— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) January 17, 2014
According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Phillies have avoided arbitration with outfielder/first baseman John Mayberry Jr. This is Mayberry’s first year of arbitration eligibility. Mayberry will compete for a job as the right-handed bench bat with the club in Spring Training. Mayberry has the second-most games played and fifth most plate appearances with the Phillies since 2011.
Analysis: As questionable as this move is, everyone saw it a mile away. Mayberry had by far the worst year of his career (.227/.286/.391 with 11 HR and 5 steals), a dramatic drop off from a 2011 where Mayberry showed such promise, even if it was just against left-handed pitching. Mayberry went from hitting lefties at a .306 clip in 2011 to .271 in 2012 to .240 in 2013.
This move won’t prevent the Phillies from acquiring a different player financially but the move is curious because of the lack of improvement Mayberry has made in what were supposed to be the peak years of his career. Mayberry is now 30 years old and is unlikely to improve at this stage of his career.