The Phillies cleaned up their arbitration-eligible player docket Friday, securing one-year deals for Cesar Hernandez, Luis Garcia, and Maikel Franco for the 2018 season. All three were in their first year of arbitration eligibility, and now join Cameron Rupp, who agreed to a deal of his own earlier this week.
Hernandez, 27, completed his fourth straight season of improvement in 2017, posting career highs in OBP, SLG, home runs, doubles and runs scored, while stealing 15 bases in 20 attempts. He will make $5.1M in 2018 as the Phillies’ starting second baseman...for now?
Garcia, 30, has now bounced back from two separately abysmal partial seasons to maintain a place in the Phils’ pen and earn a relatively late-career raise. Following 2016’s abbreviated nightmare, Garcia pitched 71.1 innings (a career high) of 2.65 ERA ball, with 60 strikeouts and 21 unintentional walks. Garcia also had separate scoreless appearance streaks of 18 and 11 within the 2017 season. The righty will earn $1.2M.
Franco, 25, disappointed in 2017. He slumped to post career-worst numbers in a handful of categories, but his stronger September (.271/.295/.529 with 6 homers) at least sent him off on a higher note. Franco will earn $2.95M as he looks to reclaim his spot on the Next Great Phillies Team.
Across the country, former Phils shortstop Freddy Galvis reached an agreement with his new club, the Padres, on a $6.825M contract for 2018. Galvis is slated to be a free agent following the season.
With today’s deals, the Phillies’ payroll currently sits just below $50M before league minimum renewals and other costs, which should push the payroll closer to $70M in the end. They remain in presumptive need of a starting pitcher, with Spring Training reporting dates little more than a month away.