Phillies Officially End Howard’s Tenure, Decline Option
The Phillies gave first baseman Ryan Howard a great sendoff on Fan Appreciation Day. While the Phillies could not outwardly say that Howard would not return; the team had to formally decline his contract option for 2017. Today, the day after the World Series the Phillies just did that.
The Phillies announced the move on Twitter:
And with that both Howard and Charlie Morton are free agents.
The Phillies also announced that they reinstated pitchers Matt Harrison, Aaron Nola and Zach Eflin from the 60-day disabled list. The moves mean that all three are back on the Phillies 40-man roster. Nola and Eflin should be ready for the Spring; Harrison's status is unclear at this time. Harrison has yet to throw a pitch for the Phillies.
Free agents-to-be may begin filing for free agency today. Monday is the deadline for clubs to extend a qualifying offer to them. Teams have a five-day exclusive negotiating window until then.