According to MLB Trade Rumors, three Phillies players may not be tendered a contract for next season by the club this offseason.
MLB Trade Rumors released their candidates to be non-tendered by their respective teams this offseason. Three Phillies were included on the list: pitcher Luis Garcia, first baseman Justin Bour, and outfielder Aaron Altherr.
Arbitration-eligible players like these three are to be tendered a contract by their team by Nov. 30. From there, the two sides can work out potential salaries or go to arbitration. If a player is non-tendered, that means they become free agents as their teams don’t see them as worth the price they have to pay.
Tim Dierkes of MLBTR pointed out that some players on their list may still receive an offer, albeit much lower than their projected arbitration numbers. Also, he said they could be traded this month so their teams get some return for them.
Bour is a name most people expected to see on this list. He was acquired midseason from the Marlins to add a power bat to the bench for a playoff run that ultimately never occurred. Bour wasn’t great in his time here, hitting just .224 with a .746 OPS and 77 wRC+.
Bour, who is projected to make $5.2 million, simply is stuck in a logjam at first base. The team is already trying to clear space for Rhys Hoskins at the position by trading Carlos Santana, but there’s no guarantee that will happen. Even if it does, there isn’t a clear spot for Bour. He is a candidate for a trade between now and the Nov. 30 deadline.
2018 may have been the nail in the coffin for Garcia. After a so-so career up until 2017, he had a 2.65 ERA in 66 appearances that year. Then, he posted a 6.07 ERA in 59 outings this year. With other younger, cheaper, and better options emerging in the bullpen, Garcia simply isn’t needed anymore.
Altherr is somewhat of a surprise to see on this list. He had a strong 2017 season with 19 home runs and an .856 OPS in 107 games. He was the starting right fielder to open the year but hit just .181 while striking out in 31.9% of his plate appearances. Nick Williams took over Altherr’s spot before he was demoted midseason.
Altherr will still be rather cheap next year at $1.6 million. However, after such a down year, the team may be wary of bringing him back. With Philadelphia expected to sign Bryce Harper and the late-season emergence of Roman Quinn, Altherr simply may just not have a spot. He could also be included in a trade if a team hopes to recapture his 2017 season.
With the tender deadline coming up in a few weeks, it will be interesting to note which players are offered contracts. Even if they are, their 2019 salary still isn’t guaranteed.