Phillies designate Jeanmar Gomez and Michael Saunders for assignment

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Here are a couple of surprising moves: the Philadelphia Phillies have designated righty Jeanmar Gomez and outfielder Michael Saunders for assignment. They gave called up lefty Hoby Milner and outfielder Cameron Perkins to take their places.

Gomez, the team’s closer last season, is making $4.2 million. Saunders, a 2016 All-Star and, somewhat inexplicably, one of the more sought-after bats in a weak free agent market last offseason, was making $9 million. Both have underperformed mightily this year, of course. Gomez lost his closer’s job early this season and has posted a 7.25 ERA over 18 appearances. Saunders was horrible in the second half last season and continued this season apace, hitting .205/.257/.360 over 61 games.

These moves don’t alter the Phillies’ competitive situation all that much but they certainly represent a repudiation of a a big move in the Saunders signing and a rethinking with respect to Gomez and the closer’s role.

The rebuild continues.