One of the Phillies' goals this offseason is to find a utlity infielder capable of providing Charlie Manuel with an adequate defensive and offensive option to spell middle infielders Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley. It was pretty evident that the club did not view Eric Bruntlett as an option, but that was not made official until today, when it removed the veteran from the 40-man roster, thereby granting him free agency (which he accepted).
Bruntlett, acquired in the trade with the Astros that brought Brad Lidge to Philadelphia and sent Michael Bourn to Houston, saw his playing time drop dramatically in 2009.
He hit just .217 with a .297 on base percentage in 238 plate appearances in 2008, then hit .171 with a .238 on base percentage in 118 plate appearances this past season. During Bruntlett's brief time with the Phillies, he had two defining moments: First, he scored the winning run in Game 5 of the World Series on Pedro Feliz's single up the middle. Second, he recorded an unassisted triple play against the Mets this summer.
Other Phillies who were removed from the 40-man roster and granted free agency include RHP John Ennis, RHP Tyler Walker, C Paul Hoover, and INF Andy Tracy.