UPDATE… Altherr was officially placed on waivers on May 9th. If he clears waivers – which takes 72 hours – the Phillies can either outright him to Lehigh Valley or release him. Placing him on waivers means that the Phillies were unable to work out a trade for him with another major league team.
Success has been hard for outfielder Aaron Altherr to come by the past couple of seasons. It’s hard to believe, but Altherr actually made his major league debut in 2014, playing in just two September games. The next couple seasons he played in a total of 96 games with the Phillies and hit a combined 9-44-.215/.315/.370 in those games. He seemed to have somewhat of a breakout season in 2017 when he hit 19-65-.272/.340/.516 with the Phillies, playing in 107 games. He hasn’t been able to come close to duplicating those numbers since and was designated for assignment today to make room for outfielder Odubel Herrera, who was coming off his stay on the IL.
The Phillies have seven days to trade Altherr or pass him through irrevocable waivers, attempting to send him to the minors. Altherr was out of options and could not be sent down without first passing through waivers. If another team claims him, they must immediately add him to both their 40-man and 25-man rosters. If he clears waivers and the Phillies release him, he can sign with any team and be assigned to either the 25-man roster or to a minor league roster. Since Altherr has more than three years of major league service time – three years and 28 days, to be exact – he can also decide to become a free agent if the Phillies do outright him to Triple-A Lehigh Valley or elsewhere in their minor league system. If he decides to stay with the organization, he can elect to become a free agent at the end of the season if he has not been added back to the 40-man roster.
Herrera had gone on the IL April 18th with a strained right hamstring. The Phillies decided not to send him on a rehab assignment to the minors and activated him today. He was not in the starting lineup for the Phillies on Saturday, but likely will be starting in center field on Sunday.