Phillies make most unsurprising move of offseason, decline option on Scott Kingery

The Philadelphia Phillies have declined their club option on infielder Scott Kingery
The Philadelphia Phillies have declined their club option on infielder Scott Kingery / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages

In a move that seemed like the easiest decision the Philadelphia Phillies front office had to make all offseason, the club has declined their 2024 team option on infielder Scott Kingery.

Kingery earned $8.25 million this past season and was set to make a hefty $13 million in 2024, if the option had been picked up. Instead, the Phillies will pay Kingery a $1 million buyout.

Despite initial reports that the once highly-touted prospect would become a free agent, he'll actually be staying with the Phillies organization (subscription required), per Scott Lauber of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

"Kingery, 29, actually remains under control to the Phillies because his contract reverts to the seven-year deal that he signed after getting drafted in 2015," Lauber confirms.

Drafted by the Phillies in the second round of the 2015 Draft, Kingery spent all of 2023 playing for Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs. The middle infielder slashed .244/.325/.400 with 13 home runs, 47 RBI, 68 runs scored, and 24 stolen bases in 117 games without getting a sniff at the big leagues.

Since his major league debut in 2018, Kingery has seen his big league playing time gradually dwindle. He played 147 games for the Phillies in his first year but struggled to a .226 batting average and a .605 OPS. He got into 126 games in 2019 and fared slightly better, hitting .258 and swatting 19 home runs — although he could have just taken advantage of the peak of the juiced ball era.

He appeared in 36 games in 2020, 15 in 2021, and then just one game last season.

Kingery finished his Phillies major league career with a .229 batting average, a .667 OPS, 30 home runs, 96 RBI, 132 runs scored, and 25 stolen bases in 325 games.

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