Darren Daulton remained positive after being diagnosed in early July (see story) with an aggressive form of brain cancer called glioblastoma, and his attitude has not changed.
The former Phillies catcher, who was interviewed on 97.5 The Fanatic on Thursday, will be participating in the Phillies' alumni weekend. A little over week before the diagnosis, Daulton had two brain tumors removed during a procedure called an awake craniotomy.
"I'm actually starting to work out, Michael. And you know, I feel great physically," Daulton said. "Trust me, I'm going to be a lot better and I'll be right back to perfect again. Trust me."
Daulton and the rest of the 1993 Phillies, who lost the World Series to the Blue Jays, are set to be honored Sunday as part of the alumni weekend, which kicked off Thursday with Brad Lidge's retirement and first pitch (see story). Daulton hit 24 home runs with 105 RBIs in 1993.
"Number one, I'm just happy that everybody [the alumni] is back and you know I have a little bit of trouble talking. For, remember, four or five weeks we had where I was on the air, it was difficult for me to call the games," said Daulton, who hosted a show on 97.5 prior to the diagnosis.
Drafted by the Phillies in 1980, Daulton became a fan favorite and spent nearly all of his 14 major-league seasons with the Phillies; he finished his final season, 1997, with the Marlins.
"It's Philadelphia," Daulton said. "And you know, you've been here, too, it's like family. It's really like my family now. And going through this thing, I didn't know what the hell I was doing, and this thing is going to work out. I know that and I feel great right now."
The Phillies tendered contracts to three arbitration-eligible players on Friday night and set another free.
Reliever Jeanmar Gomez and infielders Cesar Hernandez and Freddy Galvis were tendered contracts for the 2017 season while outfielder Cody Asche was let go after four seasons with the club.
The Phillies signaled their intention to let Asche go when they designated him for assignment, a move that removed him from the 40-man roster, on Friday afternoon. The club had the option of trading Asche — and likely had discussions with other clubs — but ultimately decided to non-tender him before the 8 p.m. deadline. The move made Asche a free agent.
The Phils had removed Asche from the 40-man roster to clear a spot for David Rollins, a left-handed reliever who was claimed off waivers from Texas on Friday (see story).
Galvis and Hernandez, the team’s regular shortstop and second baseman, respectively, were certain to receive contracts for 2017. Gomez was less certain. He saved 37 games for the Phils in 2016, but struggled badly late in the season.
Phillies officials will try to negotiate 2017 salaries with all three players. If an agreement cannot be reached with a player, an arbitration hearing will be held later in the winter to determine that player’s salary for the coming season.
Gomez made $1.4 million in 2016, Galvis $2 million and Hernandez $525,000. According to mlbtraderumors.com, Gomez projects to make $4.6 million in arbitration, Galvis $4.4 million and Hernandez $2.5 million.
The Phillies' roster is full at 40.
Cody Asche's time with the Phillies has come to an end.
The Phillies claimed LHP David Rollins off waivers from the Texas Rangers on Friday. To make room on the 40-man roster, Asche was designated for assignment. The Phillies had until 8 p.m. on Friday to tender a contract to the outfielder, but they instead chose to free up the roster spot for Rollins.
Asche played four seasons with the Phillies from 2013-16 after he was drafted in the fourth round in 2011. The St. Charles, Mo. native had a .213/.284/.350 batting line this past season over 71 games. His best season with the Phillies came as their starting third baseman in 2014, hitting 10 home runs and driving home 46 runs in 121 games.
Rollins has been on four different rosters this offseason. He pitched 31 games in relief for the Seattle Mariners over the last two seasons, sporting a 7.60 ERA over 34 1/3 innings. He was claimed off waivers by the Chicago Cubs 15 days after the World Series and then subsequently claimed again by the Rangers.
Rollins was a 24th round draft pick by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2011 MLB Draft and was traded a year later to the Houston Astros. Prior to the 2015 season, the Mariners picked Rollins in the Rule 5 draft after the Astros chose not to protect him.