Four pitchers - Frank Herrmann, Dalier Hinojosa, Colton Murray and Patrick Schuster - and two position players, Emmanuel Burriss and Jimmy Paredes were outrighted to the Lehigh Valley IronPigs Friday afternoon. The four pitchers combined for a 2-5 record and a 7.54 ERA in 54 games with the Phillies this season, so as a group, nor as individuals, were they pitchers who filled key roles for the club. Meanwhile, Burriss and Paredes played in 115 games with the Phillies, providing four home runs and 17 RBI - all of which came from Paredes - and combined to hit .191, so there isn't any loss in either of those players, either.
Of the six players, Burriss, Herrmann and Paredes can all elect free agency since they have accumulated more than three years of service time in the majors through the 2016 season. Hinojosa, Murray and Schuster must accept the outright assignment, although Murray would be unprotected in the Rule 5 Draft if not placed back on the 40-man roster, and Schuster would qualify for minor league free agency at the end of the World Series, if he isn't back on the 40-man roster.
The moves leave the Phillies with 34 players on their 40-man roster, but they also have for players - Zach Eflin, Matt Harrison, Charlie Morton and Aaron Nola - who have to be taken off of the 60-day DL. Players on the 60-day DL do not count toward the 40-man roster, but they must clear the DL at the end of the World Series. Harrison, who came over in the Cole Hamels trade with Texas, has never thrown a pitch for the Phillies, but collected $13-million in 2016. He is also guaranteed $13-million in 2017 and either $13.25-million in 2018, or the Phillies can exercise a $2-million buyout prior to the '18 season. Morton's contract kicked in a mutual option for 2017 when he was traded to the Phillies from Pittsburgh. If both sides decline, Morton wouldn't receive a buyout, but could become a free agent. If either side invokes the option - and it's likely that Morton will - he'll receive $9.5-million for 2017 and be eligible for free agency following the season.
The Phillies will need a number of roster spots for prospects who will be left unprotected in the Rule 5 Draft if they aren't added to the 40-man roster by November 20th. It's likely that the Phillies will clear more room on the 40-man to be able to add more of those young players and protect them from reaching Rule 5 status.