Phillies Minor League Free Agents

Today Baseball America published the list of minor league free agents. The article did a pretty good job of explaining exactly what a 6 year free agent is, so check it out here. Here are the free agents from the Phillies organization:

Philadelphia Phillies (31)
RHP: Brian Bass (AAA), Eddie Bonine (AAA), Nate Bump (AAA), Dave Bush (AAA), Joe Esposito (AA)
LHP: Ryan Edell (AAA), Ryan Feierabend (AAA), Derrick Loop (AA), Tommy Palica (Hi A), Juan Perez (AAA), Les Walrond (AA)
C: Tim Kennelly (AA), Torre Langley (Hi A), Jeff Lanning (Lo A)
1B: Tagg Bozied (AAA), Jeff Larish (AAA)
2B: Josh Barfield (AAA), Ozzie Chavez (AA), Paco Figueroa (AA), Kevin Frandsen (AAA), Fidel Hernandez (AA), Steve Singleton (AA)
OF: Brent Clevlen (AA), Terry Evans (AA), Chris Frey (AA), Cyle Hankerd (Hi A), Chris Lubanski (AA), Scott Podsednik (AAA), Mike Spidale (AA), Rich Thompson (AAA), Delwyn Young (AAA)

I expected to see Brandon Moss, Derrick Mitchell, John Suomi, and Tuffy Gosewich listed so I’m assuming they have resigned with the Phillies which means they never hit the free agent market but that’s just speculation on my part.

Additionally, Dane Sardinha was previously announced as a free agent and the Phillies have reportedly re-signed 40-man roster cast-offs Pete Orr and Drew Naylor to minor league deals.

Anyone on the list who you think needs to be back next year?

58 thoughts on “Phillies Minor League Free Agents

  1. tim kennelly, rich thompson…that is all…use the minors to develop players for the future, not provide the equivalent of the baltimore orioles and houston astros in lehigh valley and reading.

    1. Where? Don’t see him on any list I know of. The only transaction on Moss is in October when he was outrighted to AAA. Have seen nothing that says he elected Free Agency. The only way Moss is a free agent is if he immediately elected free agency when outrighted and it was not reported (as apparently was the case with Pete Orr). If that is what happened Moss would be a minor league free agent, and not an MLB Free Agent. The only list for Philly MLB Free Agents contains 7 names and Moss isn’t one of them.

        1. Okay , he immediately elected free agency when outrighted off the 40 man roster, missed that from Salisbury. Might be some more guys like that.

  2. As to the needs to be back thing, I say no, none of them need to be back. They might bring back some of the Left Handed Relievers, as there is a shortage.

  3. The best outfielder of the bunch is hands down Lubanski. AAA All star in 2010 with a 899 OPS at 24/25 years old. He is a legit 20/20 guy at the big league level in 2013 and he is a corner outfielder which is a big need for the Phils. All he needs is few hundred ABs in AAA, and a couple of months in the big leagues at the end of 2012.
    The Phil could save the few Million and get the same if not better production as a they would from a midlevel OF FA.
    Don’t kid yourself either, Dom Brown is not the answer. He wasn’t even playing at LV at the end of 2011. Trade him while he has some value and get Lubanski ready.

      1. I am neither. He is local kid so I followed his career from afar.

        When his 2010 first half had him on pace to be the PCL MVP, I paid closer attention. An oblique injury cost him July/August and slowed his numbers for the last month of 2010.

        He is one year removed from 293/17/57/899 OPS in less than 400 ABs (milb.com) at AAA and he is only 26. Who else in the Phils system is close to this especially in the OF? I also watch LV games and it ain’t Brown.

        1. I went to NAHS, so he’s a local kid to me as well, but saying he’s a 20/20 OFer in the big leagues is a joke. I was kind of excited when they signed him for the reasons you mentioned but after his terrible performance in Reading I did some more research. The PCL is of course a hitters league and it was his best year as a pro easily. But more troubling is that scouts say he’s lost his speed and his bat just isn’t good enough to carry him. He’s only had 10 steals or more in one season- 2005. I’d like to see him turn it around and become a major leaguer but just don’t see it at this point.

        2. Domonic’s 2010 was better than Lubanski. So if that’s your argument between the two players then it’s a pretty weak one.

          1. He played 28 games at LV in 2010 and then hit .210 at the mlb level. It has not been good since. He is dropping routine fly balls and looks lost at the plate.

            I am not looking to kill Brown. Ian sure he is a good kid.

        3. I don’t think anyone should say “only 26″ when referring to a minor leaguer, especially one that needs another year at AAA. Sure there have been a few late bloomers that become great in the majors (Ryan Howard) but with Lubanski’s injury history and other red flags I don’t expect much out of him.

          1. I don’t disagree with you. However as we are talking about a minor league player, it cost almost nothing to bring him back. What do they lose by playing him for a year in AAA to see what he can do? I am not expecting Ryan Howard. But do I think he can be a solid big league OF and playing for the mlb minimum for at least 3 yrs. As Amaro said, they can’t pay 15 mil for every position.

    1. The problem with Lubanski is that his AAA production is unexceptional except for when he played in Las Vegas. And that of course is an extreme hitters’ environment. It’s nice to think of him as a 20/20 guy but he’s never stolen 20 bases, and he only hit 20+ home runs in High Desert. And while you can look at him as having development ahead of him, there’s not much further to climb at his age.

      Lubanski’s nice organizational filler, especially being a local guy. But he’s not a great hitter and no amount of athleticism can help him.

  4. No offense to any of these fine men, but if you are a 6 year free agent you are basically organizational depth at this point. Granted the organization needs people to fill roster spots but I don’t think any individual player that makes it to 6 year free agent NEEDS to be kept.

    1. You are right that these are fine players.

      I have met Chris once. He signed a baseball for my kid and actually talked to him for more than 30 seconds.

      Why it did not work out with the Royals, I do not know. He was anointed the MVP of Royal spring training in 09 by the big league mgr and then hurt his leg early on which cost him most of the year.

      I saw him play a few times Reading last year where he had two 3 hit games in his first week and they basically stopped playing him after his second week. While he likely doesn’t run a 6.3 60 anymore (I read the scouting reports also) as when he was 18, trust me he still runs like a deer (3 of 4 In SB’s in a very short time in Reading).

      All I know is in 2010 he hit the crappy out of the ball. Maybe he just made up the 899 OPS or the desert air got him to hit AAA pitching at a 320 clip before the injury.

      While the Phils can buy all of their needs in FA, again I ask who do they have on the farm who is not 30 and has this kind of recent track record at the AAA level and is an OF?

    1. How many years does it take to become a free agent, if you were drafted from high school.
      for example if you were a picther that came out in 06 are you a free agent now or in 07?

      1. It takes 6 yrs not including the year you are drafted. So an 06 drafted is eligible in 2012 if he not protected on the mlb 40 man or is released before.

  5. Lubanski hit .326 in his pro debut, earned Top Prospect honors that season as a rookie, was a Midwest League All-Star the next year, tore up the California League at age 20 (including a 13 for 15 performance in the league playoffs), and lead the Double A Texas League in triples and walks at age 21 (had more extra base hits than Billy Butler that year, and a better BB/K ration than Alex Gordon). In 2006, there was regime change in KC, the GM who drafted Lubanski was gone, and the new front office put him on the backburner. His first full AAA season at age 23 was unspectacular but he hit RHP very well and power was emerging. In 2009, at age 24, he has named big league camp MVP by the Royals, and got off to his best start in AAA, hitting over .300 in the first month with six stolen bases before a torn hamstring put him on the DL. The Royals tried to bring him back to action prematurely (no doctor’s exam) and he hobbled in Omaha for a couple of weeks before the Royals recognized their serious mistake, he couldn’t run or swing the bat (his average plummeted), and Lubanski was put back on the DL (again, no doctor exam). Lubanski insisted on surgery at the end of the season (a second tear was discovered), the leg was fixed, and then the Royals, inexplicably, let him go (did KC mishandle the leg injury and want to part company?).

    An All-Star at every professional level, and a two-time team Player of the Year, Lubanski’s body of work certainly suggests that a legitimate MLB playing opportunity is warranted especially considering the MLB opportunities which other players have had without Lubanski’s production. And the knock on his speed can be fuly attributed to an organization’s decisions not to develop that speed (one of the fastest players in the 2003 draft). Lubanski can swipe 20-30 bases a year if given the chance (he was 12 for 13 in the first half of 2005, then was only given the green light twice, and stole two bases, in the second half that season; in ’09, he stole 6 bases in less than a month, and even stole two bases in his first week at Reading. Let him run!).

    When analyzing MLB prospects, you have to scratch the surface at times and question the development choices an organization makes; these choices, good or bad, can obvlously affect a player’s production and career path, are largely out of the player’s control, and can impact what other MLB teams, the media, and fans think of the player. Although talent and performance is a big part of the equation of course, MLB opportunity, and a team sticking with a player through the thick and thin, is often in the hands of the GM, whether or not you are “his guy” or not. For Lubanski, the new regime in KC didn’t pay a lot of attention and then, despite his very promising performance to start 2009, Lubanski’s injury may have sealed his fate in KC (how treatment and return to action was managed is another story entirely) but he bounced back very well with Toronto in 2010 leading PCL OF’s in home runs and extra base hits before an oblique strain cost him a Tripe A All-Star appearance. Given Lubanski’s career, relatively young age, and the bargain price he would reflect, a full year playing everyday in AAA for a budget-conscious club would clearly be worth the very small investment, and the return on that investment may be quite surprising.

      1. My thoughts exactly … either his agent, brother, wife or his father. I don’t know that much detail about myself!

    1. For a better response mail to :
      Phila Phillies—attn Ruben Amaro
      1 Citizens Bank Way
      Philadelphia, PA 19148-5249

    2. I’ve stayed out of this after my initial snarky response for reasons which should be obvious – but I have to say.this would be a somewhat convincing (though exaggerated) pitch (as opposed to the initial mention of Lubanski, which was absurdly over the top), except for one thing: it was the kind of pitch that would have made sense a year ago. He got that kind of chance in 2011, and did nothing with it. May not have been his fault, maybe there were extenuating circumstances, I have no idea, yeah it was a small sample size. But the fact is that, aside from the very best players, the difference between a significant major league career and a career minor leaguer is often a matter of luck and timing. A guy like Lubanski, even assuming he was a victim of bad luck or bad management by the Royals, only gets so many chances, and he is running out of chances if he hasn’t run out of them already.

  6. Has anyone heard of this Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes? http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=15469 His workout video is down now, but it was quite an interesting video. Can leg press 1,300 lbs. and has a 45 inch vertical jump. Despite having a body like Steven Jackson, Goldstein still says he is a baseball player and could play in the majors next year with some minor league seasoning. He’s looking for a Chapman type deal but the kicker is the Phillies are interested. http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/phillies/133375053.html Unfortunately so are the Marlins and Yankees.

    1. I would not be surprised to see Cespedes get something like this:

      2012: $4M –2013: $4M — 2014: $6M — 2015: $7M — 2016: $9M (player option)

      That comes out to $30M total, so throw in a signing bonus of $8M, plus or minus $3M, and it puts him in the upper $30M, lower $40M bracket. Of course, this is all contingent on the Yankees bidding the price up. If it comes down to Miami and some smaller market teams, then the Marlins could easily net Cespedes for a low $30M, high $20M contract.

    2. For a little guy, 5’10”, 190lbs, Yoennis Cespedes packs a lot of power. Yankees are big players with Marlins.

  7. LarryM…as you indicate, there are extenuating circumstances and a lot of luck involved as well, thus we have to look beyond what seems to be obvious and scrutinize a lot closer why any player’s career goes off-track especially when the 5th pick in the country, a national high school player of the year, and a four-time pro All-Star doesn’t have a single MLB at-bat. Again, a club’s decisions have a lot to do with the career path, and often a front office may outthink itself. Because Lubanski was a player out of high school and from the Northeast as well, his talent was raw although considerable tools were present (Lubanski scored the highest OFP from the Major League Scouting Bureau of any high school position prospect leading up to the ’03 draft). Perhaps due to pushing other young players too fast and too soon in prior seasons, the Royals front office at the time wanted to take it very slow with Lubanski. He was promoted to a new, tougher competitive level for three straight seasons, had slow starts as he adapted to each level, and then put up some crazy numbers at times proving the ability to make adjustments and produce at each new level.

    The first full season test at AAA was not passed with flying colors as I mention, but Lubanski was just 23 years old at the time, and he did hit very well against RHP that season, so there was surely a lot of upside to still smile about. The bigger test would come in 2009, at age 24, and repeating AAA, and Lubanski took a big step forward by hitting over .320 in big league camp, was publicly labeled camp MVP by the Royals’ manager, and jumped out to a great start in AAA as noted, but then the leg injury developed, and the Royals turned their back on him. Essentially then, 2009 was a lost year despite the impressive start Lubanski had. The Blue Jays grabbed him after KC let him go, and 2010 represented only his second full year in AAA, and coming off a serious injury…a .293 BA, .899 OPS, and 17 home runs in just 355 AB’s isn’t too shabby, and he was 2nd in the PCL in extra base hits among players with less than 400 AB’s.

    The Blue Jays wanted him back in 2011 but “extenuating circumstances” redirected Lubanski, and the Marlins jumped on him as a minor league free agent, offered him a bunch of money (relatively speaking for a minor league guy), and promised Lubanski’s agent that he would have a guaranteed spot in AAA. But just 18 at-bats into spring training last year, Lubanski was released by Florida. Eight weeks went by, and he decided to play indy ball to keep his feet wet, but the opportunity to play affiliated ball didn’t come again until August when the Phillies called (the club very surprised that Lubanski was playing indy ball). A potentially great opportunity for sure, but being out of the loop playing affilated ball for nearly a year was a big obstacle to overcome in a few short weeks at Reading; Lubanski hit over .300 in the first week, had a home run and a couple SB’s too, but then hit a skid in week two as a DH only, and that was it.

    If Lubanski had played an entire full season in AA or AAA in 2011, then I think “he got that kind of chance” you mention would be valid. But the chance was very limited to say the least, a small sample size as you note especially considering the fact that he hadn’t played at a high level since the previous August. No question that the window of opportunity for Lubanski may be closing, but giving the progress and production, back to back seasons of injury when he may have been on the brink of a MLB callup, and the very economical choice he represents, Lubanski is worth a serious look if a club is willing to give him a serious commitment (not dollars, but opportunity). If it doesn’t happen, Lubanski’s experience will demonstrate how a very promising career can derail if injury occurs at the wrong time, if a club’s development decisions go awry, or if the big guy in the front office is just not in your corner regardless of your talent or on-the-diamond contributions.

    1. Chris Lubanski at age of 18 came into $2M as the 5th pick in 2003. He did well. His career did not pan out as expected….just as many in this world. Let it go and move on.

  8. Things don’t always work out for lots of people. Life can be unfair, people are deceived, incompetence occurs, etc. Lubanski isn’t any different but the record should be set a little straighter. The posts simply provide a closer, more accurate view at the kid’s career and what really happened, and much of it which few people know about. To more fully consider some of the lesser known factors that caused that career not to pan out as expected is reasonable in almost any analysis (and may even help other young players looking to pursue a pro baseball career).

    1. Lots of good, hard info on an intriguing guy to put into the mix of position candidates and follow his stats as 2012 progresses.

  9. I actually have seen Lubanski play the last two years in Las Vegas and Chico. He looked very good in Las Vegas, but looked to have lost a bit in Chico. But that kid can hit and there’s a place for him at AAA as a DH/4th outfielder.

  10. saw Lubanski in Reading the first week he was there, looked real good especially with the bat and on the bases. was rusty in chico after not playing for over two months, and little in spring training, before starting independent ball (that seemed to be a different experience all together). showed the bat in AAA in 2010, can drive the ball, worth the shot (cheap option) seeing that he is may just be coming into his prime but the injuries didn’t help his progress

  11. Per his Twitter, Frandsen resigned with the Phillies. I hope he gets a shot at the major league roster. Right now he’s the best utility infielder in the organisation.

Comments are closed.