Phillies announce signings of Collin Cowgill, Ryan Flaherty

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ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 13: Collin Cowgill #7 of the Los Angeles Angels runs down third base after hitting a two run homerun against the Texas Rangers in the 5th inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on April 13, 2015 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 13: Collin Cowgill #7 of the Los Angeles Angels runs down third base after hitting a two run homerun against the Texas Rangers in the 5th inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on April 13, 2015 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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The Phillies formally announced the signings of Collin Cowgill and Ryan Flaherty to minor-league contracts with invites to spring training.

The Phillies announced Friday morning that they have signed outfielder Collin Cowgill and Ryan Flaherty to minor-league contracts. They both received invites to major-league spring training.

Cowgill’s signing was originally reported Thursday by Bob Nightengale of USA Today. Flaherty’s signing was reported Wednesday by Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.

Cowgill spent 2017 in San Diego’s minor-league system. He played 58 games in Triple-A, posting a .235/.297/.390 line with seven home runs and 24 runs batted in. Cowgill primarily played in right field but also saw considerable time in center.

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Cowgill played nine games in the majors with the Indians in 2016. The bulk of his time in the majors came between 2013 and 2015 with the Angels. In 211 games, he had a .236/.302/.348 line with eight home runs, 31 runs batted in, and seven stolen bases.

With the current outfield logjam, the odds that Cowgill makes the major-league roster seems unlikely. At best, he will serve as outfield depth in Triple-A with an outside chance of making the majors if injuries decimate the outfield.

Flaherty has more of a chance to crack the 40-man roster. With Andres Blanco now a Giant, there is no established utility man. Flaherty, Pedro Florimon, Adam Rosales, and Heiker Meneses will all be pushing for a infield bench role.

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Flaherty missed most of the 2017 season due to injury, playing just 23 games in the majors. He hit just .211 with a .539 OPS.

Despite his lack of offensive production in the majors, Flaherty was still adored by Orioles fans. He was Baltimore’s utility man for their 2012 and 2014 playoff teams, playing a key role.

What likely made Flaherty such an attractive option for Philadelphia is his versatility. He has played every infield position plus both corner outfield positions. The team has expressed interest who can play as many positions as possible, and few have played as many as Flaherty..

Next: Phillies Spring Training: Truck departing for FL

As spring training progresses, we should get a good idea about which players, whether it be Flaherty, Cowgill, or others, the club likes and wants on their major-league roster this year.

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