And then there were two.
With the clock ticking down on the unofficial beginning of the arbitration process, 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 one-year, $1.587 million deal on Friday morning to avoid arbitration. There are also award bonuses in the new contract.
On Thursday night, the Phillies and righthander Kyle Kendrick also avoided arbitration by coming to terms on a one-year, $7.675 million deal. The Phillies have two arbitration eligible players remaining: outfielder Ben Revere and lefthanded reliever Antonio Bastardo.
Revere, who will be the Phillies Opening Day center fielder for the second straight year, is in his first year of arbitration. He made $515,000 in 2013.
Bastardo, who served a 50-game suspension in the final two 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 prior to his suspension; he can become a free agent after the 2015 season.
If the major league teams and players do not come to an agreement in the next hour minutes (before 1 p.m. on Friday), they will publicly exchange salary figures for the 2014 season. If an agreement is still not reached within the next month, arbitration hearings will be held in Florida to determine the salaries for those players.
Most teams and players typically try to avoid the often-contentious process of going to an arbitration hearing.
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 center field, a position the Phillies have lacked depth for the last four seasons.
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The Phillies officially welcomed former manager Charlie Manuel back to the organization on Friday.
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 five months ago, after winning a World Series, two National League pennants and five NL East titles in nine 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.
“Charlie obviously brings a wealth of knowledge and is someone who had an historic impact on not just our organization, but on all Phillies fans,” Amaro said in a press release. “We couldn’t be happier to have him back in the fold with us and sharing his expertise and insight throughout the organization.”
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.