UPDATE: Since this story was published, Justin De Fratus elected to become a free agent.
The Phillies bullpen performed nowhere near the level that they did in 2014 when they formed a surprisingly strong part of the club. One of the more disappointing relievers was Justin De Fratus, who saw his ERA go from 2.39 in 2014 to 5.51 this past season. De Fratus never got on track throughout the year, even though managers Ryne Sandberg and Pete Mackanin both made various attempts at getting De Fratus going by adjusting how much he was used and in what situations.
The 27-year old can elect to become a free agent immediately or wait until five days after the World Series and become a minor league free agent. Even with his struggles in 2015, De Fratus set career-highs in games (61) and innings pitched (80). De Fratus saw his walks per nine innings rate fall from 2.1 in 2014 to 3.6 this past season, while his strikeout rate fell from a career-high 8.4 to 7.7.
Along with De Fratus, the Phillies also outrighted pitchers Adam Loewen, Ken Roberts and Jonathan Pettibone. Also cut were infielder Chase D'Arnaud, catcher Erik Kratz and outfielder Jordan Danks. Pettibone was activated from the 60-day DL prior to being outrighted. He missed the entire 2015 season after undergoing shoulder surgery.
Like De Fratus, d'Arnaud, Loewen and Kratz can all become free agents now or wait and become minor league free agents five days after the conclusion of the World Series. Pettibone and Danks have to wait until the end of the World Series to become minor league free agents, and Roberts is ineligible for free agency and will remain the property of the Phillies, most likely being reassigned to Lehigh Valley. Roberts will be eligible to be taken in the Rule 5 Draft this December if he is not placed back on the 40-man roster by November 20.
The Phillies also have to activate pitchers Elvis Araujo, Chad Billingsley, Matt Harrison, Mario Hollands and Cliff Lee and infielder Cesar Hernandez from the 60-day DL within five days of the final game of the World Series. Billingsley will be a free agent and the Phillies have already said that they won't pick up Lee's option for 2016, making him a free agent, as well.
There are likely to be more moves made prior to November 20, when teams must add any players they want to protect from the Rule 5 Draft to their 40-man roster.