2015 Phillies Roster Make Up

When looking at who is likely to progress, the contract status of those on the current 25 man and 40 man roster is critical to evaluating potential next steps, so here it goes:

Catcher: Carlos Ruiz will be back and is scheduled to make $8.5M next season.  Wil Nieves has done a real nice job as a back up and is scheduled to become a free agent at the end of this season. He made $1.125M this year and should probably be in line to get between $1.5–2M next year.  The Phils would be wise to bring him back based on the large question marks surrounding both Tommy Joseph and Cameron Rupp right now.  Going into next season, Joseph will have two options remaining and Rupp will have one option left.

Corner Infield: Ryan Howard’s $25M salary is well documented and as much as I would like to see him move on, I expect him back at 1B, collecting in excess of 450 AB’s next year.  Cody Asche will have a salary right around the major league minimum of $510K and all three options remaining next year.  It will be interesting to see how things play out with Maikel Franco a certainty to be added to the 40 man roster and will be knocking at Asche’s doorstep.  Darin Ruf will go into next season slated to make just above the major league minimum if he sticks and has one option remaining. 

Middle Infield:  Chase Utley will be back at $15M and Jimmy Rollins will be entering the final year of his contract at $11M.  Things get interesting when looking at middle infield backups.  Freddy Galvis and Cesar Hernandez both will be fighting for major league jobs with no options remaining to send them to the minors.  Both are pre-arbitration and would make around the major league minimum.  Andres Blanco is the 5th middle infielder currently on the 40 man roster and has played quite well in limited action for Philadelphia.  Blanco has the advantage of playing 2B, SS, and 3B very well, but the Phils may very well be able to sign him to a lucrative two way contract to guarantee his return to the organization.

Outfield: Marlon Byrd appears very likely to be back and making $8M next season.  In CF, Ben Revere seems to have solidified his hold with an excellent second half, hitting among the league leaders which is shielding him for continued criticism for his very poor arm, and lack of walks from the leadoff position.  After making $1.95M this season, Revere will likely get a substantial raise entering his second arbitration season.  In LF, Domonic Brown will be entering his first arbitration eligible season in 2015, after making 550K this year.  His 2015 salary is likely to be fairly manageable based on how poor of a year he had this year. Grady Sizemore will be a free agent at the end of this year, and is unlikely to return in my opinion.  I am not sure how the Phils could justify spending multi million dollars on bringing him back, as a 32 year old on a team rebuilding (although as we know, stranger things have happened).  John Mayberry Jr. will be out of options entering Spring Training next season and his Phillies career is likely drawing to a close. I would hope the Phils have reached the end of the road with his continued lack of production.  The minor league Outfielders currently on the 40 are Kelly Dugan and Aaron Altherr.  Neither are likely to make the team in the Spring and both have 2 options remaining. 

Starting Pitching:  The Phils would love to unload Cliff Lee and his $25M contract for next year, but are certainly inhibited by his uncertain health.  Cole Hamels will be back at $22.5M for next year.  AJ Burnett’s return is a question mark as he continues to talk retirement, however there is a $15M mutual option and $12.75M player option (with 32 starts this year) that may lure him back.  Kyle Kendrick made almost $7.7M this year and will become an unrestricted free agent following this season.  God willing, he will not be returning.  David Buchanan will go into 2015 with two options remaining and having pitched well enough to be a leading candidate for rotation spot 4 or 5.  The only other starting pitcher currently on the 40 man roster is Jon Pettibone, who missed the large majority of the season injured, has just one option remaining and will be a major questions mark entering 2015. Jerome Williams has pitched well in his “try out” thus far, but far too early to tell what we may or may not have with a player that has failed in multiple organizations.  So, the only true “definite” appears to be Hamels, but the rotation is likely to include both Lee and Buchanan before the Phils attempt to round things out from the outside and those currently outside the 40.

Bullpen: Lots of relievers on the 40 man currently, so lets go one by one.  Mike Adams, who has spent most of his time with the Phils on the disabled list, has a $6M club option for next season.  He wont be back at that price and is unlikely to be back at all.  Phillippe Aumont will, at long last, be out of options and I would be very surprised to see him back.  Antonio Bastardo’s situation will be interesting to watch.  He made close to $2M this season and has not performed up to expectations.  He will be entering his 3rd year of arbitration, and is likely to get $2.5M.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see him on another club with other viable LOOGY’s for the Phils to depend on. Justin DeFratus has likely cemented a place in the 2015 bullpen with his performance this year, is still pre-arb making close to the major league minimum and has no options remaining after this year.  Jake Diekman has one option remaining and like DeFratus will come cheap, still pre-arb.  He has generally been very effective and will be in the Phils ‘pen in 2015. 

Moving along, Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez has performed very well in the minors during the second half of 2014, and at a guaranteed salary of $4M a year, the Phillies will be doing everything humanly possible to assure that money is spent on a major leaguer. Ethan Martin will have one option remaining entering 2015, and I expect that unless he is lights out in the Spring, the Phils are likely to use that option.  Very difficult to complain about the $13M that Jonathan Papelbon is scheduled to make next season, as based on performance, he is deserving.  That said, with Kenny GIles knocking at the door, the Phils would be wise to explore trade options. BJ Rosenberg is currently on the 40 man roster and without options come 2015.  He had a brutal, injury plagued 2014 and it is difficult to see a scenario with him returning next season. Kenny Giles will go into 2015 making the major league minimum, as the Phils set up man, and with all his options remaining. Luis Garcia has been lights out for Lehigh Valley, but simply could not get outs during multiple stints in Philly.  He will have one option remaining coming into next season. Mario Hollands was the surprise member of the bullpen this Spring, and managed to hang on in the majors through ups and downs this season.  With three options remaining, Hollands immediate future is dependant on what help the Phils may choose to bring in. Finally, Cesar Jiminez has been excellent for Lehigh Valley over thre last two seasons and has pitched very well, albeit in low leverage situations for the Phillies.  Without options, Jiminez will be one of those may be elsewhere based on circumstance.  So, to summarize, I see the definites from the bullpen as: Papelbon, Giles, DeFratus, Gonzalez, and Diekman.  I see the other three jobs up for grabs.

37 thoughts on “2015 Phillies Roster Make Up

  1. Am I missing something? I see the outfielders discussed here.

    For me I just don’t see any reason to have a Byrd, Papelbon, etc. hanging around. Nothing to do with them mind you, they have both performed extremely well. Just don’t see spending the money on folks their age with a team that seriously needs a total rebuild. And actually I think the Phils will actually have to spend quite a bit of that money to get anything back for the two of them anyway, but time to bring some of the young kids in to see what they can do. For me that’s Brown, Revere, Ruf, Asche, Galvis, Hernandez, with Giles closing. And I guess you can add Franco to that list but not sure he’s ready at this point. And yes I know, that is one fairly weak team to field as we know they aren’t all going to make it, let alone turn into stars.

    I know what Montgomery said about not wanting to rebuild because of the hit to the attendance, But for me, and maybe I am a minority, I think the team will be weak pretty much no matter what they do (they can’t afford crazy free agent signings) so I’d rather them be weak with young kids that we can invest an interest in to see how they do as opposed to folks on the back end of their career.

    My guess is that since the folks reading this post are reading it on a site called Phuture Phillies you think the same way. But I truly believe most people would feel that way.

    1. Papelbon should be gone, but there is circumstantial evidence that they are trying to basically give him away and can’t find a taker. \Byrd, OTOH, should be traded if they can get even a half way decent return, but it’s pretty clear that they are asking too much. Burnett is probably going to retire, and of course has his own partial no trade clause (and strong preferences as to where he wants to pitch), but yes he should be traded if he can be.

      I don’t know why people still talk about trading Rollins and Utley – they aren’t going to agree to trades.

      One does wonder why we don’t hear more about a Ruiz trade though. Once again his value far exceeds his salary. Yeah, there’s a downside risk for a team trading for him, but he would be an upgrade for MOST teams, including multiple contenders. Not sure why he wouldn’t get a decent return.

      Hamels … ironically, I am probably MORE willing to trade him than most people are. But recent discussions of the return that people are expecting for him makes it clear that even a significant overpay for him would outrage most fans.

      Howard should be gone if he can be traded, but, as you say, that’s not likely. Lee, IF he is healthy and effective (IMO somewhat doubtful) should be traded, but his trade value won’t be what many fans expect (age and lingering health concerns).

      I’d like to see Ruf as the starting first baseman, Giles, closing, Revere in center, and Asche at third (at least until June), but I’m mystified that anyone wants to see Hernandez or Galvis as a regular. Both have an upside of a regular on a non-contender – more likely they will be weak bench players. Brown I’ve pretty much given up on, but it isn’t as if the team has much in the way of options.

      1. I think there would be a decent return for Ruiz, and he is one of the few good contracts the Phils have. I really think the Phils don’t even float his name out there, though. They still want to hold on to the “core” 08 guys as long as possible, and they look at the options if they were to trade him. Look what happens every year that Chooch goes on the DL. You wind up with a Koyie Hill and a Cameron Rupp being your starting catchers for a month. I know it doesn’t matter, they are a 70 win team and aren’t going to compete, but the FO doesn’t think that way. There is such a lack of catching in this system that they feel forced to keep Chooch.

      2. Ruiz has about a 3 WAR this year and his stats show he is still a top-10 catcher both offensively and defensively. If 1 WAR on the open market is worth at least $5MM, his worth is WAY more than his salary. Next year may be a different story but it’s doubtful he is overvalued assuming he is fairly healthy. Your admission that he would be an upgrade for most teams, even contending ones, contradicts your statement that is he overvalued. I’m interested to hear why you think this way given your comments usually are backed some by objective facts.

        1. We are a 90 loss team trying to rebuild. Older players that are a top 10 in their positions are a luxury that can be traded for prospects.

          Ruiz is not helping you get back to contention which is 3 years away.

          1. The thing about Ruiz is how much value he adds to the pitchers. Williams credits Chooch and Nieves with helping him. That stuff matters a lot with catchers.

        2. You’re misreading my comment; Maybe I wasn’t clear. I mean pretty much the opposite of what you think I mean. My point was that, BECAUSE he is a relative bargain and at a position of scarcity, he could get decent return.

          Because he is still playing well, and because he is a bargain, and because of the value added to the pitchers, and because of the lack of a replacement, he’s not a guy the team should be looking to give away. But if he can get a good return – it won’t be a top prospect, but should be much better than the Hernandez return, which was surprisingly good – well then the team would have to consider it.

          Now, arguably the same logic applies to other players as well. But, because of positional scarcity, I suspect that Ruiz’ has more trade value than any other veteran aside from Hamels. And, unlike Utley and Rollins, can’t veto a trade to most teams.

  2. I’ve been a season ticket holder for many years. They way the team is constructed right now, it’s depressing looking into the future. I’d rather them do a complete rebuild (like the 76ers), than continue to add “parts” to this aging crew.

  3. The listing above is OK…but we should understand that it all depends on what trades are made over the off-season. Candidates for trade are Byrd, Paps, UTLEY, J-Roll, Lee (after a rehab start of the ’15 season–about 2 months in), BROWN (enough is enough), etc.

    Expecting significant changes as we should (keep the faith) the opening day roster might well contain 4 or 5 new names…for better or worse.

    If MIRACLES still happen, we could get rid of Howard to open room for (almost) anybody able. The question is, to me, whether Monty’s health will interfere with making bold moves before ’15s season…or, the sale of the team to an agressive buyer…who needs to sign Epstein’s clone as GM.

    1. Rollins and Utley will not be traded and I can’t see them finding a taker for Howard for another year. He is about to finish with 25/100 so maybe I’m wrong. Byrd and brown are another story.

  4. Asche with a nice game. One thing that’s interesting about him lately is that his defensive metrics have been trending upwards. Here’s hoping that he can put together a solid September and end the season on a positive note.

    Rollins on fire lately, FWIW. I think David gave im a reverse jinx. 🙂

  5. I think we need to bite the bullet in places. If we cannot find a taker for Howard, buy him out and let Franco or Ruf take over.

    Trade Byrd if we get Tomas and give Brown a final shot as a starter.

    Revere has good value despite not having a lot of plate discipline or plus fielding skills.

    I would float Ruiz as well and see if there are any takers.

    In terms of Papelbon, it is currently the rage that closers are overvalued but if one or two playoff teams falter because of the lack of a closer they will knock on the door.

    The real question will be the starting rotation. I would hold off on adding MAG as a starter until his arm is stretched out if they decide to go that route.

    For starters, this is where statistical analysis can add a lot of value grabbing guys with bad headline stats but good advanced stats.

    I would float Hamels, Rollins,and Utley as well just to see what return I get. You do not have to say yes but it is common for GM’s to talk about potential returns over the hot stove. It is part of the GM’s job to discuss what they would pay for other players.

    You never have to say yes but on a rebuilding team you want to assess value across the organization.

    The Cubs claimed Hamels and are in the market for an ace pitcher to anchor their rotation. They have a strong farm system with respect to hitters and we could get some very good prospects in return.

    I doubt you will see a sale of the team unless none of the families that own stakes want to continue. The stakes will likely pass down via estates and trusts.

    1. Moving Hamels means that the rebuild is in order.
      And then you can add another 2/4 years of the slow crawl of ascending from the cellar upwards in the division..
      So, it could be a total of 6 years since the Phillies made the playoffs (2011)

        1. I do not object to moving the ‘rest of these guys’…just Hamels.
          Even at age 34/35 he could still be the staff’s stabilzing arm.

  6. In regards to MAG being a reliever, Amaro already said he’s gonna get another shot to start. I think during the spring he’ll be given every opportunity to earn a spot on the staff. Long term he may be better as a RP but I think there’s a good possibility he’s starting for Phils come next season.
    As for Howard, it’s time to move on. The best case scenerio I can come up with is maybe eating 45 of the 60 mill left over the next 2 years. Maybe a team in the AL who wants some cheap power would look at it as somewhat of a bargain. As bad as he’s been he’s still capable of hitting 25+hrs with 100 RBI’s.

  7. With MAG about to turn 28 in September would it be smart to leave him in the pen for the following reasons:

    1.) He has been pretty impressive in the pen lately and has even had some other GMs making strong comments about him.

    2.) If we get rid of Pap this off season MAG could be the set up guy for Giles. I think De Fratus is a good 6-7th inning guy, but I would not feel as comfortable with him in the 8th.

    3.) If he does pitch well out of the pen his contract would be fairly easy to move if we decided to trade him.

    I am not trying to ship MAG out already, but in the right deal if we move him for a younger starter I think it’d be worth it. MAG isn’t that old, but by the time we are competitive again he will be past prime. One idea that I think should be explored is just leaving him in the pen and let him build value there. We all know that our system is pretty thin in starting pitching depth so being able to add to that would be nice. If MAG pitches well out of the pen until July I think he could bring a nice return. I am sure he could even be packaged with another played to increase the haul. While you can argue that we could establish value with him as a starter I do agree. I just feel that him not being stretched out for so long and him trying to get stretched back out could take its toll on his arm. I’d rather be safe with him as a reliever than sorry that we tried to stretch him back out and arm problems emerge.

    Getting off of MAG now, Tomas should be at the top of the to-do list. He is young and a better OF prospect than anyone we currently have. I don”t see the rotation being anything more than ehh next season. Hamels at the top, Maybe Lee can be our #2 lets cross our fingers and hope, from there it gets scary. Burnett could come back as our number 3 and that wouldn’t surprise me. I would hope that surgery to fix his hernia may allow some more consistency from start to start. At the back end I see another Hernandez/Williams type at 4 and Buchanan at 5. They will probably add another cheap starter or two in free agency for depth. If all goes well at AA/AAA I could see Nola coming up if one of our starters gets traded or maybe he just gets called up in Sept. If Biddle bounces back however, I would expect to see him come first.

  8. You list Cameron Rupp as having one option left next season? He was first added to the 40-man roster in September 2013, and first optioned this season – should have two options remaining next season.

  9. I think this will be a very active off season. I think the Phillies will put Brown, Revere, Paps, Bastardo, Byrd, Aumont and Mayberry on the table and aggressively try to use them to come back with a CF and SP.

    1. Disagree about Ben Revere as I would rather move him to Left Field and get a better defensive Center Fielder with some pop. Revere has had a good year batting and is the igniter of our offense. I have no problem moving Brown, Mayberry and Bastardo.

  10. I know it’s been said on here a million times, but how are they not getting Ruf in the lineup 3-4 times a week? It’s depressing. OK, maybe the guy isn’t going to be the next big thing, but now is the time to find that out. What benefit do you get by starting Sizemore? Ruf should start against every lefty starter, and once or twice a week against a righty, just to see if he is a viable bench option
    The other funny thing is this whole push to get Howard his 100 RBIs, because Ruben thinks that will make him look better in to an AL team. I watched the game last night, and McCarty must have mentioned 15 times how impressive Howard’s 84 RBIs are. It’s like the front office sent out a memo, “Keep mentioning the RBIs, the fans and rest of the league won’t notice the 30% strike out rate and 680 OPS”. No one is going to look at the back of his baseball card, see triple digit RBIs, and take him off your hands without you paying almost all of that contract, and you are not getting a viable prospect back in any scenario
    I actually stumbled across this article when verifying his stats. I really shows how foolish the GM’s thought process is and how handcuffed Sandberg is:
    http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/sports/phillies/20140831_Inside_the_Phillies__Phils_reverse_course_on_Howard_in_hopes_of_dealing_him.html

    1. Why Sizemore plays is a head scratcher to me.

      I get the impression from the article and they spell it out quite clear, upper management is micromanaging the team on a daily basis.

      I don’t see how anyone bites on Howard, even as a DH, this offseason.

      It feels like a bad relationship and we have all had them at one time or another. You have a decent girlfriend but the relationship is stagnant and you want to break up. The problem is you have nobody to fall back to for a new relationship yet, there are some opportunities but nothing firm. So you sit in a bad relationship, arguing and fighting, with no hope of it getting better and neither one wants to be single again.

      That is this team and Howard to a T.

  11. I think dom brown will get shipped and melky Cabrera, Rasmus or someone else of that type will be there, not to mention a new sp or two.

    1. You may get a Desmond Jennings or a Jesus Montero type for Dom Brown.
      Guys who’s lights once shined bright but have now dimmed a little.
      Not sure if there are any pitcher’s out there..even coming off Tommy John surgery…. that would fall into that category

  12. I think we need to temper our expectations for Yasmani Tomas. IMO (from what I’ve read and seen. Have only seen about 40 AB, so it’s def a really SSS) he isn’t in the same league as Abreu, Puig, Soler or even Cespedes. He def has legit power, although it’s pull happy but I don’t know that he’ll hit enough to have it show out in game action. He’s obviously attractive bc of his age which should jack up his price. Not saying that I want Byrd in the OF for years to come (obviously) but if you think he’s going to perform better then Byrd has then I think you need to take a step back. The way the aforementioned guys have performed has everyone excited about the Cuban market but I just don’t think he’s on par with them. I was praying we went all in on Abreu, Puig and Soler but that’s bc they seemed like solid options (which has shown to be true).

    Here’s numbers comparing Tomas, Abreu, Cespedes thru their age 21-23 seasons

    Tomas- 229G Avg.283 2B 48 31HR 71BB 177K

    Abreu- 242G Avg.392 2B 64 86HR 159BB
    161K

    Cespedes- 251G Avg.309 2B 54 72HR 117BB 135K

    Tomas is going to be someone who hits around .250 with 20HR with a low OBP (getting that last one from a few scouting reports). I don’t know that that is THAT exciting, at least not as exciting as Puig and Abreu.

    I know you can’t look at it this way but for the hell of it I’m going to . . . Abreu’s average dropped from .392 to .321. Cespedes from .309 to .263. Puig .330 to .308. Between those 3 that’s an average drop of 46 points on their BA going from international play to MLB. That would drop Tomas to .237 which wouldn’t really allow his raw power to show.

    I’m just not sold on investing a ton of money on an unknown. If they can get him for anywhere between 4-6m a yr then I’d be ok with it but not for anywhere close to what Abreu or Castillo signed for.

    1. Finally someone said it. We see all the exceptions like the guys he listed but not the failures. Personally I’m thrilled we didn’t sign Rusney Castillo, I’ve heard comps of Raja Davis. If he’s Raja David 2.0 then I’m happy we didn’t spend on him.

    2. Tomas played in the same Cuban league as the others, and did well, and was even playing with their national team two seasons ago in Japan as a 21-year old.
      It would be a move in a better direction. .

      1. And they TORE UP the pitching they saw w Abreu hitting 55 more HRs and Cespedes hitting 41 more HRs then Tomas in their same 21-23 age seasons. The games played and ABs weren’t THAT much different either. I can see the raw power, I question the hit tool being advanced enough to display the power.

      2. Look, if people are expecting a star they will almost certainly be disappointed. But he looks like a good bet to be an average or above average regular. At the likely price it will take to sign him, that would be fine.

        However, if his price gets bid up to significantly higher than expected levels, the team would probably be well advised to bow out.

    1. I enjoyed the strong arm comment there. As far as the fielding comments, was he strog when he came up and developed bad habits or has he always stunk at route running because the speed is obviously there?

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