The Philadelphia Phillies announced Wednesday evening that they’ve declined 2022 club options for outfielders Andrew McCutchen and Odúbel Herrera.
McCutchen’s option was worth $15 million, and since the Phillies declined it they’ll owe the five-time All-Star a $3 million buyout. For McCutchen, this move may very well end his time with the Phillies. Over parts of three seasons in red pinstripes, McCutchen slashed .237/.343/.444 with 47 home runs, 143 RBIs and a .787 OPS.
Despite declining defensive metrics, McCutchen still figures to get a guaranteed major league deal from someone this offseason, likely a team that envisions him getting at least some at-bats as a DH. The former National League MVP did hit .293 with a 1.027 OPS against left-handed pitchers this season.
McCutchen, who recently turned 35, took to Twitter after the announcement was made that his option had been declined:
Meanwhile, the Phillies declined Herrera’s $11.5 million option for 2022, and they’ll pay him a $2.5 million buyout regardless of what happens with him moving forward.
That said, Herrera is still arbitration eligible. The 29-year-old will almost certainly get non-tendered if his camp targets a number like the $11.6 million projection made by MLB Trade Rumors. The Phillies could still sign Herrera to a new deal if he was non-tendered, or the two sides could avoid arbitration at a lower number.
Herrera was suspended for 85 games following a domestic violence arrest in May of 2019. He didn’t play for the Phillies at all in 2020. Herrera hit .260 with 13 home runs, 51 RBIs and two defensive runs saved in 2021, so for all of his flaws on the field, he did demonstrate that he remains a major league caliber player. But no one knows if another team will be willing to sign him this winter, given his legal history. That may incentivize him to take just about whatever the Phillies are willing to offer, rather than testing the open market.
Of course, if president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski envisions making a major upgrade in center field — such as signing Starling Marte or trading for Byron Buxton — Herrera’s time with the team will likely be over.
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