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January 14, 2020

Phillies finally DFA (essentially cut ties with) outfielder Odubel Herrera

After some worried anticipation that Odubel Herrera, less than a year removed from being suspended for domestic violence, would get a chance to make the team in spring training, the Phillies formally announced that the outfielder has, in fact, been designated for assignment.

Herrera missed more than half of the 2019 season after he was arrested in the wake of an incident involving his then girlfriend. The charges were eventually dropped, but Herrera did not return to the team.

He is owed more than $20 million over the next two seasons, and it looks like the Phillies will probably be forced to swallow the hit unless a team steps up and claims him in the next few days.

Here's more on what being DFA means:

When a player's contract is designated for assignment -- often abbreviated "DFA" -- that player is immediately removed from his club's 40-man roster. Within seven days of the transaction (had been 10 days under the 2012-16 Collective Bargaining Agreement), the player can either be traded or placed on irrevocable outright waivers. 
If the player is claimed off said waivers by another club, he is immediately added to that team's 40-man roster, at which point he can be optioned to the Minor Leagues (if he has Minor League options remaining) or assigned to his new team's 26-man roster (it was 25, prior to 2020). If the player clears waivers, he may be sent outright to the Minor Leagues or released. Players with more than three years of Major League service time or who have been previously outrighted may reject the outright assignment in favor of free agency. 
Clubs may utilize this option to clear a spot on the 40-man roster -- typically with the intention of adding a newly acquired player (via trade or free agency), a Minor Leaguer or a player being activated from the 60-day injured list. []

There is little doubt that the Phillies have tried to trade the 28-year-old, but the combination of his off-the-field issues with his on-field performance (he hit just .222 before his suspension) make him untradable in his current contract.

Herrera was the Phils' lone All-Star in 2016 and started the vast majority of games in center field over the last four-plus seasons. His spot on the 40-man roster will be filled, for now, by former Reds outfielder Nick Martini. 

The Phils will need to look elsewhere for a fourth outfielder now — here's what we wrote about the team need last week.

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