Former Phillies general manager Matt Klentak thought he was being shrewd when he gave second baseman Scott Kingery a six-year, $24 million major league contract. Kingery had not played a day above Double-A, but after a strong Spring Training, the Phillies opened up their wallets in a big way. For that, the Phillies have gotten little in return. Now, the Phillies do not even have a player on their 40-man roster for it.
The Phillies announced Monday that they have outrighted Kingery off of the 40-man roster. That will make the path back to the major leagues much more difficult for Kingery, as the Phillies will have to clear roster space to bring him back. He will have to demonstrate he deserves it.
Kingery batted just .053 at the major league level in 2021 (1 for 19), striking out 12 times in those at bats. At Triple-A Kingery had a better batting average at .250 in a similar sample size (20 at bats). However, the strikeouts remained an issue; Kingery struck out in half of his at bats.
The move means that Kingery cleared waivers and that all 29 other teams declined claiming Kingery. A claiming team would have been responsible for the remainder of Kingery's $4 million 2020 salary, Kingery's 2022 $6 million salary, and Kingery's $8 million salary.
The Phillies will be responsible for that money whether he ever plays in the major leagues again or not. I suggested the Phillies try to outright Kingery at the end of Spring Training. Perhaps without 2021's disastrous start, a team might have relieved the Phillies of the financial obligation.
The Phillies also optioned infielder Nick Maton to Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Monday. No move has been made yet to replace either Kingery on the 40-man roster or Maton on the 25-man roster.
Outfielder Adam Haseley is currently rehabbing at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, and will be reinstated to the 40-man roster in about a week or so. It is unclear if Haseley would the player added to the 25-man roster by Tuesday.
It likely will not be Didi Gregorius, either. The Phillies probably will send Gregorius on a minor league rehab assignment before activating him. Gregorius has been sidelined with a rose elbow.
One possibility is pitcher Matt Moore. Moore made two rehab appearances at Triple-A last week. The Phillies promoted Cristopher Sanchez Sunday after David Hale and Chase Anderson were placed on the COVID-related injured list. The Phillies had been carrying 14 pitchers up until then.