While the Philadelphia Phillies have brought in a number of new players for 2016, the club has also lost a few from the organization.
Aside from the obvious loss of closer Ken Giles in the big trade for five young pitchers, there are a number of other players who contributed significantly to the 2015 big league club, to other recent Phillies teams, or who were long time minor league prospects, who will not return to the organization next year.
The now 37-year old Lee is a free agent, and has been linked to a number of teams including the Baltimore Orioles, New York Yankees, Texas Rangers, Cleveland Indians, and Kansas City Royals.
Lee is most likely to catch on with a contending team on a non-guaranteed contract with a spring training invitation, assuming he can play at all.
Three starting pitchers who took the mound for the Phillies in 2015 will also not be returning.
Aaron Harang made 29 starts in what was always a one-year, stopgap signing. Jerome Williamsmade 30 starts and another dozen relief appearances over the last season-plus. Chad Billingsley took the mound for just seven ineffective starts in yet another injury-marred 2015 season. All remain free agents at this time.
Once a rising young starting pitching prospect, the injury-marred career of Jonathan Pettibone likely came to an end as far as the Phillies are concerned when he too was outrighted off the 40-man roster. The righty elected free agency, and will attempt to come back with another organization.
Finally, Kelly Dugan, a 24-year old outfielder in the Phillies farm system for parts of the last seven seasons, was outrighted back in October as well.
Dugan was just signed to a minor league deal with the Chicago Cubs, and will continue chasing his big league dream with the rising Cubbies.
Aside from the obvious Giles, and possibly Francoeur, none of those players or prospects was important to the Phillies rebuilding plan, either in the long or short-term.
But at various times over the last few years, each played a role in the organization, some more important than others. They all deserved one last goodbye, and a wish for good luck.