Phillies Release 20+ Players

Jim Salisbury finally put a figure to the number of Phillies’ minor leaguers released last week.  He reported that 27 players had been released but didn’t report any names.  Later on Monday, players’ names began showing up on the various affiliates’ transaction lists.

The transactions were all dated May 29th.  Here are the 25 names reported so far –

Lehigh Valley IronPigs released LHP Aaron Brown, LHP Junior Tejada, LHP Brandon Leibrandt, 3B Ali Castillo, 3B T.J. Rivera.

Reading Fightin Phils released RHP Carlos Bustamante, RHP Sandro Rosario, RHP Tyler Hallead.

Clearwater Threshers released C Willie Estrada, RHP Waylon Richardson, RF Ben Aklinski, RHP Michael Gomez.

Lakewood BlueClaws released SS Raul Rivas, 2B Hunter Stovall.

GCL Phillies East released RHP Brian Auerbach, C Juan Mendez.

GCL Phillies West released OF Jordan McArdle.

DSL Phillies Red released RHP Joan Hernandez, SS Raibently Mercalina, RHP Cristofer Adames, LHP Daivin Perez.

DSL Phillies White released LHP Alberto Torres, LHP Nathanael Bido, LHP Camilo Hinestroza, RHP Raul Mendoza.

Rivera’s release was reported first by Jon Heyman yesterday.  Some of these players would likely have been released at the end of spring training or the end of XST.  Others are players who would have been coming off rehab stints, a couple for multiple seasons.  McArdle is an Australian outfielder who was invited over this season but never got a look.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Aussie pitcher Jason Lott is added to this list later.  He was a team mate of McArdle’s and several Phillies who played on the Perth Heat last winter.  Willie Estrada was signed as catching depth last summer with Gabriel Ojeda.  Neither saw time on a roster; Ojeda was released in early March.  Leibrandt was sidelined by TJ surgery.  He was a control pitcher with a devastating move to first.  Brown was a fearless CF turned pitcher.


14 thoughts on “Phillies Release 20+ Players

  1. Very unfortunate that they would release these players a week and a half before the team will be trying to recruit UDFA’s. Many teams are releasing players, but a few (the Royals, for instance) have pledged to take care of all their MiLB players through the end of the summer. You don’t think the top UDFA’s will consider that when choosing a club to sign with?

    Question: How much money are the Phillies saving by releasing these players right now?
    Answer: 27 guys X ~$400 per week = $10,800 per week

    If John Middleton had held on to these 27 players for two more weeks, it would have cost him ~$21,600. That’s roughly the cost of one UDFA (they’re capped at $20,000 this year), and it probably could have helped Matt Klentak and Brian Barber pull in better quality UDFA’s. This is just short sighted thinking by Middleton and the Bucks.

    1. I’m not sure how much an incoming UDFA is going to care about the releases. If they do, I think the Phillies could explain that every year between spring training and the draft they have to release roughly the same amount of guys they did this year.

      I’d be more upset as incoming player if the Phillies used the “we didn’t release anyone” angle to persuade me to sign and then released a bunch of guys right afterwards. I’m not sure the Phillies could claim moral high ground with the UDFAs if they’re hanging on to players they intend to release for the sole purpose of using them as props to lure better players.

      1. As callous as this may sound, UDFA signing players, may be looking for better opportunities with a team.
        And the fewer the players a team has the system, the better opportunity exists for the newest signee

    1. Denny….read where Middleton has made the decision to guarantee salaries thru 31 Oct for the 300 plus FTEs they have in the organization.
      Also saw Corinne Landrey got a promotion to baseball ops dept some time ago….first female I believe to get selected. She use to be an author/writer on Crashburn Alley then went to Fangraphs I think, then to the Philies analytics dept a few years back..
      She is well deserving, great in analytics and writes concise and clear, and a die-hard Phillies fan.

  2. There’s also this.

    I’m not trying to bury John Middleton. For the most part, he’s done right by Phillies fans (although I still mourn his decision to twice pass on local MLB executive savant Chaim Bloom in favor of Matt Klentak).
    Again … my problem isn’t with the team releasing the 27 players. It’s the timing of it. Had he waited two more weeks, it probably could have helped with recruiting UDFA’s (beginning June 14th). The financial hit for waiting 14 days would have been ~$21,600. John Middleton is worth 3.5 billion dollars.

    1. More than likely, the rationale used for cutting the group now, gives them more of an opportunity to catch on with some other team if they can prior to the draft.
      Waiting until post- draft and the UDFA signings begin, the odds will be further against them finding employment with another club..

  3. This just strikes me as the regular normal amount of minor league cuts that the Phillies make every March after they set their full-season rosters. This does not seem to be related to the pandemic effect on the season.

    1. Give that man a cigar. Not every decision made is nefarious. Minor league players get released every year.

  4. Love him or hate him … Scott Boras takes care of his clients.

    1. Of course it makes for good PR also. It’s hard to imagine Boras has a whole lot of MiLB clients who were released.

      1. Whew!
        That is certainly good news for Alec Bohm and Bryson Stott! (tic)
        And probably for these also, though do not see many getting released by their clubs.
        Jo Adell …Angels
        Matthew Allan…. Mets
        J. J. Bleday…. Marlins
        J. B. Bukauskas …..DBacks
        Daz Cameron ….t Tigers
        Logan Davidson …… As
        Grant Green (free agent),,,he may be the only one

    1. Hmmm Kim from Korea? That narrows it down. Lol. Sorry, just had to get a grin in these times.

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