Former Phillies who signed before MLB lockout

Ex-Phillies who found new homes before MLB lockout originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

As more than a dozen top free agents came off the board during a hurried week of transactions leading into MLB’s lockout, a handful of former Phillies also found new homes.

The biggest name of the bunch was Hector Neris, who signed a two-year, $17 million contract with the Astros. He slots in as a setup man to incumbent closer Ryan Pressly.

The Phillies were interested in retaining Neris but not at that number, and a few days after that deal was signed, they added Corey Knebel to the back end of their bullpen. The Phils’ other free-agent move this week was a one-year deal for utilityman Johan Camargo.

Andrew Knapp, the backup catcher here from 2017-21, signed a minor-league deal with the Reds. Interestingly, the Reds listed Knapp as a catcher/infielder when announcing the move. Knapp appeared at first base six times in 2021 and once at second base. Perhaps he’s trying to become more valuable or more likely to make the club with defensive versatility.

The Phillies filled the backup catcher spot after non-tendering Knapp by trading for Houston’s Garrett Stubbs

J.D. Hammer, the bespectacled Phillies reliever who impressed initially in 2019 before struggling thereafter, signed a minor-league deal with the Rockies, according to Hammer was originally drafted by the Rockies in the 24th round in 2016 before being traded to the Phils for Pat Neshek three years later. He returns to the Colorado organization.

Reports out of Japan indicate Freddy Galvis is on the verge of signing a contract with the Fukuoka Hawks of NPB, the highest level of baseball in Japan.

Galvis was in the Phillies organization from 2006, when he was signed as a 16-year-old amateur free agent, until the 2017 season concluded. He had nearly 2,500 plate appearances as a Phillie and was reacquired at the 2021 trade deadline as an extra man. Galvis had been dealing with a quad injury for two months that sapped him of some of his usual defensive excellence. He turned 32 last month.

And finally, Cesar Hernandez returned to the NL East by signing a one-year, $4 million contract with the Nationals. After hitting .277 with a .733 OPS in 3,282 plate appearances with the Phillies from 2013-19, Hernandez signed with Cleveland in 2020 and led the American League in the shortened 2020 season with 20 doubles. This past season, he was dealt to the White Sox at the trade deadline and finished the year with a career-high 21 home runs but career-lows in batting average (.232) and OBP (.308).

Recent ex-Phillies who will still be free agents when baseball resumes include Andrew McCutchen, Odubel Herrera, Ian Kennedy, Archie Bradley, Brad Miller, Ronald Torreyes and Matt Moore.

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