The Phillies have cut loose two players.
First baseman Justin Bour and relief pitcher Luis Avilan were not offered contracts by the club for 2019. Both are now free agents.
Bour and Avilan were two of 11 Phillies players eligible for salary arbitration. The other nine were all offered contracts by Friday night’s 8 p.m. deadline.
That group includes pitchers Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, Vince Velasquez, Hector Neris, Adam Morgan and Luis Garcia, infielders Cesar Hernandez and Maikel Franco and outfielder Aaron Altherr.
Teams and players will exchange salary proposals on Jan. 11 and arbitration hearings will be held the first two weeks of February, if necessary. The two sides often reach agreement on a contract before a hearing.
The departures of Bour and Avilan leave the Phillies with four openings on their 40-man roster. Those spots will likely be filled in the coming weeks as the team looks to sign free agents and make trades.
Bour and Avilan were both acquired in late-season trades by the Phillies in 2018.
Looking for power off the bench, the Phillies acquired Bour from Miami for minor-league pitcher McKenzie Mills. Bour had 54 plate appearances with the Phils and hit .224 with a homer and five RBIs. He was hampered during part of his stay with the club by a hamstring injury that landed him on the DL.
Bour, 30, has averaged 21 homers and 66 RBIs the last four seasons and could be attractive to clubs looking for a left-handed platoon bat at first base. The Phillies are not in need of that type of player as they are committed to using Rhys Hoskins and Carlos Santana at first base. Santana is a strong candidate to be traded. If he were to be dealt, Hoskins would play at first base full time.
Avilan, 29, joined the Phillies from the White Sox in an August trade for minor-league pitcher Felix Paulino. The left-hander pitched in 12 games and recorded a 3.18 ERA.
The Phillies are attempting to add a frontline left-handed reliever for 2019 and have had longstanding interest in free agent Zach Britton.
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