By Sam Bush
The Phillies waved good-bye to Matt Harrison Harrison yesterday.
You say you never heard of him?
That’s because he never threw a pitcher in anger for the Phils after coming over from Texas in the Cole Hamels trade in 2015 because of a chronic back injury.
And now he is gone, released yesterday along with the $15 million next year, which includes a $13 million salary and a $2 million buyout on a 2018 club option.
The Phillies will not be responsible for the entirety of it — since he was insured.
More importantly, Harrison’s release opened up a coveted spot on the club’s 40-man roster.
The Phils need as many spots as possible because Friday is the deadline to protect eligible prospects from the Rule 5 Draft. The Phillies have eight openings on the 40-man, but a group of eligible prospects that includes Nick Williams, Dylan Cozens,Mark Appel, Andrew Knapp, Ricardo Pinto, Nick Pivetta, Elniery Garcia, Malquin Canelo, Carlos Tocci, Ben Lively, Jose Pujols, Alberto Tirado, Andrew Pullin,Jesmuel Valentin and more.
Harrison, 31, joined the Phillies in the July 2015 trade that sent Hamels, Jake Diekman and cash to the Rangers for Harrison, Williams, Jerad Eickhoff, Jake Thompson, Jorge Alfaro and Alec Asher. Harrison joined the Phillies as salary relief to help Texas assume the remainder of Hamels’ contract.
Harrison went 50-35 with a 4.21 ERA in 135 games (103 starts) in his eight-year career with the Rangers. He made the American League All-Star team in 2012.