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Odubel Herrera clears waivers, outrighted to Triple-A

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Delaying the inevitable, or actually planning to keep him around?

Philadelphia Phillies v Washington Nationals Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

There was some optimism that, when the Phillies announced the joint move of claiming Nick Martini and designating Odubel Herrera for assignment earlier this week, that the latter’s time with the organization was up, his release imminent.

Not so.

Amid the whipping frenzy of the Astros’ continuously bubbling cheating scandal shifting into a new gear with the “wearable” buzzer rumor, the Phillies announced that Herrera had cleared assignment waivers and had been outrighted to Lehigh Valley.

The first part of that is unsurprising. No one was going to claim him and his remaining money. But instead of releasing Herrera and eating the remaining $21 million or so straight away, the Phillies opted instead to keep him in the organization. He’s no longer on the 40-man, and will report to minor league camp in Clearwater.

It doesn’t remove the distraction entirely, but it does partially sweep it under the rug. There’s still an overwhelming feeling (at least to me) that Herrera doesn’t play a game for the Phillies or their affiliates this year. Maybe the Phillies need to add more of a baseball-related justification to a move like a release — a poor spring, adding another superior option to an already-deep group of MLB outfield choices, whatever — but everything about that next step right now is simply speculative. For now, Herrera is still in the organization. We’ll see for how much longer.