Kendrick, Francisco tendered contracts; Atlanta's Diaz a free agent

The Phillies, as expected, will tender contracts to right-handed pitcher Kyle Kendrick and outfielder Ben Francisco, both of whom are first-time eligible players for salary arbitration.

Kendrick, 26, went 11-10 with a 4.73 ERA last season and is expected to battle for the fifth spot in the Phillies' rotation again in spring training. He has a career record of 35-24 with a 4.69 ERA.

Francisco, 29, batted .268 with six home runs and 28 RBIs with limited playing time last season. That playing time could significantly increase next season if the Phillies do not re-sign Jayson Werth. Several reports out of Boston said that Werth met with Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona and general manager Theo Epstein Wednesday at a hotel near Chicago O'Hare Airport. Not too much should be read into that meeting for a couple reasons.

The Red Sox always figured to be one of the teams interested in Werth and Boston also has visited with Carl Crawford, the other premier outfielder on the free-agent market.

Salary arbitration figures are scheduled to be exchanged later this month. Had the Phillies not tendered contracts to Kendrick and Francisco before midnight Thursday, the players would have become free agents.

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro said earlier in the week that he was eager to see the list of non-tendered players. One interesting name on that list is Atlanta outfielder Matt Diaz, who could fill the Phillies' need for a right-handed bat. The Braves announced today that they would not tender a contract to Diaz, a .301 career hitter who can play all three outfield positions.