Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

Phillies News

Looking ahead to shaping Phils' 2020 roster

@ToddZolecki
November 4, 2019

PHILADELPHIA -- The Nationals are World Series champions and the Braves are National League East champions. The Mets finished third this season in the division. The Phillies finished fourth. As an important offseason begins for the Phillies, here are some things to know about their 40-man roster:

PHILADELPHIA -- The Nationals are World Series champions and the Braves are National League East champions.

The Mets finished third this season in the division. The Phillies finished fourth. As an important offseason begins for the Phillies, here are some things to know about their 40-man roster:

Who will be free agents?

Corey Dickerson, Tommy Hunter, Brad Miller, Logan Morrison, Juan Nicasio, Sean Rodríguez, Drew Smyly and Nick Vincent are scheduled to be free agents. The Phillies declined the options of Jared Hughes, Pat Neshek and Jason Vargas, while Jake Arrieta exercised his $20 million player option for 2020.

Arrieta will not opt out of his contract following season-ending surgery in August to remove a bone spur in his right elbow. He will make $20 million next season. The Phillies will decline Neshek’s $7 million club option. They will pay him a $750,000 buyout. Hughes has a $3 million club option or a $250,000 buyout. He had a 3.91 ERA in 25 appearances with the Phillies, but an alarming 6.47 FIP. If the Phillies think they can fix his woes, maybe they pick up the option. Vargas has an $8 million club option or a $2 million buyout. His option most likely will be declined.

What lies ahead for Phillies' starting staff?

It would not be totally surprising to see the Phillies bring back Dickerson or Miller, depending on how they construct the rest of their roster and their asking prices. Hunter is interested in returning. The front office likes him. Smyly showed enough to warrant an invite to big-league camp on a Minor League contract.

Who is eligible for salary arbitration?

The Phillies have 15 players eligible for salary arbitration: José Álvarez, Jerad Eickhoff, Zach Eflin, Maikel Franco, Phil Gosselin, César Hernández, Andrew Knapp, Adam Morgan, Mike Morin, Héctor Neris, Blake Parker, Jose Pirela, Edubray Ramos, J.T. Realmuto and Vince Velasquez.

The deadline to tender contracts to those players is Dec. 2.

There are some interesting decisions here. Alvarez, Eflin, Neris, Realmuto and Velasquez can be considered locks. (The Phillies hope to sign Realmuto to a multiyear contract extension in the offseason.) Morgan is close to a lock, too. Hernandez, Knapp, Morin and Parker are on the bubble for various reasons. It seems unlikely that Eickhoff, Franco, Gosselin, Pirela and Ramos are tendered contracts.

Hernandez is entering his final year of arbitration eligibility. He slashed .266/.345/.385 with a 93 OPS+ the past two seasons, meaning he has been seven percent less productive than the rest of the league. The front office might decide to move Scott Kingery to second base and invest the savings from Hernandez’s salary into pitching. Franco’s time in Philly probably is finished. He has slashed .247/.299/.427 with an 89 OPS+ the past four seasons. Because of his lack of production at third base, it would be surprising if he returns.

Who is under contract?

Bryce Harper ($26 million), Arrieta ($20 million), Andrew McCutchen ($17 million), Jean Segura ($14.25 million), Jay Bruce ($13 million, most paid by Seattle), David Robertson ($11 million), Aaron Nola ($8 million), Odúbel Herrera ($7 million) and Kingery ($1.5 million).

What is Herrera’s status?

Herrera will be back on the 40-man roster after serving his suspension for violating the league’s domestic abuse policy. He will make $7 million next season and $10 million in 2021. The Phillies cannot cut him for a non-baseball reasons, based on the Collective Bargaining Agreement, but if they can find a center fielder in the offseason they would have baseball reasons to release him. Herrera has slashed a combined .249/.306/.405 the past two seasons with an 88 OPS+. Herrera is talented, but he has disappointed on the field and failed terribly off it.

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