The Phillies were busy Wednesday morning. They officially announced the Roberto Hernandez signing, designated catcher Sebastian Valle for assignment and invited four players to spring training.
The four non-roster invitees are outfielders Tony Gwynn, Jr. and Dave Sappelt, catcher Lou Marson and right-hander Sean O'Sullivan.
Gwynn was out of the majors in 2013 -- he spent the year with the Dodgers' Triple-A affiliate in Albuquerque, hitting .300 with 12 steals in 21 attempts. He's hit .244/.312/.318 in 1,671 plate appearances in the bigs.
Sappelt, 26, was the Southern League MVP in 2010 with the Reds but hasn't done much of anything since. He had 78 plate appearances in each of the last two seasons with the Cubs and hit .257/.310/.361. Like Gwynn, he has some experience in center field.
Marson, a former Phillie traded to Cleveland in 2009 for Cliff Lee, could provide some organizational depth behind the plate. He's hit .219/.309/.299 in six big-league seasons but is viewed as more of a defender. He and Cameron Rupp figure to be next in line if either of the Phillies' two mid-30s catcher -- Carlos Ruiz and Wil Nieves -- get hurt.
O'Sullivan, the brother of Phillies farmhand Ryan O'Sullivan, is a 26-year-old former third-rounder who has 50 games of major-league experience (37 starts). With the Angels, Royals and Padres, O'Sullivan has pitched to a 5.89 ERA and posted ugly strikeout (4.2 per 9) and walk numbers (3.6 per 9).
This ostensibly closes the book on Valle, a former prospect whose offensive and defensive skills both deteriorated over the last three years. Since 2010, Valle has struck out 387 times and walked 72. He also struggled behind the plate, and the Phillies planned to give him time in the outfield in 2013 before Tommy Joseph was concussed.