The Phillies and catcher Cameron Rupp have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a $2.05 million salary for the 2018 season, Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Rupp had been eligible for arbitration for the first of three years.
Rupp, 29, hit .217/.299/.417 with 14 home runs and 34 RBI in 331 plate appearances last season. He was the starting catcher for most of the first half with Andrew Knapp backing him up. He split time with Jorge Alfaro behind the plate for most of the second half.
According to Gelb, Rupp and Knapp will compete for one spot on the 25-man roster in spring training. Alfaro is expected to have cemented a roster spot since he is out of options, which means he can’t be sent to the minor leagues without his permission.
The Phillies have other pending arbitration cases with Cesar Hernandez, Maikel Franco, and Luis Garcia.
The Indians have designated outfielder Carlos Gonzalez for assignment. This comes after Gonzalez batted a mere .210/.282/.276 over 117 plate appearances in Cleveland. That came after he had to settle for a minor league contract with the Indians in mid-March.
A few years ago Gonzalez was a superstar, winning three Gold Gloves, two Silver Slugger Awards, making the All-Star team three times and coming in third in the MVP balloting once upon a time. That was then, however. His most recent good season came in 2016, when he hit .298/.350/.505 with 25 homers and drove in 100. In 2017 and 2018 he combined to hit .232/.269/.334. Between his falloff in production and the fact that his big numbers of the past were heavily supported by playing at Coors Field, it should not be shocking that he couldn’t make it work in Cleveland.
If he wants to continue his career, he’ll no doubt have to take a minor league gig someplace. Otherwise, this could be the end of the line.