Phillies avoid arbitration with Mayberry

Posted: January 20, 2014

WITH THE CLOCK ticking down on the unofficial beginning of the arbitration process yesterday morning, the Phillies came to an agreement on a deal with a player for the second time in the last 24 hours.

The Phillies and reserve outfielder John Mayberry Jr. agreed to a 1-year, $1.587 million deal yesterday morning to avoid arbitration. The contract includes award bonuses.

On Thursday night, the team and righthander Kyle Kendrick also avoided arbitration by coming to terms on a 1-year, $7.675 million deal. Two arbitration-eligible Phillies remain: outfielder Ben Revere and lefthanded reliever Antonio Bastardo.

Mayberry and Kendrick agreed to deals before yesterday's deadline; arbitration-eligible players around baseball and their teams had to exchange proposed salary figures unless they came to an agreement on a new deal.

The result was a flurry of signings during the day. Among some of the notable deals: Washington Nationals pitcher Jordan Zimmermann agreed to a 2-year, $24 million deal, and Detroit Tigers reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer, a free agent after the 2014 season, agreed to a 1-year, $15.525 million deal.

But not every team reached agreements: The Atlanta Braves still have three very big arbitration-eligible players to deal with in the next month: closer Craig Kimbrel, outfielder Jason Heyward and first baseman Freddie Freeman.

The Phillies, meanwhile, have to complete their business with Bastardo and Revere or face arbitration hearings in Florida next month.

Bastardo requested $2.5 million for the 2014 season; the Phillies countered with $1.675 million. Revere submitted a $2.425 million proposal for his 2014 salary; the Phillies countered with $1.4 million.

Revere, who will be the Phillies' Opening Day centerfielder for the second straight year, is in his first year of arbitration. Revere made $515,000 in 2013, when he missed the second half of the season recovering from a broken foot.

Bastardo, who served a 50-game suspension in the final 2 months of the season for his role in the Biognenesis, performance-enhancing drug scandal, is in his second year of arbitration. Bastardo was set to earn $1.4 million in 2013 before his suspension; he can become a free agent after the 2015 season.

Even though the Phillies could not reach deals with Bastardo and Revere by yesterday, they can still negotiate new contracts for the next several weeks in an effort to avoid a hearing. Most teams and players typically try to avoid the often-contentious process of going to an arbitration hearing.

The Phillies avoided the process altogether with Kendrick on Thursday night, then took care of Mayberry.

In the last two seasons, Mayberry has hit .237 with a .294 OBP, a .687 OPS and 25 home runs in 283 games. He hit .228 with a .290 OBP and .676 OPS with nine home runs in 89 starts in 2013.

Among the 76 major league outfielders with at least 350 at-bats last year, Mayberry's .286 OBP ranked 73rd. Only Atlanta's B.J. Upton (-1.8) had a lower WAR (Wins Above Replacement) than Mayberry's -1.1.

Mayberry is likely to be Revere's primary backup in centerfield, a position in which the Phillies have lacked depth for the last four seasons.

The Phillies officially welcomed former manager Charlie Manuel back to the organization yesterday.

Two days after the news broke, the Phillies announced that Manuel would serve as a senior adviser to general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. in 2014. Manuel was fired as the team's manager 5 months ago, after winning a World Series, two National League pennants and five NL East titles in 9 years on the job.

According to the Phillies, Manuel will "work with minor league hitters, scout at the major and minor league levels, and serve as a consultant" for the front office.

Manuel joins Dallas Green as a senior adviser to Amaro. Green and Manuel are the only two managers in Phillies history to lead the team to a World Series championship.

The Phillies added righthanded pitcher David Buchanan to their spring training roster.

Buchanan, 24, was invited to big league camp as a non-roster player. A seventh-round pick out of Georgia State University in 2010, Buchanan went 10-13 with a 4.40 ERA in 28 starts between Double A Reading (22 starts) and Triple A Lehigh Valley (six starts).


On Twitter: @ryanlawrence21

Blog: ph.ly/HighCheese

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