Phillies Notes: Contracts for Mayberry, Frandsen may help their cause

Spring in their step: Phillies players (from left) Ryan Howard, B.J. Rosenberg, John Mayberry Jr., and Jesse Biddle warm up in Clearwater.
Spring in their step: Phillies players (from left) Ryan Howard, B.J. Rosenberg, John Mayberry Jr., and Jesse Biddle warm up in Clearwater. (DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer)
Posted: February 17, 2014

CLEARWATER, Fla. - Both John Mayberry Jr. and Kevin Frandsen signed guaranteed contracts through arbitration, and that could help both players' quests to secure bench jobs this spring.

The majority of contracts for arbitration-eligible players are non-guaranteed, but Phillies assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said the team extended guarantees to both. Mayberry signed for $1.5875 million this winter while Frandsen agreed to a $900,000 deal.

It is possible the Phillies saved money when signing both players by including the guaranteed language. That decision, however, could hamstring the team this spring if it decides to go in another direction.

A player on a non-guaranteed contract who is released during spring training is owed termination pay, which can be as little as one-sixth and as much as one-fourth of the player's salary. If Mayberry or Frandsen is placed on waivers in spring training and no team claims him, the Phillies are responsible for paying the player's entire salary.

Both players are out of minor-league options.

Mayberry, 30, will compete with Darin Ruf for a job as the righthanded outfielder/first baseman on the bench. Ruf, who will earn close to the major-league minimum of $500,000, has minor-league options remaining. Mayberry hit .237 over 794 at-bats the last two seasons.

Frandsen's numbers dipped in 2013 after he made a strong impression in 2012. The 31-year-old infielder will face competition from veterans Reid Brignac and Ronny Cedeno, and rookie Cesar Hernandez.

Better Gonzalez

Miguel Gonzalez is scrutinized whenever he takes the mound, and that will only intensify once Grapefruit League games commence. His first bullpen session Thursday in front of reporters was not impressive; Saturday's showed improvement.

"He looked more fluid today," pitching coach Bob McClure said. "He threw a little longer playing long toss. He got a little looser. He looked better."

The test will be when Gonzalez, who signed for $12 million, sees major-league hitters. McClure said one of the challenges is refining Gonzalez's repertoire, which runs six or seven pitches deep. The pitching coach would prefer a three- or four-pitch arsenal.

Extra bases

The staff is paying close attention to righthander Ethan Martin, a pitcher Ruben Amaro Jr. said should not be overlooked in the starting-pitching conversation. Martin was effective in a brief stint as a reliever last season, and his future could be in that role. . . . The majority of the team's 40-man roster is at camp. Everyone must report by Monday.


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