Phillies Rumors: Team DFA’s Michael Mariot, Adds Benoit

The Phillies made another unsurprising move, cutting loose reliever Michael Mariot from the 40-man, clearing room for newly signed Joaquin Benoit.

The Phillies officially announced on Tuesday that team signed veteran RHP Joaquin Benoit. The reported details of the deal are one-year at $7.5 million. The Phils 40-man roster was full before the signing, so the club designated RHP Michael Mariot for assignment.

Mariot, 28, appeared in 25 games last season for the team. Posting a 5.82 ERA and 1.477 WHIP in 21.1 innings. Mariot did however show some strikeout potential, posting a career high 9.6 K/9 with the club in 2016.

Mariot was cut-bait for obvious reasons, and now the Phils 40-man is once again full. However, the team has remained its flexibility. At this point in time; David Rollins, Phil Klein, and Luis Garcia remain as the most likely to be removed from the 40-man at some point. While guys like Adam Morgan, Alec Asher, and Severino Gonzalez would appear more safe, but are not by any means 100 percent safe.

This is key because as things stand, the Phillies could still use a proven left handed reliever on a one-year deal, as well as an additional proven reliever for depth. Not to mention, the team still doesn’t have any backup infielders. Recent 40-man addition Jesmuel Valentine still needs grooming in the minors, and is considered strictly a second baseman anyway.

From bullpen depth, filling out a major league bench, and let us not forget the potential of adding an outfielder for a season – the Phillies still have work to do.

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With the winter meeting still rolling, don’t expect the club to remain quiet. There should be some noise around the team, probably nothing major, but it’s obvious the teams roster construction still needs improvement. A lot of the prospects on the 40-man (Andrew Knapp reportedly being the key exception) still need grooming, and the overall balance is currently out of whack.

However things unfold, expect the Phils to find the right balance of development and on-field improvement as the offseason continues.

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