Despite having never pitched an inning in a Philadelphia Phillies uniform, the organization released LHP Matt Harrison this Tuesday. Harrison was one of six players acquired by the Phillies in 2015 in the Cole Hamels trade with the Texas Rangers.
The transaction will come at a monetary cost to the Phillies, with Harrison slated to make $13.2 million in 2017 and having a $2 million buyout in 2018 as well. However, the Phillies will gladly bite the bullet in this case.
With the move, the 40-man roster is now down to 32, with the Phillies having a plethora of minor leaguers that they need to protect from the Rule 5 Draft this offseason. Protections need to be made by this Friday in preparation of the draft this December.
The Phillies have released LHP Matt Harrison, giving them 32 players on 40-man roster. One extra spot with Rule 5 decisions coming Friday.— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) November 15, 2016
Here on SportsTalkPhilly.com, we have highlighted the Phillies may still be wise to search for an additional veteran starting pitcher to pair with Jeremy Hellickson, who recently accepted his qualifying offer, to ensure they have pitchers to eat innings.
However, majority of the 40-man spots remaining are expected to go to younger minor league players within the organization. Players who signed with the team when they were 19 or older and have played professional baseball for four years are eligible, as well are players that signed when they were 18 or younger and have played at least five years.
Those eligible for the Rule 5 Draft include RHP Ben Lively, RHP Jake Thompson, and Eastern League MVP Dylan Cozens, among others.
In his career, Matt Harrison is 50-35 with a 4.21 ERA. Serious back issues have derailed the pitchers career, as he did not play at all this past season.