The Phillies parted ways with two players who grew up in the organization Monday night.
Philadelphia did not offer contracts to third baseman Maikel Franco and second baseman Cesar Hernandez. Major League teams had until 8 p.m. Monday to offer contracts to arbitration-eligible players. Those who did not receive contracts immediately became free agents.
Franco, 27, was once of the Phillies top prospects. The third baseman joined the Phillies full-time in 2015. He hit 25 home runs and knocked in 88 runs in 2016.
But Franco’s production dropped each season. The Phillies because frustrated with his lack of patience at the plate. Philadelphia demoted Franco to triple-A in August.
He finished last season with a .234 batting average, 17 home runs and 56 RBIs. Franco’s Baseball Reference WAR (wins above replacement) was a negative 0.8 last season.
Hernandez, 29, has been in the Phillies organization since he was 16. He batted .279 with 14 home runs and 71 RBIs last season. His Baseball Reference WAR was 2.5.
Hernandez sometimes drew criticism from fans for baserunning blunders. Hernandez made $7.75 million last season and probably would have gotten a raise through arbitration.
Scott Kingery can take over at second base for Hernandez. As for third base, the Phillies have two possibilities.
They could acquire a third baseman this offseason or they could move shortstop Jean Segura to third and acquire a new shortstop.
In other personnel news, the Phillies signed backup catcher Andrew Knapp to a one-year contract.
Philadelphia also tendered contracts to the following arbitration eligible players: relievers Jose Alvarez, Adam Morgan, and Hector Neris; starting pitchers Vince Velasquez and Zach Eflin and catcher J.T. Realmuto.