Sources: Hernandez among 4 Phils to avoid arb

PHILADELPHIA — The Phillies are not going to salary arbitration with any of their eligible players.

A source told MLB.com on Friday afternoon that the Phils and second baseman Cesar Hernandez agreed to a $5.1 million contract. Sources also confirmed that Maikel Franco ($2.95 million), Cameron Rupp ($2.05 million) and Luis Garcia ($1.2 million) agreed to terms.

PHILADELPHIA — The Phillies are not going to salary arbitration with any of their eligible players.

A source told MLB.com on Friday afternoon that the Phils and second baseman Cesar Hernandez agreed to a $5.1 million contract. Sources also confirmed that Maikel Franco ($2.95 million), Cameron Rupp ($2.05 million) and Luis Garcia ($1.2 million) agreed to terms.

They were the only four Phillies eligible for salary arbitration after the team traded Freddy Galvis to the Padres last month.

Hernandez and Franco will open the season as the team’s everyday second baseman and third baseman, respectively. Garcia will be a key piece in the bullpen. Rupp will compete with Andrew Knapp for a job alongside Jorge Alfaro.

Hernandez hit a combined .294 with a .372 on-base percentage and a .778 OPS the past two seasons. Triple-A Lehigh Valley second baseman Scott Kingery is the No. 50 overall prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, but he is unlikely to be promoted until late April at the earliest because of service time considerations. Even then, Kingery is going to have to play well to unseat Hernandez, who ranks 24th out of 131 qualified players in baseball in on-base percentage the past two seasons.

Franco’s production has declined since he posted a promising .840 OPS in 2015. It was .733 in 2016 and .690 last season, which ranked last out of 25 qualified third basemen. This is a critical season for him.

Video: NYM@PHI: Franco crushes a three-run shot to left

Garcia looked like a non-tender candidate last spring, but he posted a 2.65 ERA in 66 appearances last season.

The Phillies have about $55 million committed to eight players in 2018. They still hope to acquire a starting pitcher before Spring Training. The remainder of the team’s projected 25-man roster will make near the league minimum ($545,000).

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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