The Phillies continued trimming players from their 40-man roster late this week, outrighting Odubel Herrera, Andrew Knapp, Ronald Torreyes, Ramon Rosso, J.D. Hammer and Travis Jankowski.
All six players cleared outright waivers and elected free agency.
Herrera became arbitration-eligible once the Phillies declined his 2022 contract option earlier in the week.
The Knapp transaction sticks out because he's spent the last five seasons as the Phillies' backup catcher, appearing in 309 games and starting 182. He was likely going to make more than last season's $1.1 million through arbitration and is coming off his worst offensive year. Knapp hit .152/.215/.214 in 159 plate appearances in 2021 and the chemistry he had with the pitching staff was no longer enough to justify that spot for that salary.
The Phillies have two young catching prospects they like in Rafael Marchan and Logan O'Hoppe. It remains to be seen whether they pursue a veteran backup cheaper than Knapp and let those two play every day in the minors, or if they ride one of those young backstops as the backup to J.T. Realmuto.
Manager Joe Girardi loves Torreyes, a versatile defender and clutch hitter for the Phillies in 2021 who did ultimately finish up at .242/.286/.346. Through arbitration, Torreyes was looking at a salary in the $1.5 million range, and his skill set as a utilityman can be replicated by players younger and cheaper. It still would not be surprising to see the Phillies bring back Torreyes if he can't find a better deal elsewhere. Same goes for Knapp.
Rosso, 25, appeared in 14 games with the Phillies in 2020 and 2021 and showed decent velocity and movement but not enough command. He was unable to carve out a role in a weak bullpen and posted a 4.60 ERA this season at Triple A.
The 27-year-old Hammer had a 4.38 ERA in 40 appearances with the Phillies from 2019 through 2021.
In a perfect world, you're able to hang on to your relievers in their mid-20s just in case things click, but the Phillies have a lot of work to do this offseason to improve their bullpen, outfield and bench and needed the 40-man roster flexibility. They also must add injured players Rhys Hoskins, Zach Eflin, JoJo Romero and Roman Quinn back to the 40-man roster.
The Phillies' remaining arbitration-eligible players are Hoskins, Eflin, Quinn, Jose Alvarado and Seranthony Dominguez.