By Sam Bush
The Phillies have essentially dropped the hammer on Odubel Herrera, designating him for assignment.
The 28-year-old outfielder had been a 2014 Rule 5 Draft pick who became a National League All-Star in ’16 and a big piece of their rebuild. But Herrera was arrested last May in Atlantic Cit on a charge of simple assault of his girlfriend, and everything changed.
The charge was dismissed, but Herrera served an 85-game suspension for violating MLB’s Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse policy. The baseball landscape for the Phillies altered significantly since then, which included the promotion and development of center fielder Adam Haseley, the acquisition of veteran corner outfielder Jay Bruce and yesterday’s acquisition of outfielder Nick Martini, who was claimed off waivers from the Reds.
That allowed the Phillies to remove Herrera from the 40-man roster, despite there being two years remaining on the five-year, $30.5 million contract extension he signed in December 2016.
The $6.1 million average annual value of Herrera’s contract will continue to count against the team’s Competitive Balance Tax total the next two seasons.
“It hasn’t played out exactly as we would have hoped,” Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said.