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The Phillies avoided arbitration with closer Jeanmar Gomez, but second baseman Cesar Hernandez is still arbitration eligible.

The Phillies came into the week with three potential arbitration cases. They whittled that down to just one by signing shortstop Freddy Galvis and closer Jeanmar Gomez. Friday they exchanged salary numbers with Cesar Hernandez.

Some late season sputters by closer Jeanmar Gomez didn't hurt his ability to get himself a hefty raise. After making $1.6-million last season, last year's closer was able to agree on a one-year, $4.2-million deal for the upcoming season. The deal keeps Gomez from going to arbitration in what was his final year of eligibility. Following the 2017 season, Gomez will be eligible for free agency.

http://www.scout.com/player/124926-cesar-hernandez?s=309

Meanwhile, second baseman Cesar Hernandez didn't sign with the Phillies, leading the two sides to exchange salary requests which would determine the potential salary numbers for Hernandez, should the two sides continue on to arbitration. The Phillies are offering $2-million, while Hernandez is hoping to get $2.8-million for the upcoming season. In arbitration, a panel will hear arguments from both sides on how they reached those numbers and then decide on which amount the player will get for 2017. The case would be heard in early February if the two sides don't come to an agreement on a contract prior to the hearing date, which will be set later.

http://www.scout.com/mlb/phillies/story/1729482-pbi-annual-members-get-s...  Hernandez made $525,000 in 2016, but had a good season, hitting .294 with a .371 on-base percentage and a major league leading 11 triples on the year.

On Thursday, the Phillies and shortstop Freddy Galvis agreed to a one-year, $4.35-million deal to avoid salary arbitration.

Both Gomez and Hernandez face some job instability coming into the 2017 season. Gomez struggled through September, watching his ERA balloon from 2.97 on September 1st to its season-ending mark of 4.85 after Gomez posted a 19.13 ERA in 12 September relief appearances. Even with the struggles, Gomez did convert 37 of his 43 save opportunities. Gomez came into the season simply looking to win a spot in the bullpen, but wound up as the closer when other options didn't pan out for the Phillies.

http://www.scout.com/player/88590-jeanmar-gomez?s=309

The emergence of Hector Neris, which coincided with Gomez' late season struggles, and the signing of veteran Joaquin Benoit could leave the Phillies poised for a competition in Spring Training to see who will open the season as the team's closer. The 39-year old Benoit has been primarily a set-up man the past few seasons, but saved 24 games for the Tigers in 2013. Neris, 27, finished the year with two saves and a 2.58 ERA, pitching in 79 games with the Phillies in his first full season in the majors.

Hernandez could be displaced in the lineup by Galvis, if the Phillies decide to move Galvis to second when they deem shortstop J.P. Crawford ready to play in the majors. That determination could come at any point, but is more likely to be put off until around the All-Star Break, at the earliest.


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