The Philadelphia Phillies have outrighted Ronald Torreyes and he has elected free agency
The Philadelphia Phillies are making moves, and no one is safe.
Well, Bryce Harper is probably safe.
But Ronald Torreyes, manager Joe Girardi’s favorite underrated utilityman, is officially a free agent. The Phillies outrighted him and five others, and all elected free agency.
Torreyes played for Girardi on the Yankees, and made a splash with the Phillies in the first half of the 2021 season, hitting .276/.308/.402 with a .710 OPS over 42 games. His seven home runs over the entire season nearly doubled his career total of four in his first six seasons in the big leagues.
Girardi sang Torreyes’ praises earlier this season:
"“He does so many things right. People say, ‘Why do you love Torreyes?’ He’s a ballplayer. That’s what he is. He really understands the game and I trust him wherever I put him. I don’t ever have to worry about him being prepared. That’s a luxury for a manager. I don’t know where we’d be without him.”"
The player nicknamed “To” by his manager and teammates and “RoTo” by former GM Ruben Amaro Jr. is appreciated for his reliability and versatility. He played 11 games at second, 50 games at third, 44 games at short, and one game in centerfield this season. He also made 19 appearances as a pinch-hitter.
The number of games Torreyes played at those three infield positions is indicative of how weak the everyday player situation was at those spots in 2021. Alec Bohm’s third-base struggles were well-documented, as were Didi Gregorius’ shortcomings at short. Bohm’s future with the team is still intact, but Gregorius’ is up in the air; if the Phillies end up replacing him with a big-name free-agent shortstop, it will explain why Torreyes wasn’t immediately retained.
Of course, this roster move doesn’t mean that the Phillies won’t re-sign Torreyes as a free agent, but it was surprising to see him put through the procedure in the first place. He was only estimated to command $1.6M in arbitration this offseason, but apparently, that was too much.
What this move shows is that the Phillies are planning to spend big, meaning every penny (or thousand dollars) counts. Otherwise, the beloved Torreyes would be staying.