2016 Roster and Rule 5 Decisions

Going into 2016 offseason, the Phillies will have a lot of roster decisions. More than just who to protect from the Rule 5 Draft.  They will also have to balance who they protect while building a roster to compete at the major league level.  

The goal here isn’t to force my opinions on future roster decisions or even to predict upcoming decisions.  But, I hope to call attention to the myriad factors that the organization will consider while reaching their decisions.

Now, that’s not to say I didn’t try to come up with a workable 40-man roster with a slew of Rule 5 eligibles.  It was my inability to protect people AND come up with a working 25-man roster that didn’t include too many youngsters that led me to come up with this article.

I started this back in August when the first serious discussions about the 40-Man Roster and the Rule 5 draft began to appear in the comment threads.  I chose  to wait until roster movement settled down a little since the files I created were vulnerable to movement from level to level within the organization.  I have made the master file available.  It contains all the acquisition and signing information I could acquire.  Unfortunately, 1.) copying the data from my computer to Google loses the formulae but not the results, and 2.) the work sheets might be more interesting than anything else in this article.

But right now, most of our attention is focused on the recent crop of Rule 5 eligible players.  They are –

  1. RHP Ben Lively (LHV),
  2. RHP Mark Appel (LHV),
  3. RHP Nick Pivetta (LHV),
  4. C Andrew Knapp (LHV),
  5. 2B Jesse Valentin (LHV),
  6. LF Nick Williams (LHV),
  7. LHP Elniery Garcia (REA),
  8. RHP Mark Leiter (REA),
  9. RHP Ricardo Pinto (REA),
  10. RHP Alexis Rivero (REA),
  11. LHP Tom Windle (REA),
  12. SS KC Serna (REA),
  13. RF Dylan Cozens (REA),
  14. RF Joey Curletta (REA),
  15. LF Andrew Pullin (REA),
  16. RHP Drew Anderson (CLW),
  17. RHP Shane Watson (CLW),
  18. C Gregori Rivero (CLW),
  19. DH Zach Green (CLW),
  20. RHP Harold Arauz (LAK),
  21. RHP Seranthony Dominguez (LAK),
  22. RHP Jose Taveras (LAK),
  23. CF Carlos Duran (LAK),
  24. RF Jose Pujols (LAK),
  25. RHP Carlos Indriago (WPT),
  26. LHP Ranger Suarez (WPT), and
  27. RHP Reiwal Gonzalez (DSL2).

There are some difficult decisions here, as well as some easy ones.  None easier than on a 21-year old pitcher in the Dominican League.  Most of the guys below AA are probably safe to leave exposed, but there are more than a half dozen interesting names in the top two levels of the organization.

Guys who I personally think might be a part of the Phillies’ future whom I would be hesitant to expose to the Rule 5 selection process are –

  1. RHP Ben Lively (LHV),
  2. RHP Mark Appel (LHV),
  3. RHP Nick Pivetta (LHV),
  4. C Andrew Knapp (LHV),
  5. 2B Jesse Valentin (LHV),
  6. LF Nick Williams (LHV),
  7. LHP Elniery Garcia (REA),
  8. RHP Ricardo Pinto (REA),
  9. RF Dylan Cozens (REA).

In addition to the 27, first-time eligible players, all players who became eligible in previous years who are not on the 40-man roster are eligible again –

  1. (2015) C Logan Moore (LHV),
  2. 1B Brock Stassi (LHV),
  3. RHP Miguel Nunez (REA),
  4. C Gabriel Lino (REA),
  5. 3B Harold Martinez (REA),
  6. RHP Ulises Joaquin (CLW),
  7. RHP Jairo Munoz (CLW),
  8. C Chace Numata (CLW),
  9. 1B Wilson Garcia (LAK),
  10. (2014) SS Angelo Mora (REA),
  11. CF Cameron Perkins (LHV),
  12. LHP Hoby Milner (REA),
  13. RHP Jesen Therrien (REA),
  14. SS Malquin Canelo (REA),
  15. 3B Mitch Walding (REA),
  16. RHP Ranfi Casimiro (CLW),
  17. RHP Yacksel Rios (CLW),
  18. RF Herlis Rodriguez (CLW),
  19. CF Carlos Tocci (CLW),
  20. LF Jiandido Tromp (CLW),
  21. RHP Alberto Tirado (LAK),
  22. 2B William Cuicas (LAK).

Occasionally, a player who was exposed in his first or second year of eligibility will improve and impress enough to force his organization to protect him from exposure in a later year. Lakewood’s Alberto Tirado may be one such player from the 22 players above.

Guys I think who may have increased their value to the organization and who they  might want to protect are –

  1. Twice exposed RHP Alberto Tirado (LAK), and maybe a couple of the following –
  2. RHP Ulises Joaquin (CLW) mid-90s FB, solid change, and some consistency issues,
  3. SS Angelo Mora (REA) a solid middle infielder,
  4. CF Cameron Perkins (LHV) a good hitter hurt by the outfielder glut blocking him,
  5. SS Malquin Canelo (REA) held in high regard by every scout who came thru CLW, and
  6. CF Carlos Tocci (CLW) also held in high regard by every scout who came thru CLW.

In order to protect any of the above players, the Phillies will have to create room on their 40-man roster, which currently stands at 44 players when you consider the 4 who are on the 60-day disabled list (Matt Harrison, Charlie Morton, Aaron Nola, and Zach Eflin). Decisions for these 44 range from release to contract tenders.  For instance –

  • LHP Matt Harrison (currently on the 60-day DL) is under contract ($13M) for the 2017 season. The club holds an option ($13.25M) for the 2018 season with a buyout ($2M).
  • 1B Ryan Howard is in the final year of his contract.  The club holds an option ($23M) for the 2017 season with a buyout ($10M).
  • RHP Charlie Morton (currently on the 60-day DL) is in the final year of his contract. The club holds an option ($9.5M) for the 2017 with a buyout ($1M).

Harrison is under contract for 2017.  Howard will most likely receive his buyout. Morton’s future may depend on what happens with Jeremy Hellickson.  If the Phillies go the QO route as most suspect they will and he declines, a healthy  Morton may be an inexpensive alternative as a veteran to anchor a young major league rotation.

There are eight arbitration eligible players.  Some will be tendered offers, others will not.

  • RF Peter Bourjos (6.062 yrs., $2M) enters final arbitration year.
  • SS Freddy Galvis (4.021 yrs., $2M) enters second arbitration year.
  • SS Andres Blanco (6.007 yrs., $1.45M) enters second arbitration year.
  • RHP Jeanmar Gomez (5.063 yrs., $1.4M) enters third arbitration year.
  • 2B Emmanuel Burriss (+3.164 yrs., $925K) enters third arbitration year.
  • LF Cody Asche (+2.062 yrs., $530K) enters first arbitration year.
  • 1B Darin Ruf (+2.066 yrs., $527K) enters first arbitration year.
  • 2B Cesar Hernandez (2.154 yrs., $525K) enters first arbitration year.
  • OF Jimmy Paredes (+2.059 yrs., $520K) enters first arbitration year.

I would expect Galvis, Hernandez, and Gomez might be offered contracts and the remaining players to be non-tendered.  However, Blanco was non-tendered last year and the Phillies re-signed him later.

The Phillies have a lot of young players on their 40-man, giving them a lot of guys who are pre-arbitration eligible.  That means the Phillies don’t have to negotiate a contract.  They can just determine the player’s salary for the next season on their own.

  • 3B Maikel Franco (1.170 yrs., $517.5K) becomes arbitration-eligible in 2018.
  • RHP Luis Garcia  (1.143 yrs.) becomes arbitration-eligible in 2018.
  • CF Obudel Herrera (2.000 yrs., $528K) becomes arbitration-eligible in 2018.
  • C Cameron Rupp (2.089 yrs., $518K)  becomes arbitration-eligible in 2018.
  • LF Aaron Altherr (1.054 yrs., $515.5K) becomes arbitration-eligible in 2019.
  • RHP Alec Asher (+0.036)  becomes arbitration-eligible in 2019.
  • RHP Jerad Eickhoff (1.045 yrs., $516K) becomes arbitration-eligible in 2019.
  • RHP Severino Gonzalez (0.030 yrs.)  becomes arbitration-eligible in 2019.
  • RHP Phil Klein (+0.086 yrs., $509.5) becomes arbitration-eligible in 2019.
  • RHP Michael Mariot (0.122 yrs., $512.5K) becomes arbitration-eligible in 2019.
  • LHP Adam Morgan (0.106 yrs.)  becomes arbitration-eligible in 2019.
  • RHP Colton Murray (0.034 yrs.)  becomes arbitration-eligible in 2019.
  • RHP Hector Neris (+0.104 yrs., $514K) becomes arbitration-eligible in 2019.
  • RHP Aaron Nola (1.076 yrs., $517.5K) becomes arbitration-eligible in 2019.
  • RHP Vincent Velasquez (1.086 yrs., $516K) becomes arbitration-eligible in 2019.
  • RHP Edubray Ramos (+0.000) Pre-Arb
  • RHP Jake Thompson (+0.000) Pre-Arb
  • 1B Tommy Joseph (+0.000) Pre-Arb
  • OF Tyler Goeddel (1.000 yrs., $507.5K) becomes arbitration-eligible in 2019.
  • RHP Zach Eflin (+0.000) Pre-Arb
  • LHP Patrick Shuster (0.000) Pre-Arb
  • LHP Joely Rodriguez (0.000 yrs.) Pre-Arb
  • C Jorge Alfaro (+0.000 yrs.) Pre-Arb
  • CF Roman Quinn (+0.000) Pre-Arb
  • LHP Elvis Araujo (+0.155) Pre-Arb
  • RHP David Buchanan (1.008 yrs.)  becomes arbitration-eligible in 2018.
  • RHP Jimmy Cordero (0.000 yrs.) Pre-Arb
  • RHP Dalier Hinojosa (+0.046 yrs., $514K) becomes arbitration-eligible in 2019.

The majority of these guys will be assigned new contracts.

Then there are the free agents.

  • RHP Jeremy Hellickson (6.045 yrs., $7M) becomes a FA, probable QO
  • C A.J. Ellis (6.151 yrs., $4.5M) becomes a FA
  • RHP David Hernandez (7.095 yrs., $3.9M) becomes a FA
  • RHP Frank Herrmann becomes a FA

Hellickson should be offered a QO.  If he accepts, he becomes trade bait next season.  If he declines, we get a 2017 sandwich pick if he signs before the the Rule 4 draft.  Of course, that will depend on the new CBA.  I would expect this off season’s decisions to be grandfathered into next season’s draft.

Completing the list of 103 players in the organization who are Rule 5 eligible are the following 10 players –

  1. LHP Mario Hollands (DFA-ed during the season),
  2. 3B Taylor Featherston (DFA-ed during the season and Arb eligible in 2018),
  3. 2B Darnell Sweeney (DFA-ed during the season and Arb eligible in 2019),
  4. 3B Carlos Alonso (LHV, retired), and
  5. perenial free agents RF Christian Marrero,
  6. RHP Gregory Infante,
  7. RF Cedric Hunter,
  8. LHP James Russell,
  9. DH Jake Fox, and
  10. LHP Anthony Vasquez, the only minor league FA the Phillies re-signed last year.

I expect that a couple might be given minor league contracts, and the rest will be allowed to go to free agency.

The Phillies have 269 players on eight rosters throughout the organization.  They have another 20 or so 2016 International signings at the academy in the Dominican Republic. The focus for the next three months will be the 103 players eligible for the 2016 Rule 5 Draft this December.

Some decisions will be easy.  Matt Harrison, for instance, is the only player who is guaranteed a spot on the 40-man roster, since he is the only player with a guaranteed contract for the 2017 season.  Reiwal Gonzalez, a 21-year old pitcher in the DSL, represents an easy administrative decision to not protect from the Rule 5 Draft.

Between now and the end of the major league regular season, we have at least a half dozen minor league players who can re-sign with the organization.  Some will sign now, others will opt to test minor league free agency next month, and others will not get to choose between the two since they won’t be offered a contract.

On October 3rd, the day after the last regular season game, teams start their transactional house keeping as they purge their disabled lists and pare down their 40-man rosters.  This triggers the first wave of minor league free agency (per Article XX(D) of the CBA, players who have been subjected to a second outright assignment may choose free agency). Teams will continue to re-sign players whose minor league contracts expired after the 2016 season. Players who do not re-sign, will become minor league free agents the day after the World Series (November 3rd).

It is during this transactional housekeeping that outrighted players can be lost.  after the 2012 season Tyson Brummett was claimed off waivers by Toronto as the Phillies attempted to return him to Lehigh Valley from the 40-man roster.  The same thing happened when Cleveland claimed Tyler Cloyd after the 2013 season.  Not great losses in the grand scheme of things, but recent reminders of what can happen when a team tries to pass a player through waivers during this period.

After the world series, November 3rd at the latest, another count down begins for the next batch of minor league players who can become free agents.  This includes players who have –

  1. signed a minor league Uniform Player Contract (UPC) in 2010, and
  2. have not been released from that UPC, and
  3. are not a member of a 40-man roster.

Teams can renew a player’s UPC six times (for the 2011-16 seasons, in the case of 2010 draft picks) before the player either is declared a minor league free agent or his club makes him a major leaguer by adding him to the 40-man roster.  Major League Baseball grants free agency to all eligible players (major and minor league alike) five days after the conclusion of the World Series.

Sometime in mid-November (around the 20th), 40-man roster decisions are finalized.  The last three players added to the 40-man in 2015 prior to this finalization were Jimmy Cordero, Edubray Ramos, and Roman Quinn bringing their total to 38.  This year, however, I don’t anticipate the Phillies looking to participate in the Rule 5 selection process.

I can see them signing a couple free agents to bolster the major league line up.  Especially if they fill out the 40-man protecting prospects who are Rule 5 eligible.  They look short of major league ready players in the middle infield and the outfield.  And maybe a seasoned catcher behind Cameron Rupp.

Now, just for fun, I offer the following projection based on suggestions/assumptions above –

.            2016 Active/Reserve Roster                 Projected Changes for 2016 Rule 5 Draft

  1. LHP Araujo, Elvis (L/L)
  2. RHP Asher, Alec (R/R)
  3. RHP Buchanan, David (R/R)                  RHP Mark Appel
  4. RHP Cordero, Jimmy (R/R)
  5. RHP Eflin, Zach (R/R)
  6. RHP Eickhoff, Jerad (R/R)
  7. RHP Garcia, Luis (R/R)                              dropped from 40 to make room for RHP Eflin
  8. RHP Gomez, Jeanmar (R/R)
  9. RHP Gonzalez, Severino (R/R)             RHP Ricardo Pinto
  10. LHP Harrison, Matt (L/L)
  11. RHP Hellickson, Jeremy (R/R)              RHP Ben Lively
  12. RHP Hernandez, David (R/R)                LHP Elniery Garcia
  13. RHP Herrmann, Frank (L/R)                  RHP Alberto Tirado
  14. RHP Hinojosa, Dalier (R/R)                     dropped from 40 to make room for RHP Nola
  15. RHP Klein, Phil (R/R)                                  dropped from 40 to make room for RHP Morton
  16. RHP Mariot, Michael (R/R)                      RHP Nick Pivetta
  17. LHP Morgan, Adam (L/L)
  18. RHP Morton, Charlie (R/R)
  19. RHP Murray, Colton (R/R)
  20. RHP Neris, Hector (R/R)
  21. RHP Nola, Aaron (R/R)
  22. RHP Ramos, Edubray (R/R)
  23. LHP Rodriguez, Joely (L/L)                   RHP Ulises Joaquin
  24. LHP Shuster, Patrick R/L                         dropped from 40 to make room for LHP Harrison
  25. RHP Thompson, Jake (R/R)
  26. RHP Velasquez, Vincent (S/R)
  27. C Alfaro, Jorge (R/R)
  28. C Ellis, A.J. (R/R)                                           Andrew Knapp
  29. C Rupp, Cameron (R/R)
  30. SS Blanco, Andres (S/R)                          Jesse Valentin
  31. 2B Burriss, Emmanuel (S/R)                 (Angelo Mora/Malquin Canelo?)
  32. 3B Franco, Maikel (R/R)
  33. SS Galvis, Freddy (S/R)
  34. 2B Hernandez, Cesar (S/R)
  35. 1B Howard, Ryan (L/L)                              (Brock Stassi/Rhys Hoskins?)
  36. 1B Joseph, Tommy R/R
  37. 1B Ruf, Darin (R/R)                                      (Cameron Perkins?)
  38. LF Altherr, Aaron (R/R)
  39. LF Asche, Cody (L/R)                                  Nick Williams
  40. RF Bourjos, Peter (R/R)                            Dylan Cozens
  41. OF Goeddel, Tyler (R/R)
  42. CF Herrera, Obudel (L/R)
  43. OF Paredes, Jimmy (S/R)                        (Carlos Tocci?)
  44. CF Quinn, Roman (S/R)

I think this protects most of if not all of the prospects I/we would hate to lose.  The guys in parenthesis with a question mark (joe jones?) are slots that could be left vacant to allow participation in the Rule 5 draft.  I don’t think there is much chance that any of those guys are selected if left unprotected.  Hoskins isn’t Rule 5 eligible, but first base is a little thin on the 40-man.  As are middle infield behind the starters (although re-signing Andres Blanco would alleviate some worry there).  And, I don’t think we have an opening day outfield or an opening day back up catcher either.  But, we should be able to protect all the prospects we are worried about losing with room to add what is needed.

I’m really glad that this isn’t my headache this off season.  This was so much easier back when we didn’t have so many attractive prospects.

83 thoughts on “2016 Roster and Rule 5 Decisions

  1. Jim, This is an incredible analysis. This should take a team of analysts to put together. You do it by yourself. Klentak should hire you to give him the names and possible changes to the 40 man roster. Matt can still have the final say in how the puzzle goes together and a couple of scouts could provide input too but you’ve done the tough grunt work with this piece. You are a special individual who makes this site spectacular. Thanks for all you do.

  2. This is amazing. I agree that it should be looked at by the FO as another tool in their decision making process. Great work, Jim

  3. Great work Jim.
    Very detailed and intensive to say the least.
    Perhaps save this article in one of the above headings…..perhaps ‘Rosters’ for reader references later down the road.

    Would be a pleasant surprise if another Tommy Joseph emerges from an unprotected.

    1. Are there able to do that undert he trade agreement with the Rangers?
      Though his salary is only $13M with a 2M buyout in ’18…doesn’t seem like a lot.
      the details do not look so different,
      $55M (2013-17), plus 2018 club option …signed ext with Texas Jan13 (avoided arbitration)
      2013:$5M, 14:$8M, 15:$13M, 16:$13M, 17:$13M, 18:$13.25M club option ($2M buyout)
      ……acquired by Phila from Texas 7/29/15, with Phillies responsible for $32,7M remaining on Harrison’s contract ($4,7M in 2015, $26M in 2016-17 salaries and $2M buyout), plus an additional $9.5M paid to Texas to cover a portion of the $81,7M remaining on Cole Hamels’ contract

        1. The insurance policy terms couldn’t prohibit them from releasing Harrison. A release could cause the insurance company to cancel the coverage, and that could cost the Phillies whatever they’re getting from the insurance company. Expensive option, perhaps, but not impossible. How much is the roster space worth to them?

  4. Minor correction? You show Andres Blanco’s service time as 6.007 years, which I think is correct – but that means he’ll be a free agent, not an arbitration case. A decision about re-signing him can be deferred until after the Rule 5 draft.

      1. Morton is “double-listed” (as well as Nola, Harrison, and Eflin) because they are on the 60-day DL which brings the total players “on” the 40-man roster to 44 and will be among the first players activated during transactional housekeeping. This will force 4 players off the 40-man. (I think this addresses your concern.)

  5. I think you have to protect Tirado and I would not worry about protecting Valentin. I agree with the rest of your protected list Jimmy.

    Nice work by you.

    1. DMAR…..what is wrong with Valentin?
      I think he will give you more in four years from now than what Cesar is doing now. His baseball IQ is off the charts and has skills are solid. He was after all the 51st pick in the ’12 draft class. People sell him short.

      1. ROMUS…While all that is true I don’t think a 2B only guy with little pop is at risk to lose to a team for their 25 man.

        What do teams look for in the rule 5? They look for arms they can stash and they look for OF power or IF versatility. My opinion of course. So its not that I want Valentin gone its that i think no one takes him.

        1. I see your point…..he isn’t attractive enough for another team.
          But realize Odubel Herrera and Delino Deshields were in the same boat as Valentin in 2014, though with better metrics thru their MilB careers, but both of them never even tasted AAA level ball and the Phillies and Rangers decided to take the gamble and risk anyway with their AA experinece.
          I think a non-playoff team could take him and utilize him in a versatile role on their team..

        2. When Valentin was with the Dodgers he played every position other then Catcher. He also carries a pretty good .obp .

        3. I think Valentin could be Andres Blanco in 2018. After the 2017 season, Galvis and Hernandez will will be expensive options (Arb 3 and Arb 2 respectively). If they are on the bench behind Crawford and Kingery, they can be replaced by any of a few middle infielders coming thru the organization. Valentin could be one. Serna if he stays with the org could be another. Or Mora. However, it’s a fungible role. I wouldn’t be surprised if Blanco was re-signed as a FA after being non-tendered.

  6. I don’t think I would protect Joaquin or Burris/Mora/Canelo. Also if we feel Kingery is the heir apparent I keep Hernandez at second and leave Blanco/Valentin unprotected. Also while I personally like Perkins, I don’t think he has enough power to add to the 40-man.

    1. I think the fact that Araujo, a borderline keeper, was not promoted after the end of the Iron Pigs’ season, shows he is off the Phils’ list. The Phils have not been keen to use Schuster so I think Joely Rodriguez will be the protected lefty in the pen. I don’t think Murray is being used in September in a way that shows he’s under the microscope. I don’t think he will be protected or picked up if left unprotected. Luis Garcia to me is on the borderline, maybe a casualty before or after the Rule 5 draft. I don’t add Perkins but would add Pullin. He has a performance trajectory worth protecting. To me Goeddel and Tocci are similar kinds of players — I doubt both are protected. Everyone but perhaps me is convinced Goeddel is protected or why would you keep him for the entire year? But I would put Goeddel near the bottom of my list and he could be a casualty based on signings before the 40-man roster is finalized.

      The Phils seem intent on extending Hellickson a qualifying offer which would happen soon after the World Series. With the current market for starting pitching being tight, I think the Phils will exercise their option on Morton, as they should. I think Hellickson accepting a QO is 50-50. But a Hellickson earning $16.7 M in 2017 is less attractive in a trade deadline deal than a Hellickson earning $7 M this year. Morton could be the trade chip in ’17 many hoped for this year.

      1. Looking at the last two years Rule 5 drafts for the Phillies position players, I compared the stats prior to the drafts. It looks to me like the Phillies last two pics are going to be on the 40 man roster which will leave off Pullin and Perkins. Both had better stats than Goeddel and Herrero. I don’t think either Pullin or Perkins would be protected so, they will have a viable chance at being picked up by another team. Pullin’s splits are very interesting. He actually hit better away from Reading than he did there in Reading.

        2014 AA – O. Herrero (22 years old)
        321/373/402/775 BB 29 K 70 HR 2
        Splits L246 – R302
        Defense 2B Matrix

        2015 AA – T. Goeddel (22 years old)
        279/350/433/783 BB 48 K 98 HR 12
        Splits L158 – R216
        6 Assists/2 Errors

        2016 AA – A. Pullin (22 years old)
        346/393/559/952 BB 13 K 36 HR 10
        Splits L320 – R355
        6 Assists/2 Errors

        2016 AAA – C. Perkins (25 years old)
        292/329/419/748 BB 21 K 59 HR 8
        Splits L316 – R274
        3 Assists/7 Errors

  7. JimP……..question.
    Phillies signed Simon Muzziotti this past July (2016), since he was a Red Sox signee in July 2015, but they were penalized and a handful of their 2015 signees were declared free agents. He also received and kept the Red Sox bonus money from 2015 as a 16-year old.
    The Phillies then gave him an additional signing bonus in July 2016 at age 17..
    Because of the second signing….does his clock restart and the Phillies have an extra year before he is Rule 5 eligible?

    1. Good point. I don’t know the answer, I would guess that MLB wouldn’t penalize him for the Red Sox wrong-doing. But then again, MLB is usually more concerned with the teams’/owners’ interests than the players.

  8. @jim – I agree with the 9 “must protect” + tirade to make it 10. However I don’t see the phils protecting stassi, perkins, mora, canelo – tocci maybe depending on how many OF they want to carry on the roster — Luis Garcia (with his upper 90s FB and SL combo) and SevGon (and his newfound velocity) might survive the initial purge but will be on short leash.

    the one that I think that the Phils are considering is Miguel Nunez (who will be FA after this year). I’m not sure who is the better prospect between Nunez and Joaquin but there must be a reason why the Phils sent Nunez to AFL.

    joely rodriguez’s strong 2016 (and being a lefty) might help survive the early purge over colton murray (the phils can carry one of murray or Garcia but not both) or even elvis araujo.

    the phils also have a decision to make on 1B (after Howard buy out and Ruf non-tender) – I will not be surprised to see the Phils: a) sign a vet FA 1B; b) get a 1B thru Rule V; or c) open the door for Knapp, Stassi or Perkins to back up Joseph until Hoskins is up.

  9. I just want to say this – Frank Herrmann, David Buchanan, Michael Mariot; 40 man roster; LOL.

    This is still a very soft 40 man roster – there should be plenty of room to protect everyone that needs protecting.

    1. The left column are the current players on the reserve list, the right column are the players projected to replace them. Frank Herrmann, David Buchanan, Michael Mariot are projected to be replaced by Appel, Tirado, and Pivetta. I probably didn’t make this as clear as I should have.

      I agree that the 40-man is “very soft”. Room to protect and room to acquire players to properly fill out the 25-man.

      1. No, you made it clear. I was just saying that these won’t be hard decisions and the team should easily be able to protect it’s most valuable assets. I don’t see us giving up, say, an Odubel Herrera.

  10. I would probably try to protect Severino – he’s gained velocity and has shown the ability to pitch in the past. He still might turn into something. It’s funny, between the weight gain and the added heat, it’s like he’s a completely different guy than the small, soft tosser that was starting games last year.

    1. I’m normally with you on most points, Catch. Sev is merely a harder throwing version of himself. Ship’s sailed for him. Much better options at our disposal now.

      1. @8mark – I agree with you but it depends also on who the Phils will keep to let cut ties with SevGon – I’ll take SevGon over Murray, Garcia, Buchanan.

        I’m not high on SevGon as I see him as a stop gap and a trade piece, but with the influx of “newbies” in the 40-man – it will help to have someone with MLB experience to keep the seat warm while the “newbies” are getting ready.

  11. Holy heck this is awesome analysis! Gonna take some time to go through it all, which really shows the time it took you to put it together!


  12. Great job Jim. I can’t tell you enough how much your hard work is appreciated. The 40 man breakdown will be a lot of fun. My vote is to definitely keep Tirado.

  13. I do think what this analysis shows (very good job by the way) is that the Phillies might be inclined to look to package some of these guys in exchange for major leaguers.

    It’s time for the team to take advantage of all of their depth to start improving the big club.

    1. I agree with you – to a point. My goal would be to exchange mid-grade, mostly developed, low cost talent to leverage for higher grade near-ready talent. The guys on the current team that are ready for this type of trade are Cesar Hernandez (surprise! given my defense of him, I’ll bet nobody expected me to recommend this), Freddy Galvis and Cameron Rupp. I wouldn’t move Odubel unless it was an offer I couldn’t refuse – to me, he’s part of the next contending team. He’s a keeper.

      The only pitcher that I can see that is there is Neris and, honestly, unless I received an overwhelming offer, I don’t think I would move him. Ken Giles was a typical hard thrower. Those guys have fairly predictable 4-7 year trajectories as closers and can be replaced. I think Neris may be a unique talent. He has the best splitter I’ve seen since the 80s or 90s – he’s really something else.

      1. I think by the middle to end of next year, a few of the mid-level starters will also fall into this category. Let’s maximize their value before we flip them. I’m on the fence with Eickhoff. I think you could move him and get some pretty good value. That said, Eickhoff has the “it” factor. I don’t think he’ll ever be a “2” and he may only grow to be a solid “3”, which is nothing to sneeze at. But I love this guy. If there’s a playoff or WS game, I put the ball in his hand every time. And those are guys you don’t want to lose – they are not easily replaced and can be difference maker when you need a difference maker most. Nope, unless someone blows me away with an offer, Eickhoff stays.

      2. Oh I agree that they should not be trading for ML veterans or stop-gap players. The trades need to be for players who they project as long-term contributors at positions of need.

  14. Jim – great work. You did all the hard work for me. This will give us a month of discussion. One big question – why can’t we just release Harrison to save a spot? There are several lower level arms (Arauz, Anderson, Dominguez, Taveras) that I wish we could protect. We’ll lose some of them I think. Pujols is another one that is at risk. Curletta and Pullin make me wonder also. Mora will not be protected but Canelo will.

    1. Those 4 arms you mention look like part of a package deal throw in if we are going to get a 5 star caliber outfield.

    2. Harrison is under contract for 2017. If you could release him (and I’m not sure that you can), he has a guaranteed contract. But, I’m pretty sure that the organization can’t release a player while he is injured. They have to wait until a player is healthy before they can release him. If I’m correct, Harrison will take up a spot on the 40-man until he is put back on the 60-day DL at the end of ST in 2017.

      The pitchers you list are probably safe from selection. I like Anderson, but I don’t think we have to worry. The others are even further away, I think.

      Pujols is in A ball and strikes out too much. I’m not sure a major league team will invest a 25-man roster spot on a player they would be hesitant to play as much as we played Goeddel (who had a better hit tool than Pujols).

      There could be a numbers crunch in the outfield. The need to protect outfielders ahead of Pullin and Curletta will probably hurt them. The fact that most of those outfielders are probably not ready to start in 2017 means the Phillies might be searching for a FA to fill out the roster for a year. I’ve seen Pullin the past two seasons. I’m not sold because of a great small sample in Reading. And Curletta had pedestrian numbers for a guy coming from the Cal League. And I think he spent most of the last two seasons there.

  15. Ryan Lawrence of PhillyVoice.com speculates that the Phillies will try to re-sign AJ Ellis and deal Rupp. Ellis’ reputation as a strong teacher/mentor may be just the right intermediate plan in making a transition to (and place less pressure on) Alfaro.

    1. If they get the right return, I’m fine with that. The team needs high level talent. We have plenty of mid-level talent. I don’t even care how far down in the farm that talent is located – we need game changers, not another average outfielder or # 3 starter. The good news is that I think they have a very good fix on what they have and what they need and probably a cohesive plan to go get what they need.

      1. Agree with you Catch. My sense of MacPhail and Klentak is that the off season has already been pretty much mapped out. They know who they like and don’t like, and who they’re targeting to acquire.

        1. I disagree that Kentak knows what he has. If he did he would have traded the spare parts at the trade deadline when they had the most value. Trying to trade quantity for value is very difficult. I think best chance is to trade for expensive players.

    2. 8mark,

      As much as I like Rupp, keeping AJ as a mentor to the young pitchers and catchers has a really strong appeal.I think Alfaro could be a future All-Star.

      1. Alfaro needs to learn better plate discipline as he has a problem with breaking pitches at the MLB level and always has been an aggressive hitter. Don’t think I would rush him and see how he handles AAA pitching first.

    3. @8mark – doesn’t make sense to me. why not re-sign chooch over AJ ellis of they’re looking for mentor and locker room guy? I’m sure chooch would love that especially the team is on the rise.

      1. That’s a valid point, Kuko. Didn’t think of that. I do however think Ellis would handle the load of playing time better. Chooch wears down more. I’d prefer to convince Chooch to return as bullpen/asst.pitching coach. Maybe a successful World Series run with the Dodgers might help.

          1. @LWDfan – true, but I think the Phils (and Chooch) also know that Chooch is on his last legs so they do him a favor by moving him for a chance to win another WS.

        1. i dont know- its not like Ellis has played much- this will be second straight year with under 200 at bats, and while he’s not here for offense, two of the last 3 years under .200 avg.

  16. How were the Phillies able to get insurance for Matt Harrison when he was already injured before they got him? They will have a very low payroll next year I’m sure they can afford to just release him.

    1. Insurance would have been on the contract when it was initially signed by Texas. Either the insurance would have been transferred or the Phillies/Texas worked out some type of deal to prorate the $$$.

  17. Really good post. I expect MK to be very aggressive this off season. Probably no huge contracts, but I expect 4-6 mid sized veteran contracts. I don’t think he wants to win 70 games again and just let the kids play. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few guys dealt too.

    Thus, I expect very few (if any) of this group protected “Guys I think who may have increased their value to the organization and who they might want to protect are”

    I think the lone exception is Tirado, because he would definitely be drafted and put in some team’s pen. his stuff is so electric. zero chance Tocci is protected and i think an equally zero chance that he is drafted and/or kept for a full season. he is just too far away with still a lot of unknowns.

      1. I’m not taking the bait this time, Romus! Seriously, I agree with v1 that Tocci (and Canelo, FWIW) won’t be drafted and kept for a full season.

        OTOH, I am happy to hear that with respect to Canelo and Tocci they are “held in high regard by every scout who came thru CLW.” That is good news.

        1. I think Canelo and Tocci both have the speed and defensive ability and speed to be kept as late inning replacements; especially for an AL team who does not need pinch hitters.

  18. Jim, your Projected Changes list was very good but I would protect Joely Rodriguez, Andrew Pullin, Miguel Nunez and Chance Numata. I would not protect Elvis Araujo, Luis Garcia, Colton Murray and Matt Harrison(unless he was healthy).

  19. This post is awesome. What great research and analysis. Fringe roster decisions have at least improved in potential quality. However, percentages say many prospects will flame out so making some correct decisions will certainly expedite the rebuild.

  20. I think this answers the question regarding a release of Matt Harrison.
    (1) Generally. A waiver is a permission granted for certain assignments of player contracts or for the unconditional release of a Major League player (see Rule 8). There are four types of waivers: Trade assignment waivers, Outright assignment waivers, Optional assignment waivers and Unconditional Release waivers.
    (8) Assignment waivers may not be requested on a Major League Disabled List player unless the minimum period of inactivity as prescribed in Rule 2 (Player Limits and Reserve Lists) has expired and the requesting Club guarantees that the player has recovered from the player’s ailment and is capable of performing at the player’s accustomed level. If waivers are obtained on such a player, the requesting Club shall, within 72 hours, assign the player either outright or with right of recall (assuming such assignment is otherwise permissible with respect to such player), or restore the player to its Active List. If a claim is entered and a request is withdrawn, the player shall immediately be placed on the Club’s Active List.

    1. JimP….thanks for that….and I guess that answers that question…no way Matt Harrison is capable of performing at his accustomed level. He hasn’t been on one rehab assignment all year. Looks like he stays in the organization for another year..

      1. Jim (or anyone) –

        Once Harrison is placed on the 60 day DL at the end of ST, can he be kept off the 40-man all season or are there other implications?

        1. I think they have an insurance policy, however if they cut him for the extra roster spot they do not get that money back from insurance. So it comes down to what is more valuable the insurance which may be in the neighborhood of $10 million or protecting another player from rule 5. That may be a player on the fringe of protection such as Tocci or Valentine.

          If they keep him then they may try to sign Morton or another starter in similar situation to minor league contract with invite to big league camp with a verbal promise that they would place him on roster at end of spring if healthy. Then Harrison moved to 60 day DL to make room.

          1. Ok….from my understanding, unless he officially announces his retirement to the league, the Philies cannot ‘cut’ him…look at Jim’s posting above section/paragraph (e)(8) Restrictions. Money/insurance concerns are not the issue at this point for the Phillies

        2. Once a player goes onto the 60-day DL, he does not count against the 40-man (or reserve) roster. In effect, Harrison would become Cliff Lee II. But until he goes onto the “60”, he will tie up a spot on the “40”.

  21. Jim, awesome job as always brother. All I have to say is if Jeanmar is tendered I will blow my mind quicker than he blows a save opportunity.

    1. yes, he will be tendered. With the exception of the last several weeks, he’s been good for the Phillies in 2016. Teams cannot make knee-jerk reactions on a player based on small sample size.

      If anything, blame the manager for continuing to use him in the closer role when it’s obvious he’s struggling.

      Jeanmar is not a closer and shouldn’t be used as one moving forward but he has been a solid bullpen arm for most of the season and is still not expensive.

      1. The law of sample sizes and probably some fatigue caught of up with Jeanmar. He’s a perfectly fine 6th or 7th inning reliever. That he had to serve as a closer speaks to the team’s current lack of depth and Jeanmar’s cool demeanor and guts. I wouldn’t DFA him – he could still be useful next year.

        1. So you would rather save a spot on the 40 man for a serviceable 6th or 7th inning average joe than make sure you do not lose a possible future contributor that could be of higher value than a long reliever? Right.

  22. Before any FA or acquisitions via trade, I’ve come up with 12 RH SPs:
    Appel (possible future reliever)
    Morton or Hellickson

    2 LH SPs (not including Harrison)

    5 relievers

    3 catchers
    Rupp or Ellis

    5 infielders (w/o Blanco)
    Cesar H

    7 outfielders
    Perkins (?)

    That leaves 5 spots open for 40man roster. Figure 1 SP, 1 veteran OF, and 2 or 3 relievers should be acquired. And who knows who from the above will be traded? Gonna be interesting…..

  23. Awesome Jim. I am interested on your thoughts (and anyone else) of Paredes? The few times I have seen him he looks like an amazing physical specimen and who has flashed some tools. Again I don’t know him that well previous to Philly, but assuming he is not that attractive to Philly (and others), since he really did not get much regular playing time. With the black holes they have in OF at MLB level (with exception of baby bull) just wondering why he is not in the picture or given as much of a look as some of the other guys that have marched out there regular?

    Also I guess because of whatever is viewed as lacking in his game, that is why you might protect Perkins over him?

    Thanks for your insight, and once again amazing work my friend.

    1. I have not seen Paredes at all. When he was claimed, I assumed he was a short term stop gap to the Phillies’ deteriorating outfield. I never thought he would last beyond this season. But, since I think the outfield options on the 40-man are a little thin projecting into next season, maybe the organization signs him as a FA for another season.

      Perkins I have seen. I was impressed with him when he was with the Threshers. I remember that the knock against him was that he didn’t walk enough and didn’t have enough power for a corner (INF or OF).

      Both played in AAA during their age 25 seasons. They had similar offensive output. Paredes was faster (more steals/less GIDP). Perkins struck out far less (59/109). Paredes spent most of his AAA time in the PCL, and held his own (similar lines) in 27 games (63 AB) at the major league level.

      Still, if we are going to have a AAAA outfielder (or at any position really) on the roster, let it be one who came up through the organization.

      1. I agree, and it is probably a wash. Just after seeing both I think Paredes could possibly be a good bench guy. Right now we don’t have a third OF for 2017 let alone a 4th and 5th. I think Paredes can also play 3rd and maybe 1st?

  24. I am having trouble keeping guys on 40man that I want to have full playing time in the minors and still filling out bench and bullpen on Phillies.
    Guys I want to keep in minors: Alfaro C, Cozens RF, Williams CF, Pivetta, Appel, Cordero, Pinto, Garcia, Tirado.
    Guys I’d prefer as SP but could be in MLB bullpen: Asher, Morgan. Also in pen are Gomez, Neris, Ramos, some lefty and then at least one more spot.
    Bench of Knapp, Blanco, Altherr, Asche, and Valentin/other with FA signed I RF (Reddick).
    Hellickson or other vet SP might bump Elfin to minors.
    Harrison keeps his $13M spot, with fringe of Goeddel or Pullin in LF for LHV, and relievers or Rule 5 to fill out the 40 man.

    1. I have 27 obvious protected including: Morgan, Asher, Pinto, Elinery Garcia, and Appel.
      4 more spots for Harrison, free agents for RF (Reddick) or SP (Hellickson,Morton), and clubhouse leader Blanco.
      I think 32 and 33 go to Goeddel and Cordero who stay on 40man.
      Prospects Pullin and Valentin are also added with Valentin being a backup INF on 25man.
      Spot 36 will need to go to LH RP on 25man, so I think Rodriquez stays but Araujo is removed.
      Spot 37 goes to 25man bench lefty hitter which I think is Asche.
      If both Morgan and Asher are SP in minors then 3 more relief pitcher spots are needed for 25man so no more prospects could be protected.
      I’d leave those last 3 spots for oppotunities. From current 40man Gonzalez and Murray still have options while Garcia has been great in Minors. I could see a Rule 5 draftee as either reliever or backup INF (Valentin to minors).
      Unprotected prospects include Tocci, Canelo, Anderson, and Dominguez (and non-prospect Perkins).

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