After many changes have been made in recent weeks, especially following the 40-man roster being set, many believe that Cody Asche is the odd man out.
Philadelphia Phillies general manager, Matt Klentak has been on a roll with making roster moves, and he may very well be making one more, sooner than we think.
Today, four players on the current Phillies roster became eligible for arbitration; Freddy Galvis, Jeanmar Gomez, Cesar Hernandez and Cody Asche.
For those of you who may not know, in the MLB, salary arbitration is a legal process of determining a player’s salary when both the player and the team cannot come to an agreement regarding the salary amount.
Furthermore, both the player and the team submit their proposed one-year salary contracts to a neutral arbitrator who then chooses one based on the player’s merit and statistical information.
The Phillies will certainly offer arbitration to Galvis and Hernandez and will most likely offer it to Gomez as well.
However, things are not looking good for Asche, and many believe that the Phillies will deny the option to tender his contract, thus immediately making him a free agent.
When he first arrived in Philadelphia, Asche was perceived by many to be a top prospect within the organization, often being compared to longtime Phillies second baseman, Chase Utley.
Unfortunately, Asche failed to put up the numbers he was able to in the minors, thus forcing the Phillies to move him to left-field, following Maikel Franco being appointed as the third-baseman of the future.
Many predicted this to be Asche’s fate.
After Phillies GM, Matt Klentak sent Darin Ruf to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Howie Kendrick in early November, Klentak stated that Kendrick was brought to Philadelphia to take over Asche’s position, left-field.
Asche was a lifelong infielder, until the Phillies moved him to the outfield, and it was clear that Asche was both uncomfortable and out of place.
In addition to his rough defensive performance in the outfield, many believe that the stress of learning a new position was a big factor which compromised his performance at the plate.
Last season, Asche only played left-field. He earned himself a career-low batting average of .213 in 218 plate appearances. Asche also has a .240 career average in four seasons, which does not reflect the future that Klentak has for the team.
On a more positive note, Asche’s future is not hopeless.
If the Phillies cut him loose, another team will surely contact him right away.
At age 26, Asche is more than capable of filling a vital utility role.
Furthermore, in many cases, sometimes players who are non-tendered just need a change in scenery and their environment to kickstart a career.
A perfect example of this is the New York Mets non-tendered, Justin Turner, who joined the Dodgers and has become one of the best-hitting third-basemen in the game today.
If Asche becomes a non-tendered player, could he become the next Turner? Though highly unlikely, that remains to be seen, however, a team could shift him back to third base, which could lead him to find the bat he once had in the minors.
Even if the Phillies surprise us all and offer Asche arbitration, don’t expect Klentak to keep him around until Opening Day 2017.
Regardless if Asche becomes a free agent or if he is dealt to another team, the clock is ticking, and time is just about up for Asche’s career in Philadelphia.
What do you think? Should the Phillies offer Asche arbitration, or should they attempt to deal him elsewhere and try to get something for him? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
Photo: Keith Allison (via: Flickr)