Phillies Make Roster Moves; October 7, 2016

The Phillies have outrighted 6 players according to a story posted by MLB Trade Rumors Jeff Todd.

In an announcement by club officials, the Phillies have cleared roster spots with the outright assignments of LHP Patrick Schuster, RHPs Frank Herrmann, Dalier HinojosaColton Murray, INF Emmanuel Burriss, and OF Jimmy Paredes.


115 thoughts on “Phillies Make Roster Moves; October 7, 2016

    1. Andrew,

      I think it’s safe to say all six of these guys are in the category of clearing clutter. A little early to put Altherr on that list.

      1. I agree that it might be a little early, but let’s take a step back and really ask ourselves if Altherr is going to be a viable major league option as a starting outfielder going forward. I know he was sapped of some power with the injury, but it’s not like he made up for it in base hits. He strikes out a lot, I’m not impressed with his arm, and he’s gonna be 26. He’s a backup outfielder and they’re not exactly the toughest commodity to find.

        I’d like to think they sign an outfielder (maybe Reddick), and still have Odubel. That leaves one opening for Roman Quinn, Altherr, and maybe Nick Williams, depending on how he fares in triple-A next season.

        I just think Altherr is not part of the future. He can afford to lose his 40-man spot.

        1. Altherr has a strong, accurate arm and overall is very good defensively at all three outfield positions. His issue is with the bat. I do agree that he strikes out too much and, like many Phillies hitters, swings at too many bad pitches.

    2. Altherr certainly is by no means a polished hitter but let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. His skill set is impressive enough to translate as a 4th outfielder. Like any other prospect (notwithstanding his advanced age of 25) he’ll need a full year in the majors to establish himself before we cast him accurately.

      1. 8mark,

        You summed it up well. We also have to remember the nature of his injury and that he usually takes a year or longer to fully recover and regain power.

        Let’s see what 2017 brings before giving up on Altherr.

    3. Asche would be ok as an extra outfielder/infielder. Don’t give up on Altherr, he was coming off a bad wrist injury

  1. I didn’t see Hinojosa pitch this year. With that said, I wouldn’t mind the Phils extending a spring training invitation to him and Murray, who disappointed this year but might have bounce-back potential.

  2. It’s hard to understand how Frank Herrmann ever got a roster spot in the first place.

    And maybe I’m showing my ignorance, but who is Patrick Schuster?

  3. These six were predictable and expected. There is zero chance that Altherr is not protected. Even as a 4th OF, he has value. As for Asche, my guess is they will try to trade him first but lacking a deal, I expect he’ll lose his spot also. The problem though is that someone needs to play LF (and CF) next year and I think Quinn starts at LHV. The Phils will try to sign a FA OF but only if he signs for one year. They won’t block Williams, Quinn, and Cozens who are all close.

    1. Altherr has value? Kind’ve like Darin Ruf has value? Older, running out of time. It might be time to move on.

      1. I agree. And Ruf had more success than Altherr in their early, brief careers. I disagree that we will be looking to sign an outfielder for only 1 year. Nick Williams walked 19 times last year. He needs more polish. What’s his ceiling anyway? 20/20 guy with a .280 average who can only play left field and doesn’t walk enough?? Sounds almost like a lesser version of Odubel. Cozens is a nice piece, but he’s at least a year away, maybe two. He right now doesn’t hit lefties all that well and that’s at 2 levels away. Hoping Cozens AND Williams both pan out for 2018 is incorrect. We should be close to .500 next year and knocking on the door of contention in 2018. We need a proven hitter who will sign for more than 1 year.

        1. You’ll be very disappointed if you expect that. The owner just told you this week not to expect to contend until 2019. He’s telling us that they won’t be signing much this off season and that not much is available. Altherr had wrist surgery and came back way too soon. He gets one more year

          1. That’s what the owner said, yes. And I will say that you will end up very disappointed if you’re counting on certain guys becoming free agents in two years. You’ll also be very disappointed if you expect every guy who had some success in the minors to come up and have the same success at the major league level. The owner chooses to be conservative by saying 2019. The team president and gm say 2018. I believe 2018 is reasonable. We have to get incrementally better every year or else the rebuild is not working.

            1. @andrew – constructing a team is not an easy task. this is the reality that, we as a passionate fans do not have a full grasp.

              so if you want to move on from altherr, name the 5 OFs that will play for the Phils in April 2016? don’t give me fowler, desmond because they will not sign with the Phils (and you will argue that they can sign if the Phils will significantly overpay; and don’t give me any converted INF that will play OF) — I want to see if ALL the 5 OFs that you will name is better than Altherr. Doobie will be given, so name the other 4 OF. Bourjous? Asche? FA? FA?

              Goedell, Nick, Cozens and Quinn (all in the 40-man) will start in the minors. I’m not high on Altherr but to move on from him that quick without looking at the 25-man/40-man is lazy.

            2. Reddick will more likely sign with LAD (and LAD will not let any team outbid them considering how much they gave up to acquire him). Prado is probably the best option but the Marlins smartly resigned him.

            3. Andrew – agree 100%. Spot on. This off-season is the turn. The notion that we somehow need to reserve starting roles for players still in the minors is somewhat nonsensical. I’m also thinking that Klentak is playing shrewd, like he usually does. We might not sign any of the top 5 FAs, but we will certainly be active

            4. @Kurdt. I dont know what you want me to say? I could ask you to name me 5 outfielders if Altherr is gone and you couldn’t either. You asked an impossible question. You want to keep Altherr as a 4th or 5th outfielder? Fine. But people act like he is this great piece moving forward. He’s not. He had some success in 2015 in a small sample. That’s it. Ok, sorry he got hurt but we are starting to move forward. We shouldn’t be holding a spot in the starting outfield for Aaron Altherr. He doesn’t need a 40-man spot. I’m not sure teams will be so eager to snatch him up this offseason.

              You want to talk about value now? How much value does a reserve outfielder bring to a team over 162 games? Especially one who strikes out quite a bit and has yet to dominate any level he’s been on? If he has so much value we should trade him and get something else of value in return. People aren’t lining up to buy tickets to see Aaron Altherr on the Phillies. He has about as much value as Peter Bourjos, Jimmy Paredes, and the Alejandro de Aza’s of the baseball world. Marginal ballplayers who are good backup guys.

              But you’re right. Aaron Altherr is just the piece the 22nd best baseball team with the worst outfield in baseball should be looking to hold onto….because he’s so valuable.

            5. AndrewR….one intriguing name out there as a FA will be Lourdes Gourriel who turns 23 on October 19th and all it will take is money with no penalties attached.
              He can play 3ed or a corner OF.
              Lets see what the Phillies will do with this one… better believe, the big boys will be putting up their money….and most of them already are stacked in their minor league systems so they will not hesitate in trying to ink him..

            6. @romus – yes!! that’s the type of flexing that I want the Phils to do! Get more scouts in LA and Asia and try to be the bully in the international market. I know international FAs are risks, but the return can be massive too!

            7. “We have to get incrementally better every year or else the rebuild is not working.”

              Not really. The Astros had 3 straight 100-loss seasons, then a 92-loss season, then made the playoffs. Rebuilds take awhile, and the progress is not always linera.

          2. And Altherr is garbage. Old for every level and has a .738 ops in almost 3000 plate appearances in the minors. A .681 ops in almost 400 plate appearances at the major league level. Somehow I don’t see him becoming this average ball player at this point. He WILL get one more year, but my point is, he doesn’t deserve it.

            1. @andrew – who do you think deserves the OF spot at bench OF at the least? it’s easy to scream about any problems, but do you have a better solution?

              with Quinn, Nick, Cozens and Goedell in 40-man and close to the majors – the total OF in the 40-man will be 9 which is probably too many. the only FA that you can sign for 1-year are the journeymen. so if you sign 4 FA’s OF – what do you do with the contracts when any of Quinn, Nick, Cozens or Goedell is/are ready?

              Altherr is NOT the answer in the OF, but Altherr can provide what the team is looking for – a cheap (and with option) stop gap with potential. this is the value that Murray is talking about that I’m not sure that you understand.

            2. I don’t think Altherr is garbage. But he is def over hyped on this page. He is a perfect 4th OF. He can play all positions, play great D and steal some based.

            3. There’s some players you can still dfr luis Garcia , D Hernandez, Bourjos, will not be here Aj Ellis too. Howard with charie Morton are optioned out. 2019 is a round number it could be excelled by signing they need outfielders period. Herrera and Altherr might be the only 2 carryovers. Plus bp needs part’s I think its being done so that they can sign a few Fa. Trumbo was a 1 yr sign this yr, Matt Holiday might take a yr contact.

            4. @Bdinella…. That’s it. He’s a good, 4th outfielder. Is there value there? Yes. But jets nit kid ourselves with his talent. He and Peter Bourjos were practically interchangeable. And we plucked him off the scrap heap. You are right, Altherr is not a major piece going forward.

            5. @Kurdt… We virtually have unlimited resources here. We have the ability to sign whomever we want. And if the signing is a mistake, we are one of the teams that can absorb that kind of error. Overpaying for Reddick can very well be a viable option. We could use some depth at outfield, because Altherr, Goedell, Quinn and Cozens have proven nothing at the mlb level.

              We pretty much had the worst outfield in the whole game last year, and still managed to win 71 games. Imagine if we had something competent in the corners. Here’s a THOUGHT… Not what I want to see, but a THOUGHT… Sign Cespedes and Reddick. That’ll cost us about $50M a year in salary, putting us up to about $75M next year. Our horrendous outfield will now have just added 50 homers and probably 150-175 runs batted in. Ones a lefty. Ones a righty. Both are middle of the order bats. Pressure is now off of Franco and Jospeh. We lose our second round pick in the 40s for Cespedes, but gain a pick in the 30s for losing Hellickson.

              And if Cozens or Williams starts destroying triple-A pitching, they can come up and get some at bats. Jayson Werth came in as a 4th outfielder and slowly pushed Geoff Jenkins out of a role. If Cozens does the same thing to Reddick, great! We can always eat some salary and move Reddick. But at least we had some production for a few years, rather than sitting back and hoping everything breaks right.

              Again, it’s just a suggestion, not what I think will happen. But if you think Altherr has the potential to be a Reddick or Cespedes, then by all means, run him out there.

            6. Altherr had wrist surgery in March to repair a torn tendon sheath. In March – of this year. That’s a swing impacting type of injury.

              Altherr has the profile of the ideal 4th outfielder with a chance of developing into an every day player. A player making league minimum, who brings speed on the base paths, an above average glove at three OF positions (or at least two), and 20 home run pop is already interesting to me. The hit tool needs some time to develop, but if he’s a ,260 guy, he’s a keeper.

            7. Andrew,

              Altherr made a pretty good splash with the Phillies in 2015 so I’d be hesitant to dismiss his Major League performance to date. Let’s see how he does fully recovered from injury. I agree with the bdinella that he isn’t garbage but he is over hyped by some.

              I’m also not concerned about his age. Twenty-five isn’t old. If he were at AA, I’d agree, but he’s 25 in the Big Leagues. Still young enough to have a meaningful future if he is worth it.

              I understand your low assessment of him. And you may be right. But right now, I think he has enough strengths that, considering the lingering effects of the injury, he deserves a shot in 2017. And, as Kurdt Kobeyn has asked several times, who are the four or five other outfielders you’d keep?

            8. @andrew – i see that you didn’t answer my question because it will expose the hole in your argument.

              with regards to the financial resources, nobody is questioning the Phils ability to flex it financial muscles. however, the main issue this off-season is the management of the 40-man roster. and unfortunately, the roster spots are limited and there’s nothing the Phils or the other big market teams like NYY, BOX, LAD can do about it. these team can throw millions of $$ they want, but they are only limited to 25-man starting and 40-man total.

              another thing that you are not considering is that it’s all about “value”. MLB is an industry and business and not just a group of professionals. each team is run like a business which means that $$ are spent for “value” that the teams expect to return. Is Mike Trout a good player? Yes, nobody will question that. But is he with $100M/year for 10 years? or is he worth giving up the teams Top 20 prospects? the teams cannot simply burn the $$ for the sake of spending.

              Identifying a good player is the easiest part of running the team. But a player is only a “part” of it. Putting the pieces together is what separate the FO from one another.

              So again, I asked you to put together your team. Start with the 5 OF in the 25-man, then the OF in the 40-man.

    2. Murray – agree Asche is at risk, but I don’t think he’s at risk this winter. I think he’ll compete for a roster spot come March but one way or another his chances are dwindling

      As for FA’s, corner OF is the one place they can add without being disruptive to the rebuild. Cozens is likely a full season at LV, perhaps more. No one was higher on Cozens then me coming into the season (had him ranked 7 in off season). Funny though, whereas I felt he was under appreciated a year ago this time, I now think he’s getting a bit too much love. I could see something like .250/300/400 next season at LV

      I’d also offer a thought about ‘blocking’ prospects – even if we forecast a prospect as MLB ready for 2017, it doesn’t mean we must commit to giving him 600 PAs. They can sign Cespedes as a FTP and still have plenty of PAs to go around for the youngsters.

      1. Steve…remember Greg Dobbs?
        IMHO, that’s what the Phillies are trying to clone Asche into. He started playing first base in September and it looks like he will be the LHB when they need it facing the Arrietas/Scherzers/Cuetos of the world. He does this by being versatile….lf, 3rd base and 1st base in a pinch.
        ……and Cozens…….will you believe it….but he may crack the BA 100 in the 80s or 90s. He did not even get a whiff of the top 100 this time last year.

        1. Of course (Dobbs) – he had that crazy year when we set more than a few pinch hit records. Franchise ones mostly. I think it may have been during the 2008 Championship season. And now that I’m on the topic – why is 2008 already 8 years ago. And why didn’t anyone tell me that time accelerates as you get older?

          Sorry, off topic there. Agree on Asche, but I think spring his truly his last chance. Cozens top 100? I could see that. I think it could go either way to be honest but he should get some air play. The guy I’d like to see break the top 100 is Kilome. I could not overstate my excitement there after showing multiple runs of dominance during his first taste of full season play. And to finish the season the way he did? Very, very excited there.

            1. Romus – right. Pre-season too. I think they may be the only major publication to have him ranked. I suspect most will this go around. Truly had an awesome season. I’m stoked

            2. On a BA chat…I think John Manuel’s…..Hoskins had mixed reviews, so do not expect him to be in the top 100….but that is not odd, since RHB-1st basemen are rarely selected.
              BA’s Top 20 EL has Cozens at 13, one below Alfaro, and I do look for him to break the BA Top 100….however they do give some unusual excuse at times between ranking league top 20 players and ranking prospects overall…I do not understand it. So if he doesn’t make the top 100 that will probably be their reasoning.

        2. Romus, with all due respect I’m done with Asche. He has virtually no skills whatsoever. His only chance to improve is to play everyday somewhere. That’s not happening in the big leagues and he’s run his course thru the minors.

      2. A decent outfield in ’17 could be LF – Michael Saunders (free agent), CF- OH, RF – Quinn (if ready) with Danny Valencia and Peter Bourjos as a defensive spare.

        40 man rosters outfielders: Herrera, Altherr, Williams, Saunders, Valencia, Bourjos, Quinn, Cozens, Pullin and Goeddel.

        I wouldn’t mind Goeddel being left off but there will be pressure to justify his 2015 Rule 5 selection. If kept, I could see him starting next year in Reading.

        If Altherr outperforms Quinn next spring, I’d keep him on the big team and let Quinn start in Lehigh Valley. Both Quinn and Altherr need every day starts next year.

        1. Some of the beat guys think Goeddel starts in CF at LHV next season, flanked by Williams in LF and Cozens in RF.

          1. That would assume Quinn and Altherr both start the season in Philly. I rate the chance of that about 30%. I think the Phils recognize that these 2 need starting opportunities. To start a season-opening outfield of Herrera-Quinn-Altherr as unlikely no matter who plays where.

            1. Yeah……Quinn could start in CF with Herrera sliding over to LF. That was what Mack had already mentioned for 2017, did not think it was a good idea last month so late in the season to move OH to LF.
              I can see them doing it if Quinn has an exceptional ST.
              If not he heads to LHV and starts in CF there.
              But having OH playing LF has already been brought up.

  4. Managing the 40 man will be the biggest story of the offseason. You have to remember that they have to have a 25 man roster also. That means they can only have 15 guys in the minors who are not on the 25, and that will be difficult. For instance, Perkins has no chance of being protected but has a good chance of being selected by some team to go be a 4th OF. Tocci? Pujols? Its actually easy to have a list of 20 guys you want to protect but ultimately only 15 can be on it (although a few more names could be on the list at rule 5 draft time, guys will still ultimately need 25 spots like Blanco which will spots to be opened up and guys exposed). Altherr will be on the 40, Goeddel I’m not sure about, Asche may not but someone will have to be. The discussion above was a good one, in fact, Goeddel may have to be the 5th OF again next year rather than going to LHV due to roster spots. Btw, Pullin is another guy the Phils (and other teams Im sure) like. He could be lost too if not protected because he can hit.

    1. Since you raised Tocci, I’ll get a bit out in front this season after being a laggard last season and thus critiqued for my insistence that Tocci was at 0 risk to be selected last season. To be sure I’m clear here ,I wasn’t contending that he wouldn’t be selected, I was contending that there was 0 risk that he would be selected. 0.

      So now that we flipped the calendar a year, let me go on record again. Tocci has 0 risk of being selected in the Rule 5. Zero. Not a slight chance. Or barely a chance. Zero. Absolute zero. Lots of players we need to be concerned about losing in this year’s draft, Tocci is not one of them.

        1. I actually like him. I want him to remain in the organization for sure. At least through next season anyway. I just don’t believe any team would think for a moment of carrying him on a MLB roster an entire season.

          1. Steve….not sure if I can recall ever a positional player selected in the Rule 5 who never reached the AA level. But there may have been one or two somewhere along the line.
            I do not think Tocci will be one of the few who is.

            1. Romus, if my memory serves me right, George Bell was still in A ball when we lost him in the Rule 5 draft. Those of us who remember that have permanent paranoia from that incident.

            2. MLL – Bell was at AA at the time of the decision not to protect. He had been injured and missed most but not the entire season. Played 30 games or something. But he was definitely at AA at the time – at the decision not to protect was foolish

      1. I’ve generally be a supporter of Tocci and still think he’s got a chance based on his age but I agree that there is zero chance he’s selected in the rule-5 draft. Until he has a breakout season showing improved power or starts hitting .300 he’s not going to get taken by another team and kept on the 25-man roster.

        Other than a good glove, he’s hasn’t shown enough..

    2. @Murray – i agree with you that managing the 40-man will be the main task of the FO this coming off season. I see the Phils signing 5-6 veteran FAs (SP, RP, RP, INF, OF) mostly at 1-year contracts. The FA market is thin so this is not the best time to invest the $$ that the Phils has in their pocket

      I see a comment that basically suggesting that the Phils sign all the top FAs available like Chapman, Jansen, Yeonis, Reddick, Hellickson (resign) – so they can at least compete. it’s sound doable, but close to impossible to sign everybody because they Phils will be competing with bigger dogs like NYY (Yoenis, Chapman), LAD (Reddick, Jansen), Cubs (Chapman, Hellboy) — the Phils can keep pace financially but these FAs will go to teams that not only play more but are close to contention.

  5. Altherr had a very serious injury. Equate it to the Achilles tendon. Takes 18 months to fully recover. Some never regain their strength.

    Not saying I’m in love with the guy but I also didn’t expect a lot this last half season.

    1. He did K at 30% in 227 PAs. Not sure the wrist would be a factor there.
      Maybe it would.
      However, he K’ed at 20% in almost 1000PAs between AA/AAA in his last two minor league years, which is not too bad..

  6. Realistically, how many roster spots do the Phillies have to create? There are the 6 from yesterday . Howard will come off when they officially decline his option. Bourjos, David Hernandez, AJ Ellis and Blanco are free agents. Severino Gonzalez and Luis Garcia are likely gone. If Hellickson declines, That’s 14 right there. If they add 14 from the minibus to protect, would that cover it?

    1. @Marc H – half of the team are expendable. The Phils might sign/re-sign 2-4 veteran FAs, and probably keep another 2-4 “borderline” players like Araujo, SevGon, Altherr, Garcia to serve as BENCH and/or replacements in case of injury early in the season.

      the new prospects (around 8 to 12) added to the 40-man are or more likely not yet ready to contribute to the big league early in 2017, so like it or not — we will still see some borderline MLB players or journeyman playing for the Phils.

    2. Before protecting minor league players, the Phillies still have 4 major league players on the 60-day DL who will come off the “60” and be added to the “40”. They are Aaron Nola, Matt Harrison, Zach Eflin, and Charlie Morton. They have to stay on the “40” until the end of spring training when maybe Harrison goes back on the “60”. So when constructing the 40 man roster these 4 players have to be accounted for.

      1. Is that true of Morton even though he has an option? When do they have to exercise the option? I think the plan with him – if possible – would be to reject the option and then see if he wants to sign a re-structured deal. If he’s returned to full health it wouldn’t be bad having him around – his stuff was very good.

        1. Morton’s contract is a club option. with a $1M buyout
          The deadline to exercise or decline contract options is usually five days after the end of the World Series, though some contracts specify a different date.
          I do not see any specified dates with his contract in COTS.
          I agree with you…..pick up his option and bring him to ST.

          1. Actually, I’m saying something different. I’m saying I want him around, but not on that option. I decline the option, allow him not to be on the 40-man during the Rule V, and then re-sign him to an incentive laden contract that comes close to the option if he meets all milestones.

            1. I think he would do it – Morton said many times how much he likes being with the Phillies and he is impressed with the young pitchers.

            2. Exercising his option is $9.5M for 2017. That is not a huge amount, and if he does well thru July, he could be trade chip if the Phillies are not in contention.
              Now if the Phillies decline his option, he becomes a FA, then you will need to sign him for more than the $9,5M I would think because now he can negotiate with other clubs, and that normally occurs in December when the majority of FAs are signed to major league contracts.
              Then he has to be placed on the 40…..and then a player already on the 40, may have to be DFA in order to add Morton.
              If salary amount is the issue…I do not see any difference in just exercising the option by Nov 10th.

            3. Also declining his option may result in the following circumstance occurring:
              ” A player on an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) who is given his Outright Release during the period of time extending from September 1st through March 31st cannot be added back to the MLB 40-man roster of the club that released the player until May 15th, and a player on an MLB 40-man roster who is given his Outright Release during the period of time extending from April 1st through August 31st cannot be added back to the MLB Active List of the club that released the player for at least 30 days.”
              So in effect, if I am reading this correctly, ….declining his option is releasing him and he cannot be re-instated to the MLBRL until May 15th.

            4. Well, I guess the Phillies need to read the market. With his age, his statistical history and coming off a significant season-ending injury, I don’t see him doing better than what the option would provide. If the Phillies exercise the option, they need to be fairly sure he is fully recovered. Otherwise, they should decline the option and either try to sign him to an incentive-based deal or move on.

            5. Yes they can decline his option and resign him.
              And by June 1st when he would probably get to finally start after two weeks of a ‘spring training’ at LHV/Reading, the staff will probably have some ailments going on and he can move on in..

  7. Just for fun, I’m going to assume the protect number is 15. Here’s a working list

    Mark Appel
    Ben Lively
    Elniery Garcia
    Ricardo Pinto
    Nick pivetta
    Alberto Tirado
    Miguel Nunez
    Hobby Milner
    Harold Arauz
    Andrew Knapp
    J Valentin
    Marquin Canelo
    Dylan Cozens
    Jose Pujols
    Nick Williams

    1. Assuming the bottom line is whether a big league club will select a player to stick with their 25 man roster all season, I think you can leave off Pujols, Canelo, and perhaps Milner, Arauz and Nunez. Those are big leaps.

    2. This is a good list to start with. Add to it some starting pitchers because they can’t all make the 25. They have six young starters plus they’ll likely sign a veteran so two more names will have to come off this list for them. I also think Pullin might need a spot. Quinn may start at LHV, that would be a spot. Does Goeddel get a spot on 25? Is he retained on the 40? Klentak likes Featherston. Does he get protected?

    3. Nunez – will depend on his AFL performance.

      Milner, Arauz, Canelo and Pujols will not be protected. I’m 100% certain that there will be prospects way way better than the 4 of them that will be available and exposed in the Rule V.

    4. @Marc – in addition, I don’t see the Phils will protect 15 since MLB teams probably needs another 5 players that are already MLB ready.

      With Alfaro, Goeddel and probably Eflin, Jake starting in the minors – the Phils will not have a 25-man roster if they protect 15 prospects that are not MLB ready.

      The way that the Phils can protect 15 prospects is to have some of the young guys like Alfaro, Quinn, Goedell, NIck, Jake, Eflin to be included in the 25-man which will be bad for their development since these prospects need to play everyday (they will be bench or BP if they play with the Phils).

    1. I’d say these guys are definites:
      Dylan Cozens
      Nick Williams
      Mark Appel
      Ben Lively
      Andrew Knapp
      Elniery Garcia
      Ricardo Pinto
      Nick Pivetta

      and this guy is likely:
      Alberto Tirado

      If not for his position I would argue Knapp at a lesser tier. But he’ll be gobbled up for certain if left unprotected given he could serve as backup C for a number of teams.

      I’m in the category who believes Tocci need not be protected, but I’m not necessarily lobbying for or against. I’d like to keep him in the organization at least another year, just don’t think he’s at risk.

    2. Free agent signings and trade acquisitions. Actually I think there will more likely be closer to 20 changes from the current 40man roster but I can’t predict who will replace those spots.

  8. Using Jim’s spreadsheet – I tried to construct the 25-man and 40-man team (assuming no trades and no rule V pick(s). Myexercise resulted to the following:

    Rule V Protection (10) – Knapp, Pivetta, Lively, Appel, Nick, Cozens, Valentin, Pinto, Garcia, Tirado) — all will start and play in the minors except Valentin

    FA signings/resignings (5) – BE-INF (Blanco), 2 BE-OF, BE-C (Ellis or Chooch type), RP (Gomez)

    “Borderline” MLB players (5) – Morgan, Joely, SevGon, Araujo, Garcia. I think both Araujo and Garcia will be on short lease but Morgan, Joely amd SevGon will survive the initial purge mainly because of their ability to throw in multiple innings.

    Returning 40-man (20). I can see the Phils finally letting go of Harrison and just absorb the contract.

    C Rupp, Cameron
    1B Joseph, Tommy
    2B Hernandez, Cesar ###
    3B Franco, Maikel PHI
    SS Galvis, Freddy ###
    LF Quinn, Roman ###
    CF Herrera, Obudel ***
    RF Altherr, Aaron
    BE-C Veteran FA
    BE-INF Veteran FA (Blanco, Andres ###)
    BE-INF Valentin, Jesse ###
    BE-OF Veteran FA (Phils might give Asche another try as LH bat)
    BE-OF Veteran FA (I prefer Cam Perkins here)

    SP1 Veteran FA (probably Morton, Fister or Hellboy)
    SP2 Nola, Aaron
    SP3 Velasquez, Vince
    SP4 Eickhoff, Jerad
    SP5 Morgan, Adam *** (over Eflin or Jake)
    RP-Long Gonzalez, Severino
    RP-Mid Cordero, Jimmy
    RP-Mid Araujo, Elvis *** (or can be Veteran FA)
    RP-Mid Rodriguez, Joely ***
    RP-Set Gomez, Jeanmar
    RP-Set Ramos, Edubray
    RP-CL Neris, Hector

    The 15 players who will start in the minors.

    C Alfaro, Jorge LHV
    C Knapp, Andrew ### LHV
    SP Eflin, Zach LHV
    SP Thompson, Jake LHV
    SP Asher, Alec LHV
    SP Pivetta, Nick LHV
    SP Lively, Ben LHV
    RP Appel, Mark LHV
    RP Garcia, Luis LHV
    OF Williams, Nick *** LHV
    OF Cozens, Dylan *** LHV
    SP Pinto, Ricardo REA
    SP Garcia, Elniery *** REA
    OF Goeddel, Tyler REA
    SP Tirado, Alberto CLW

    1. Based on the above, I will not be surprised if the Phils will start to move some players and prospects to create flexibility in the 40-man roster.

      Phils will probably try to deal the likes of Rupp, Cesar, Galvis and/or package with some prospects like Knapp, Lively, Asher and some young prospects.

      1. There not to trade Galvis without Jp being ready. MK already said that Alfaro and Quinn will start in AAA . Cordero has had 2 shoulder injuries this yr.Ramos had elbow problems at the end of the yr. There still isn’t coverage in that lineup for TJ and Franco . I don’t think luis Garcia s going to make the cut. The Phillies FO are always thinking ahead I do think there going to get a RF finally . It’s hard to know who to cover I really don’t try it’s really not up to me. FYI Joey Rodriguez and Morgan the Phillies are thin in lhp the pen and starting pitching. That might also be addessed in Fa.


        1. As for a corner OFer….I am willing to bet the Phillies could get 36-year old Jose Bautista for 2yr/$45M with a team option in year 3 or opt-out for him
          That is a hefty over-pay……but he would provide the middle of the lineup to bridge the gap for power before the more younger players are ready and somewhat MLB experienced.

          1. @romus – with that price, i think the blue jays will afford and probably more especially if they go deep in the playoffs. i don’t have any issue with the phils ability to committ $$, in today’s era, players want to get paid with the team that is close to getting title. joey bats wants both. i think the min $$ that joey will consider the phils is around $60-75M.

          2. Romus – I’m on board, but conditioned on Cespedes in LF. Otherwise I would pass on Bautista. Sign both Cespedes and Bautista and you would fill the stands in April though – no doubt. They certainly wouldn’t be championship bound, but would send a clear signal.

            Overpay Bautista (2/40) and Cespedes (3/100), front-loading in Cespedes’s case, and let the fun begin.

            1. @steve – Joey Bats is mid-30s so he will like to cash in this contract. Higher total $$ with opt out (as per Romus) will at least make him consider. Yoesnis is about right but i can see the NYY signing him for 5/$150M if they need to. Plus Yoenis wants to stay in NY area so the Phils will really need to outbid the NYY to get him.

            2. KK – fair enough; I’d put it this way perhaps – I’m interested in any high AAS deal of three or less years if it brings an impact bat. If that’s 2/50 for Bautista, that’s fine. And for what its worth, I’m only lukewarm on Bautista anyway. Not to mention that he’ll be looking for a team with near term aspirations. Cespedes I believe can be wooed though. And I for one am absolutely interested

            3. Of course there is also Edwin Encarnacion…but his only position outside of first base, would likely be LF and he may be very poor defensively.
              But that may not be a big deal, when you look at the Phillies list of defensive LFers in the last 30 years.

            4. I don’t see a marriage between the Phils and either Cespedes or Joey Bats. There are better bargains out there if not better impact players immediately.

            5. 8mark……one important factor…player must accept 2 year + option/opt out year.
              Sure there may be other better options…..but players may want 4/5 years.
              You are not signing a player for the long-term but for the short-term.

          3. Right. I don’t see either of those 2 coming here, Romus. Cespedes will sign minimum 5 yr deal with NYY. Bautista is 36 and will obviously want his new last hurrah contract to take him to age 40 at least. Old regime would probably have gone for it. Not the new one.

        2. @tim – i said that araujo (LHP) and garcia (RHP) will be on short leash. i’m not concernded about the phils ability to spend $$, my concern is the top FA coming to the phils. most likely the phils will sign for 1-year contract and these FA will be similar in ability with araujo and garcia (both are cheap, young and with good stuff).

          on galvis, the waiting period is probably 2 months (when JPC is expected to be called up). i think the phils will resgin blanco again for this possibility.

          i did mention that alfaro will start in AAA that’s why i expect a vet FA signing.i’malso in tne mend with quinn. the personality of the 2 FA OF signings will determine the position and team (PHI or LHV) where Quinn will play at the beginning of the year.

          Lastly, i agree with Pete, the Phils need MLB bats – which i expect will play on the corner OF or 1B. Hopefully, Romus is right, Joey Bats signs with the Phils.

          1. Ok In seen that had Rupp on the block , I’d rather have him then a vet playing everyday. Has far as Quinn he doesn’t profile as a RF power hitter. I was hoping for a Blackmon or Cargo trade . Luis Garcia has proven he can’t pitch in the majors.

            1. You know who may be available as a reliever since I think the Mariners will let him walk….Drew Storen.
              Before the Paps trade to the Nats in 2015, he was a plus reliever for them…then it went downhill when Paps arrived and then the first part of this year with the Jays.
              He could be looking to reclaim his mojo.
              One glaring metric from Brooks….his velo has declined almost 2 mph in the last year, so that could be a real concern.

      2. What are Phillies going to get back for those guys? Likely SP3 or Avg starters; even in a package. Phillies have plenty of (potential) those guys.
        To get an upgrade Phillies will need to include someone good, like Velasquez, Alfaro, Kilome. Not sure if many of the other prospects get a return Phillies would want.

    2. Excellent work, but I’d make a couple exceptions.

      – I don’t see Morgan making the rotation. Thompson or Asher will take that spot. And at 26, with younger guys behind him, the Captain gets waived. And for the 40 man spot…

      – They’re gonna bring in a veteran bat at one of the corners. Most likely Odubel is in LF and Altherr and Quinn can compete for CF. Mackanin has been emphatic on this, and I think taking pressure off Franco and Joseph is a good idea.

      1. And another thing — I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see a trade to ease the roster crunch. A couple of the RHP prospects needing protection could be flipped for an older, expensive bat and/or low-minors types. (Andre Ethier, anyone?)

        Alternatively … if the Pirates are serious about dealing McCutcheon, he’s exactly the kind of high-character centerpiece they need. He’d look perfect in RF for the Phils.

        1. I would not be at all surprised to see McCutcheon moved this off-season since his salary constrains many other ways of improving the Pirates and Austin Meadows is ready or close. But there are teams like the Dodgers, Nats and Rangers (if Desmond signs elsewhere) who could be expected to be in the bidding. McCutcheon wouldn’t come cheaply if the Phils thought he’s a candidate for a bounce back.

      2. @hawk – Jake is still young and the Phils will probably want to work his repertoire in AAA for a couple of months. Phils lack of LH option (both starting and pen) will work with Morgan. Vinny’s pure stuff carried him to the starting spot last year. If Morgan came out the same way in during Spring training, he will get the nod over Eflin, Jake (both can still benefit from AAA work) and Asher (who may end up as a trade bait or to the pen).

        CF is Doobie’s best position. He will only lose it when he start playing poorly defensively. Quinn and Altherr’s position and playing will depend on the OF FA that the Phils can sign.

    3. They have to keep Harrison. Contractually, they cannot waive, outright, fire, demote, release, kill, maim, or deport a player while he is injured. They have to maintain him on a roster until he physically proves he has recovered. There’s no getting around his salary or roster spot (until the end of ST when they can put him back on the 60-day DL).

      1. @jim – i might be wrong, but I thought the team can let go/waive of anybody as long as the teams honor their financial commitment (which what the players care about). the roster spot is to get the insurance money.

        Normally, the main issue with a player’s contract is either a) No Trade clause; or b) No demotion to minors. A contract that’s tied up to a medical condition seems to be unfair to one party.

        1. Whatever the league rule, in this instance there may be insurance implications to consider. I doubt the team can expect a lump sum payout if they outright release Harrison, even if permitted, since his play-ability is doubtful but not yet decided. Then again he’s on the 60 day, what’s the consequence of keeping him there?

          For certain, an injured player on the 40-man cannot be outright assigned to the minors, but I don’t know of any rule prohibiting outright release

    4. Great list. I would promote Knapp to majors as backup C and 1B so he is not splitting time in minors and saves roster spot but vet C is not bad idea for pitching staff.
      I would demote Cordero but if good in ST then could be in majors.
      I would waive relievers to keep open roster spots then pick the ‘best’ from ST from vet and youngsters. I could see keeping Severino and Joely and waiving Luis and Elvis.
      I’d sign lefty bat for RF (Reddick) and lefty starter (Jaime Garcia or Brett Anderson).
      Arbitrate Asche so unguaranteed contract as Dobbs role. Have Quinn and Altherr in LF.
      Draft Rule 5 guy as reliever or middle INF if want to keep Valentin in minors.
      May want 40man spots for Pullin, Tocci, Canelo.

  9. Matt Breen’s article in yesterday talked about catching situation. I have no problem with Alfaro starting ’17 at Lehigh but I’m not convinced Rupp will be here opening day. I do prefer Ellis and Alfaro. The Phillies have leverage here since the consensus is
    1 Rupp is a valuable commodity to many teams starved for a reliable backstop, and
    2 He’s really not very good calling or receiving and his % of catching base stealers went down significantly from ’15 to ’16.

    1. Trading Rupp almost forcing the Phillies in resigning Ellis, or even Chooch who is a FA. But also, gives Knapp the opportunity to start. But that is really saying you just about given up in competing in 2017.
      Ellis or Chooch are not every day catchers anymore, and Knapp should not be burdened to be the guy with such little experience.
      if any catcher may be traded I think it will be Knapp in a package.
      The return will not be as high as Rupp would bring you back, but alleviates the crowded conditions at that position.

      1. Trading Knapp will be a mistake as he has plate patience and his defense is improving. I see why everyone is enamored with Alfaro but in the Small Sample Sizes I saw him he did not impress. His defense is good but needs work. Alfaro also is very aggressive in his hitting style and make Nick Williams look patient.

        1. philabalt…one has to go soon. I mean you do not want to go into 2018 with this same arrangement of three catchers , Rupp, Knapp and Alfaro.
          Both Knapp and Alfaro have their pros and cons..
          Both want to catch first…move one to the OF and you create another over-crowding situation.
          And Knapp is two years older.
          Pick one?

    2. Rupp would be in a market where Wilson Ramos and Matt Wieters are available in free agency and Brian McCann is likely available through trade. Rupp averages .6 WAR over his career and it is not realistic to see much coming back based on one year’s performance. He could be more valuable during the season to a contending team dealing with an injury. By mid-season Alfaro could look a lot more MLB-ready than he does currently.

      1. The problem with Alfaro is that it’s very hard to predict his ETA. It could be June of 2017 or sometime in 2018. A veteran back-up is a must for the forseeable future.

        I have no idea how the Knapp thing is going to shape up except to say that, in the long run, I really believe in Knapp as a hitter and I’d be reluctant to see him go when his value is so low. I’ll also note that all reports discuss how much his fielding has improved. Nobody suggests that Knapp will be the kind of fielding catcher that Alfaro can become, but don’t sell Knapp short – he could turn into something that’s a lot better than folks here are projecting.

        1. I’d actually be ok with going into 2017 with Knapp on the 25 man. I’m content with Rupp as the everyday catcher and Knapp can get plenty of AB’s backing up Rupp and Joseph.

          Alfaro needs at least a half season in AAA and then you can better judge his ETA.

          1. I’m fine if both Alfaro and Knapp start out 2017 at their existing levels (AA and AAA) so they both get reps and at bats with the hope of a late May or early June promotion for both. If I’m Knapp, I spend a lot of time getting reps in winter ball – he needs as much behind-the-plate time as possible.

            I know he did not have a great year as a hitter last year, but I think Knapp was so focused on improving his defense that the hitting suffered a bit, which is not unusual for a catching prospect.

            Knapp has a chance to be a first rate major league hitter as a catcher and may hit well enough so that he can be a Mike Napoli type catcher/hitter – catching, playing some first base and DH’ing on occasion (yes, I think DH will be a reality in the National League by 2018 or even next year – the time has come and I think the owners recognize this).

            Also, if you see Knapp in person he has a bit of the “it” factor (by the way, so does Jorge Alfaro). He’s a very locked in guy and I think, his age notwithstanding, he has quite a bit of potential.

          2. Thr more I think about Rupp, he’ll probably start ’17 and then be a trade piece at the deadline. That will allow Alfaro or Knapp (not both) to get the call and share time with whichever veteran C is signed (Ellis?)

            1. Yes Romus, I prefer Ellis. Chooch will make an excellent coach but I think I’d be more inclined to move on with the guy already in house.

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