Minor League Free Agent List

Baseball America came out with the list of the minor league free agents in each organization and the highlights of the Phils list are as follows:

1B: Andy Tracy; 2B: Melvin Dorta; SS: Ozzie Chavez, 3B: Neil Sellers, Cody Ransom; OF: Rich Thompson, Mike Spidale, Kevin Mahar, Timo Perez; C: Joel Naughton, Kevin Nelson, John Suomi; SP: Brandon Duckworth, Ty Taubenheim, Brian Mazone; RP: Jason Anderson, Alex Concepcion, Oscar Villarreal, Ehren Wasserman, Kyle Carr.

Some names that may interest the Phils organization to fill their holes that will be created who have major league experience: P Chuck James, OF Endy Chavez, P Yusmeiro Petit, P Tony Pena, Jr., P Dana Eveland, 3B Dallas McPherson, P Brett Tomko, P Jason Hirsch, C JR House, 3B Mike Cervenak, OF Jacque Jones, INF D’Angelo Jiminez, P CHarlie Haeger, P CLaudio Vargas, OF Brett Carroll, 1B Brad Eldred, 3B Andy Marte, P Jason Grilli,  C Clint Sammons.

42 thoughts on “Minor League Free Agent List

  1. No on McPherson, his time has come and gone. His K/BB ratios are still consistently bad. Cervenak as well is past his prime and has never shown the ability to take a pitch. He swings at everything. Marte might be worth a flyer as a guy who could play the Greg Dobbs role.

    As I mentioned in the Transactions thread, the Phillies should take a look at Wladimir Balentien. Second in the IL in slugging, fifth in OPS. He’s a right handed outfield bat, still just 26 years old. He struggled in Seattle but when he moved to a better hitters’ park in Cincinnati, he produced.

  2. For those who like to get lost in the minutiae, I asked the following questions over at BA and got responses:

    Q. Why aren’t Dane Sardinha, Tagg Bozied, Nate Bump, and Fidel Hernandez listed as FA’s? The Phils signed them as FAs last year. Could they have been released earlier in the offseason and therefore aren’t considered FAs?
    A. The Phillies re-signed Sardinha and Hernandez to minor league deals prior to Nov. 6. (Details in forthcoming transactions updates.) Bozied and Bump may have been secured under similar terms, but I don’t yet have those details.

    Q. How is Kyle Carr a FA? He was drafted by Minnesota in 08 so he clearly doesn’t have 6 years of service.
    A. This is why the term “six year free agent” is a misnomer. Most minor league FAs listed here either have much more or much less experience under their belts. In the case of Kyle Carr, a 12th-round pick by the Twins in ’08, his release during spring training ’09 voided the renewal clause of his first minor league deal (which could have kept him property of the Twins through ’14). When the Phillies signed him in April, they did so on a one-year deal, which expired last week.

  3. Chuck James, Andy Marte, Clint Sammons, Brad Eldred and Jacque Jones all look like names I would want them to pick up. All those names would definately make the Ironpigs a better team. I saw Chuck James pitch at Harrisburg and he may still have a little something left. Eldred could take over for Tracy and not miss a beat. They need to resign Thompson just because of his hard nosed play. I am glad Cody Ransom is gone and hoepfully never comes back…. You could tell he was a former Yankee (Bad Attitude). Go Phils and lets make this off season go quicker, I’ve already booked my room for spring training.

  4. Eldred is an odd case. I wouldn’t be inclined to sign him and give him playing time over Rizzotti. At this point Eldred’s ability is well established. 260 MLB at bats, 103 strikeouts. Eldred just has no contact hitting ability at all.

    I looked over the MLEs of all the first basemen on the list and Andy Tracy honestly had the best production of any of them. If you’re inclined to take a second 1B/DH (and the IL uses the DH frequently), I would just bring Andy Tracy back.

    How about Marcos Vechionacci? Not great numbers, but decent numbers as an age appropriate prospect. And Trenton’s ballpark is absolute murder on hitters.

    I see Erik Kratz on the list. Pennsylvania native with an ISO of over .200 in Indianapolis, and that’s not far from his established career levels. A guy like that would be a tremendous compliment to Dane Sardinha’s all-defense skill set.

  5. And what ever happened to 3b Marte. On the way up via minors hwr was highly touted for his hitting…etc. Then he never fit in at 3b w his Braves.

    Worth a look?

  6. I saw Brandon McCarthy was released. Can he be signed to a minor league deal? something like By June 6th if he’s not in the majors he can leave?

  7. Marte wasn’t a bust until he got traded to Cleveland. He hit the wall in Buffalo and only recently re-discovered any type of value. His AAA numbers recovered in 2009, he hits for major league power and his plate discipline isn’t bad. I doubt he makes it but he’s a guy who might thrive in a new organization. A breath of fresh air hopeful so to speak.

  8. Looking at these guys, isn’t it hard to believe that, just 4 years ago, Jayson Werth was an afterthought for most teams?

  9. I still have a sneaking suspicion that, after 2008 season, the Phils could have signed Werth to something like a 4 year, $42 million deal with an option year. I don’t know this for sure, but I bet that would have gotten it done. Sometimes the short-term deals don’t work out so well.

  10. Yep Catch, isn’t hind-sight a wonderful thing. Somehow I expect that people would have been killing the Phillies in 2008 for giving a 4 year deal to a platoon OF with a history of injuries who had never played more than 102 games in any season prior to that year.

  11. In 2008 it would have been nuts to do that, with his history and short term success, for everyone that works, many dont and you get locked into bad contracts,

  12. I’ve had a completely irrational appreciation for Tony Pena Jr. for several years. It drives a friend of mine crazy. So, I hope we sign him.

  13. The trouble with Pena is the proverbial rubber arm somethimes results in just that a rubber arm. Minor league contract sure.

  14. “Yep Catch, isn’t hind-sight a wonderful thing. Somehow I expect that people would have been killing the Phillies in 2008 for giving a 4 year deal to a platoon OF with a history of injuries who had never played more than 102 games in any season prior to that year.”

    Well, although, of course, there’s no way I can prove that I was advocating this sort of thing at the time, I was, and, therefore, it’s not a “hindsight is 20/20″ situation. If you watched Werth play at the time, particularly after 2008, it was quite clear that he had elite talent (he hit 24 home runs in fairly limited playing time and had an opportunity to showcase his broad array of skills). His injury history was a one-time (albeit serious) problem with wrist which, by the time 2008 ended, had not been an issue for 2 full years – aside from that, he was not an injury-prone player. In addition, before he was hurt, he hit 16 homers for the Dodgers in about a half season’s worth of plate appearances, so the 24 homers did not come completely out of left field.

    So, thanks for suggesting that I only think, in hindsight, that this was a good idea, but, in truth, if you kept tabs on the situation, Werth’s trajectory and potential could be seen at the time. In saying this I do not, of course, know whether the team proposed, and Werth rejected, a proposal that included some of his FA years. For all I know he may have insisted on a deal that only covered his arbitration eligible years.

    Anyway . . . . on another note. It is sounding like the team is pursuing a new contract for Durbin and Contreras. All of which makes me wonder what will happen with our young relievers.

  15. sorry I am getting mad. If you have an less than average bullpen the thing to go is bring them back RIGHT!

  16. I, too, am not a fan of keeping Durbin. He was a very good reliever a few years ago, but is now very borderline as he has lost 2-3 MPH off of his FB and he has no “out” pitch. They would be much better off saving their money and developing guys like Schwimer, Herndon and Stutes. I have long said, and many others now agree, that Stutes is the next Durbin, but he’s a lot cheaper.

    By the way, the team apparently is looking at the Detroit pitcher who throws a knuckleball (I forget his name). My view is that it is almost always a good idea to give a knuckleball pitcher a chance and allow him to develop. Usually, those players don’t hit their peak until at least their mid-30s, but when they do they can serve as reliable and outstanding 4th and 5th starters (see RA Dickey and Tim Wakefield). So let’s get him in here and have him work on the pitch – very little risk and cost for a possible big upside. But they will need to be patient.

  17. You want to wear out a catcher, get a knuckleball pitcher.

    Jeff Francoeur has been released by Texas. Probably an ideal platoon partner for Gload or Brown. I’d love to see him here, despite his drawbacks (can’t hit righties, no patience) he is a premier athlete and could still find his way.

  18. 3,000+ MLB plate appearances and people are still waiting for Jeff Francoeur to put it all together. His OPS+ over the last three seasons combined is 83. He’s awful, I want no part of him.

  19. I don’t mind keeping Cointreras if the price is right and it’s a one-year contract. But I don’t like the idea of keeping Contreras and Durbin.

    By the way, I’m not too concerned about wearing out our catcher – if the knuckleballer is effective, that’s the least of my concerns.

    On Francoeur, I’m not too impressed mostly because of the lack of plate discipline. If the price is right, it wouldn’t be the worst move in the world. At least he can field his position. The Braves did him no favors by rushing him through the minors. He’s a guy who should have finished that year at AA and he could have used a full year at AAA. You have to hand it to the Phillies for being reasonably careful not to promote players too quickly.

  20. Some of other teams 6 year minor league free agents to consider for minor league contracts: 3B-OF possible invites- Ruben Gotay, Jesus Guzman
    OF- Lou Montanez, INF- (LH hitter who plays all IF positions and corner OF) Pete Orr
    Relief- Mike Hinckley, LHP and Ramon A. Ramirez , RHP, C (has hit some) Robinzon Diaz, Starting Pitcher candidates for some differentiation, Two semi-injured Knuckleballers: Charlie Haeger and Charlie Zink, and one R.J. Swindle, LHP.

  21. I also believe it will be one not both – likely Contreras. That would lock up Lidge, Madson, Contreras, Baez, and a LH specialist FA. That allows 2 open spots – one for Bastardo and a RH rookie – Mathieson, DeFratus, Worley, or others. Keep in mind that I think the Phils had 6 relief pitchers spend time on DL last year so the other young relievers will get their chance over the course of the season. I don’t think the Phils will add a lot of veteran bullpen arms at AAA this year as insurance for the big league team because we now have that with some legitimate / potential prospects.

  22. LA – I agree with your analysis. I also think there’s a good chance that Baez will not even make the team or, if he does, he will be waiver wire fodder by late May if he doesn’t perform well and one of our young relievers looks like he is ready to step up. The Phils would gladly trade Baez, but the Phils are rightly concerned that even offering Baez in a trade could cause result immediate and highly lethal paroxysms of laughter that could seriously endanger the front office personnel of several other major league teams.

  23. The Phillies signed utility man Pete Orr, according to Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun. Orr, 31, last appeared in the majors with the Nationals in 2009. In five seasons for the Braves and Nationals, he has a career .260/.287/.335 line. The Canadian has just 555 big league plate appearances, but he has played at second, third, short and in both corner outfield positions.

    Orr spent the 2010 season at Triple-A Syracuse, where he batted .264/.326/.436 in 536 plate appearances. He hit 12 homers, stole 25 bases and played second, third, short and all three outfield positions.

  24. Sign Contreras, a lefty specialist (Downs, Feliciano, or Takahashi), a righty reliever (would like JJ Putz but he may be too much), Bastardo, and then have Mathieson and Herndon fight it out for the final spot. Cut Baez (eating his contract would be worth not going through the pain of watching him pitch)

    Lidge and Madson of course return

  25. Catch,

    I’ll take you at your word that you were an advocate of signing Werth to a $10M+ per year contract back in 2008. You were certainly ahead of the curve but that doesn’t change the point that the Phillies would have been ripped for making that deal by most everyone else but you..

  26. The fact that Francour changed teams 3 times (soon to be 4) in the 2 years should give a good indiciation of his value to the teams that have seen him play on a day-to-day basis.

    He stunk in Atl and whined in NY when his playing time was reduced due to his poor play. Not sure that’s really what the Phillies need on their bench.

  27. One thing the combination of Halladay, Hamels, and Oswalt gives the bullpen is the opportunity to become more specialized since they shouldn’t have much need for guys who can throw multiple innings on back-to-back days. As such, I have zero interest in Durbin and would much rather they spend the money on a true lefty specialist to go along with Bastardo.

    A bullpen of Lidge, Madson, Contreras (resigned on a 1-year deal only), Bastardo, Baez, Lefty-specialist, and one of Mathieson/DeFratus/Stutes/Schwimmer is an upgrade over the 2010 version. And if Baez struggles again in 2011, he can be cut loose mid-season and replaced.

  28. I like the idea of bringing up only one young reliever and signing a LH specialist with Bastardo. Don’t want an abundantly young bullpen when the games matter the most. I agree that Baez will be ST cut. Not sure this bullpen can hide both Baez and Mathieson. Mathieson needs time in the majors. Of course, Worley may be in the rotation by mid-season, opening up another slot for a another young reliever or Kendrick if he is not released.

  29. Depending on how much Kendrick is looking for…it wouldn’t suprise me at all if KK is non-tendered. IMO I don’t think he’s worth more than $2m for 2011. If he’s looking for significantly more than that amount, I prefer to have Worley,knuckleballer Bonine(if we sign him, plus a six-yr.free agent or 2 to compete for the fifth spot. Then, Kendrick’s money can be used in the bullpen or the outfield.

  30. Okay, here we go, everybody is going to jump all over me for saying this but here it is…Danys Baez will have a GREAT 2011 for the Phils. Seems like relievers so often go good year, bad year, good year, bad year, etc. I think its very possible he rebounds next year and has a solid season. Its important to note IF he does, he is a back end of bullpen kind of guy.

  31. I don’t see how you offer KK arbitration – based on what I’ve seen, there’s absolutely no reason to think that Vance Worley will not immediately be better (and, I think, much better) than Kendrick. If they want to bring Kendrick back at under $ 1 million a year, I am not thrilled about that, but it’s probably worth it to have a resilient arm around who can start major league games. The team will need that 6th starter in the wings and that person can be Kendrick, but not if he’s too expensive. Given his performance history and what he’s likely to command in arbitration, that just doesn’t make very much sense.

  32. By all rights, Danys Baez should be a good pitcher. He throws in the mid to upper 90s (usually between 94-96 MPH), he has several pitches with decent movement and he has a lot of experience. How a guy could stink with that much experience and ability is an absolute mystery to me, but stink he did.

  33. Nice first outing for new Phils prospect Josh Warner. He is the 18 year old, 6’3″ Aussie who just made his pitching debut in the ABL for the Brisbane Bandits. He struck out three of the 7 batters he faced in the two innings he worked in relief giving up only a walk. One of his strike outs included Luke Hughes who debuted back in April with the Twins and hit a home run in his first major league at bat.

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