A lot of people have probably forgotten about Odubel Herrera by now, but he’s still on the Phillies payroll. He’ll hit around ten million dollars in the last year of his contract despite not playing a Major League Baseball game in almost two years.
That’s because he was designated for assignment after serving a lengthy suspension for a domestic violence incident involving his girlfriend that dates back to Memorial Day of 2019.
Monday, GM Dave Dombrowski said this about the outfielder’s status:
“We’re still in a position where we are discussing that internally. I know he has done a lot himself as far as addressing the situation that took place in counseling, but it’s something that we still have to continue to talk through from an internal perspective.”
If Odubel was hitting .337 with a .965 OPS, he would already be back in the big leagues.
But he’s not, and so the Phils have to consider if rolling with a serviceable-to-average player is worth the public relations hit.
For context, Herrera apologized during Spring Training this past year. He served his 85-game suspension, went to counseling with his girlfriend to repair their relationship, and made financial commitments to the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Whether he has a Phillies future or not, he’s said and done the right things off the field to better himself as a person. And if his girlfriend chose to drop the charges and continue their relationship, you don’t have to agree with it, but you need to respect it, because it’s her decision and nobody else’s.
Odubel was supposed to play in the minors last year, before the season was scrubbed due to COVID.