Utility infielder Abraham Nunez, who started 51 games at third this season, and opening-day catcher Rod Barajas will have their option years bought out for $300,000 and $500,000 respectively.
Barajas, 32, hit .230 with four home runs and 10 RBI in 48 games. Nunez, 31, hit .234 with 16 RBI in 136 games and started parts of two seasons at the hot corner. In addition, right-hander Kane Davis, who was arbitration-eligible, was designated for assignment. Davis, 32, spent the season with triple-A Ottawa and was a September call-up.
Beerleaguer: Our comments section will never be the same as two champions of chat traffic, Abe and Rod, bite the dust. Besides the obvious "Thank God for this," the most relevant observation is that the Phillies must add a utility infielder to the shopping list. It's always a joy to watch what the Phils come up with: Tomas Perez; Alex Gonzalez; Ramon Martinez; and, of course, No-hit" Nunez, good for about 30 comments a night. Nothing drove traffic like a well-timed Nunez GIDP. Good times.
There doesn't appear to be much cooking internally, so you can bet the next No-hit will come from the outside. Utility players are hard to track. The way it usually goes is on a random day in December, someone posts a comment like "Phillies acquire Oscar Robles, per Rotoworld" or "Phillies trade for Pittsburgh infielder Castillo, per FoxSports," or the one I'm waiting for, "Phillies reacquire infielder Matt Kata, per Phillies.com."
"Our scouts have been tracking him for a long time," said Phillies assistant GM Ruben Amaro Jr.
A second observation would be that Nunez's declined option suggests the Phillies will pursue a versatile third baseman who can both field and hit, assuming they have no desire to head into '08 with Wes Helms and Greg Dobbs as their only options. Mike Lowell is the name mentioned most, but there are others, like Pedro Feliz, Miguel Tejada and Hank Blalock.
The last observation of the night relates to reliever Julio Mateo and the fact that no announcement was made at this time pertaining to his contract status. Mateo, who was acquired from the Mariners at the trade deadline but was never used, has a $1.5 million '08 club option with a $100,000 buyout. The right-hander was charged with assaulting his wife in May while a member of the Mariners.
As for Barajas, we're losing another 30 comments with his departure. The RodFather didn't need to be in the game, or on the active roster, to stir up the conversation.