Phillies could cut ties with veterans Cesar Hernandez and Maikel Franco

Phillies could cut ties with Cesar Hernandez and Maikel Franco
Monday night marks the deadline for clubs to offer contracts to players eligible for salary arbitration, and the Phillies have nine such players on their current roster, including Cesar Hernandez and Maikel Franco.

Hernandez is projected to earn nearly $12 million in his final year of arbitration eligibility. After putting up a pair of outstanding seasons in 2016 and 2017, he's posted an OPS+ of 93 since and is hitting just .266 with a .730 OPS. Scott Kingery and Jean Segura can each play second base, meaning Hernandez is expendable. Plus, the Phillies can potentially take the projected $12 million owed to Hernandez and spend it elsewhere.

Hernandez, 29, signed with the Phillies out of Venezuela during the summer of 2006.

Franco, 27, is projected to earn about $6.5 million in salary arbitration. It's clear, however, that the organization is ready to move on as Franco was demoted to Triple A last year after significant struggles at the plate. In six seasons with the Phillies he's hit .249 and posted a 93 OPS+. He posted -0.8 WAR in 2019.

The Phillies already are shopping around to upgrade their infield and have been connected to free agents Mike Moustakas and Didi Gregorius.

Other players on the Phillies' roster eligible for salary arbitration include pitchers Hector Neris, Jose Alvarez, Adam Morgan, Zach Eflin, and Vince Velasquez and catchers J.T. Realmuto and Andrew Knapp.
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Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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