PHILADELPHIA - Second baseman César Hernández and third baseman Maikel Franco became free agents when the Phillies did not offer them contracts on Monday.
The Phillies offered 2020 contracts to catcher J.T. Realmuto and pitchers Héctor Neris, Vince Velasquez, Zach Eflin, Adam Morgan and José Álvarez. The six are eligible for arbitration. The team avoided arbitration with catcher Andrew Knapp, agreeing on a $710,000, one-year deal.
Hernández had been a starter since 2015. He replaced Chase Utley and led the team in average in 2016 and 2017, hitting .294 both seasons. Hernández hit .279 with 14 homers and a career-high 71 RBIs last year. He has a .277 career average and .352 on-base percentage.
Franco also became a starter in 2015 but didn’t play regularly the past two seasons. He averaged 24 homers and 77 RBIs from 2016-18. Franco batted .234 with 17 homers and 56 RBIs in this year.