As another lost season nears the end of June, the Philadelphia Phillies have shed two notable veterans.
A 2008 World Series title and five straight division titles (2007-2011) are a distant memory for the Philadelphia Phillies, with at least 89 losses in each of the last four seasons. This season looks likely to be the fifth straight with that many marks in the loss column, as the Phillies enter Tuesday with the worst record in the majors (22-46). Not surprisingly, Philadelphia also has the third-worst run differential in all of baseball (-90).
The Phillies will clearly be a trade deadline seller, with relief pitchers Pat Neshek and Joaquin Benoit, infielder Howie Kendrick and even outfielder Daniel Nava possibly of interest to contending teams.
But on Tuesday, the Phillies got a jump on things by designating outfielder Michael Saunders and relief pitcher Jeanmar Gomez for assignment.
After earning an All-Star nod with the Blue Jays in 2016, Saunders has been a major disappointment this year. Over 61 games (214 plate appearances) he had .205/.257/.360 slash-line, six home runs and 20 RBI. A .245 BABIP shows some bad luck, perhaps brought on by an increase in weak contact. But it says it all that Philadelphia is jumping ship on the one-year, $9 million deal they signed him to last offseason.
Gomez had 37 saves for the Phillies in 2016, but a late drop-off (7.67 ERA over his last 29 innings) carried over to this year with a 7.25 ERA over 18 appearances (22.1 innings). He’s making $4.2 million this season, before hitting free agency.
To replace Gomez and Saunders, left-hander Hoby Milner and outfielder Cameron Perkins have had their contracts selected from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Milner posted a 2.60 ERA with 27 strikeouts and four walks over 27.2 innings this season, while Perkins hit .298 with a .864 OPS before being promoted. Both guys will make their major league debut when they get into a game for the Phillies.