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Phillies grant Flaherty unconditional release

MLB.com @ToddZolecki

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- There is one fewer player in the mix to make the Phillies' bench.

The team announced Thursday morning it had granted infielder Ryan Flaherty his unconditional release. Flaherty had an opt-out clause in his contract in which he could ask for his release if the Phillies had not placed him on the roster by Thursday. The Phillies then had 48 hours to decide.

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- There is one fewer player in the mix to make the Phillies' bench.

The team announced Thursday morning it had granted infielder Ryan Flaherty his unconditional release. Flaherty had an opt-out clause in his contract in which he could ask for his release if the Phillies had not placed him on the roster by Thursday. The Phillies then had 48 hours to decide.

The move leaves Jesmuel Valentin, Pedro Florimon, Roman Quinn and Adam Rosales competing for two, possibly three, bench jobs.

The Phillies are expected to have a four-man bench but could carry an extra player until they need a fifth starter April 11. The first two bench jobs are filled by the backup catcher, which is expected to be Andrew Knapp, and a fourth outfielder.

Valentin, Florimon and Quinn are favorites for the remaining two jobs because they are on the 40-man roster. Valentin and Florimon have played pretty much everywhere on the field this spring. Quinn is an elite runner and defender in the outfield. He has tried to show his versatility by playing shortstop this spring.

Rosales has no opt-out clause in his contract, although the Phillies must pay him a $100,000 retention bonus by Saturday if he is not placed on the roster or released.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Philadelphia Phillies, Ryan Flaherty