Monday that the team did consider doing so and will continue to weigh the possibility of adding the 28-year-old before the season begins.
Klentak did acknowledge in his media session Monday afternoon that the Phillies purposely didn’t use all of their 60 player pool spots because it is much easier to add players to the list than to remove them. He said that the team will likely add more players to the pool before the season begins in late July, suggesting that the team could consider adding Herrera, more catching options and some prospects that the team wants to be able to monitor the development of.
Of course, simply because the Phillies are open to considering the possibility of adding Herrera doesn’t mean that they will actually do it. After missing much of the 2019 season because of a domestic violence suspension, Klentak said in February that Herrera, who wasn’t invited to major league spring training, would have to earn any future opportunities.
“Odubel served his time…he served his punishment that was bargained between the union and the league. We are not in position to further penalize him by rule. So he, as you mentioned, is in minor-league camp. He’s now off the roster. And anything that happens to him from here on out is going to be something that he has to earn. So there is a path for him to return, but he is going to have to do everything 100 percent right – both on the field and off – to even have a chance. And having said that, those things would need to align with an opportunity at the major league level. Ultimately, that’s going to have to be up to him.”
The Phillies placed Bryce Harper, Andrew McCutchen, Jay Bruce, Roman Quinn, Adam Haseley, Kyle Garlick, Nick Martini, Mikie Mahtook and Nick Williams in their initial roster pool. As is, the Phillies don’t really need any more outfielders, but that could change based on certain veterans opting out or being released if they don’t make the opening day roster. Whether there’s any scenario that would lead to the Phillies adding Herrera back into the mix remains to be seen.
Prior to the suspension of spring training, Herrera did issue an apology for a domestic incident last Memorial Day with his girlfriend that ended with him being arrested.
“I wanted to talk to you guys today because I wanted to say I’m sorry to the fans and the organization,” Herrera continued.
“I’m very regretful for what I did. It’s been a lesson learned for me and I want to turn the page and keep going with life.”
In parts of five major league seasons, Herrera has slashed .276/.333/.423 with 60 home runs, 233 RBIs and a 10.8 fWAR. Even if Herrera doesn’t play another game for the Phillies, the club is on the hook for $13.5 million as part of his contract beyond 2020.
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