40-Man Roster Construction Following the 2017 Season

This past week, a reader asked for my opinion on whom the Phillies would protect from the Rule 5 Draft.  I began to draft an answer, and realized that projecting which prospects to protect requires more thought and many more words than should be in a comment thread.  Since I can’t answer this without considering many factors, I decided to put in an article.  This way the discussion will be contiguous in one location.  And I do expect there to be discussion.

First and foremost, while we decide which prospects need to be protected, we have to realize what we really have to accomplish is the construction of a 40-man roster.

Second, the construction of a 40-man roster requires that the Phillies be able to field an active roster capable of competing at the major league level.

Third, we have to accept that the Phillies have already exhibited a tendency that indicates that they will not bring up a prospect too early to get experience at the major league level. So, no matter how much we think a guy should/could earn his stripes in Citizens Bank Park, it’s not going to happen just because we think we have discovered that special case..

Fourth, the 40-man roster will probably have to include some acquisitions from this off season that we can neither anticipate nor accept because the Phillies aren’t prepared to place full confidence in players at the top of the organization.  These acquisitions can be players acquired as free agents, through trades, and/or through waiver claims.

Fifth, the 40-man roster has to include guys in Triple-A who are ready to come up in the event that an active roster player gets hurt or fails.  Hopefully, these slots can be filled from within the organization.  But, see three and four above.

Six, this is not about protecting our favorite players.

Seven, while we’re trying to thin our roster, other teams are doing the same thing.

And, finally, not protecting a player does not mean he will be selected by another organization.  It is an accepted fact that it is easier to stash a pitcher in a bullpen for a season than it is to suffer through an “unready” position player on the bench.  And, selection still doesn’t mean the loss of a player.  See Hoby Milner, who was selected in last year’s draft, returned before the end of spring training, and pitched in the majors for the Phillies this season.

Now, that went a lot longer than I anticipated.  What follows is just my opinion of what I think the Phillies might do, not what I would do.  Let’s start.

Current 40-Man Roster (I’ve had to make a lot of changes to this since I started.)

  1. Drew Anderson R/R
  2. Mark Appel R/R
  3. Clay Buchholz L/R
  4. Zach Eflin R/R
  5. Jerad Eickhoff R/R
  6. Elniery Garcia L/L
  7. Luis Garcia R/R
  8. Mark Leiter R/R
  9. Ben Lively R/R
  10. Hoby Milner L/L
  11. Adam Morgan L/L
  12. Hector Neris R/R
  13. Juan Nicasio R/R
  14. Aaron Nola R/R
  15. Ricardo Pinto R/R
  16. Nick Pivetta R/R
  17. Edubray Ramos R/R
  18. Yacksel Rios R/R
  19. Kevin Siegrist L/L
  20. Jesen Therrien R/R
  21. Jake Thompson R/R
  22. Alberto Tirado R/R
  23. Vince Velasquez R/R
  24. Jorge Alfaro R/R
  25. Andrew Knapp S/R
  26. Cameron Rupp R/R
  27. Andres Blanco S/R
  28. Maikel Franco R/R
  29. Freddy Galvis S/R
  30. Cesar Hernandez S/R
  31. Tommy Joseph R/R
  32. Ty Kelly S/R
  33. Jesmuel Valentin S/R
  34. Aaron Altherr R/R
  35. Dylan Cozens L/L
  36. Pedro Florimon S/R
  37. Odubel Herrera L/R
  38. Rhys Hoskins R/R
  39. Hyun Soo Kim L/R
  40. Daniel Nava S/L
  41. Cameron Perkins R/R
  42. Roman Quinn S/R
  43. Nick Williams L/L

The Forty is at 43 players because three guys are on the 60-Day Disabled List.

End of Season Realities

At season’s end, when the free agent contracts expire, Buchholz, Nicasio, Blanco, Florimon, Kelly, Kim, and Nava will become free agents and the Forty (43) will drop by seven to 36.  None of these players can’t be replaced thru free agency if necessary.

The Phillies have one guaranteed contract – Herrera.

The Phillies have 6 arbitration eligible players –

  • Galvis (entering his final ARB year),
  • Hernandez and Siegrist (entering their second ARB years, and
  • Franco, Rupp, and Luis Garcia who are ARB eligible for the first time.

It’s likely that all six will be tendered.  Maybe Rupp isn’t, but let’s assume he is tendered for now.

The remaining players are Pre-ARB and have options remaining after this season except Alfaro and Morgan. Any of these guys who are removed from the 40 will be exposed to the Rule 5 draft. They can probably expose a few guys without fear of losing them (or not caring), like – Appel, Leiter, Milner, Pinto, Thompson, Valentin, and Perkins.

So that would leave 29 spots filled by –

  1. RHP Anderson, Drew
  2. RHP Eflin, Zach
  3. RHP Eickhoff, Jerad
  4. LHP Garcia, Elniery
  5. RHP Garcia, Luis
  6. RHP Lively, Ben
  7. LHP Morgan, Adam
  8. RHP Neris, Hector
  9. RHP Nola, Aaron
  10. RHP Pivetta, Nick
  11. RHP Ramos, Edubray
  12. RHP Rios, Yackesl
  13. LHP Siegrist, Kevin
  14. RHP Therrien, Jesen
  15. RHP Tirado, Alberto
  16. RHP Velasquez, Vince
  17. C Alfaro, Jorge
  18. C Knapp, Andrew
  19. C Rupp, Cameron
  20. 3B Franco, Maikel
  21. SS Galvis, Freddy
  22. 2B Hernandez, Cesar
  23. 1B Joseph, Tommy
  24. OF Altherr, Aaron
  25. OF Cozens, Dylan
  26. CF Herrera, Odubel
  27. 1B/OF Hoskins, Rhys
  28. CF Quinn, Roman
  29. OF Williams, Nick

Things to Consider

Unless you’re comfortable selecting your starting rotation from among Anderson, Eflin, Eichkoff, El. Garcia, Lively, Nola, Pivetta, and Velasquez you are going to have to acquire a Hellickson-like starting pitcher to anchor the rotation through another season. Assuming you fill this need thru free agency, there goes the 30th roster spot.  If you sign two, there goes the 31st spot.

If you’re not comfortable with a bullpen from among  L. Garcia, Morgan, Neris, Ramos, Rios, SiegristTherrien, and Tirado, and you don’t want to rely on anyone within the organization, you’ve got to pick up a reliever or two.  That’s spots 32 and 33 on the roster. (Probably just one with the addition of Siegrist, so 32.)

Catcher and outfield can probably be filled from within the organization.  Maybe.  And hopefully the infield.  We’ve got eight spots remaining, so let’s see.

We have several players who have already been exposed to the draft in previous years who might deserve consideration for a variety of reasons, and 27 prospects who become Rule 5 eligible for the first time.

  • Carlos Tocci, Jiandido Tromp, and Andrew Pullin are 3 outfielders who might deserve a second look although losing them to the draft is unlikely.  Maybe one has played himself into the outfield mix.
  • LHPs Ranger Suarez and Tom Windle may deserve looks.  Suarez pitched well as a starter this year and Windle has looked like different pitcher coming out of the bullpen.  And they are left-handed.
  • RH starters Harold Arauz, Jose Taveras, and Seranthony Dominguez have pitched well enough to be considered.
  • Among RH relievers, maybe Shane Watson.  Ranfi Casimiro.  Miguel Nunez.

The first time draft eligible players include a lot of guys below Reading and not likely to be drafted –

  • Carlos Salazar (RHP, DSL White), Anderson Nunez (RHP, DSL White), Orestes Melendez (LHP, WPT), Jesus Alastre (RF, LAK), Gustavo Armas (RHP, LAK), Ismael Cabrera (RHP, LAK), Felix Paulino (RH,P LAK), Aaron Brown (RF, GCL), Grenny Cumana (SS, CLW), Jose Gomez (SS, CLW), Scott Harris (LHP, CLW), Jan Hernandez (3B, CLW), Emmanuel Marrero (SS, CLW), and Edwin Rodriguez (1B, GCL).

And, a bunch of guys AA and above –

  • Victor Arano (RHP, REA), Derek Campbell (2B, CLW), Austin Davis (LHP, REA), Joe DeNato (LHP, REA), Deivi Grullon (C, REA), Franklyn Kilome (RHP, REA), Cord Sandberg (LF, REA), Drew Stankiewicz (2B, REA)Damek Tomscha (3B, REA)Tyler Viza (RHP, REA)J.P. Crawford (SS, LHV), Brandon Leibrandt (LHP, LHV), and Rhys Hoskins (1B, Phillies).

Of course, Hoskins is already on the Forty.

So, the Forty could look like this (Bold = Active Roster)-

  1. Drew Anderson R/R – LHV
  2. Zach Eflin R/R – LHV
  3. Jerad Eickhoff R/R
  4. Elniery Garcia L/L – REA
  5. Luis Garcia R/R
  6. Ben Lively R/R – LHV
  7. Adam Morgan L/L
  8. Hector Neris R/R
  9. Aaron Nola R/R
  10. Nick Pivetta R/R
  11. Edubray Ramos R/R
  12. Yacksel Rios R/R – LHV
  13. Kevin Siegrist L/L
  14. Jesen Therrien R/R – LHV
  15. Alberto Tirado R/R – REA (But, really, does he have to be on the Forty?)
  16. Vince Velasquez R/R
  17. soon to be acquired starter
  18. soon to be acquired starter
  19. soon to be acquired reliever
  20. Kilome
  21. One of Arano, Viza, Leibrandt,
  22. Jorge Alfaro R/R
  23. Andrew Knapp S/R or Cameron Rupp R/R
  24. Note Knapp and Rupp have 2 options remaining
  25. Maikel Franco R/R
  26. Freddy Galvis S/R
  27. Cesar Hernandez S/R
  28. Tommy Joseph R/R
  29. Crawford
  30. A middle infielder, Blanco-type (Valentin, again?)
  31. Aaron Altherr R/R
  32. Dylan Cozens L/L
  33. Odubel Herrera L/R
  34. Rhys Hoskins R/R
  35. Roman Quinn S/R
  36. Nick Williams L/L
  37. One of Tocci, Tromp, Pullin as a 4th or 5th OF, not just to protect from the draft
  38. Two of Suarez, Windle, Taveras, Dominguez
  39. Probably Taveras and Dominguez
  40. And, another utility type player for depth, probably from outside the organization?

So, to answer the question that started this thesis, I would expect the Phillies to protect Franklyn Kilome, Victor Arano, J.P. Crawford, Carlos Tocci, Jose Taveras, and Seranthony Dominguez.

Now, I know that this is probably not a popular list, and I wouldn’t argue strenuously in favor of it.  In fact, as I look at it I am already second guessing it.  But, I’m fairly certain that not many more than six prospects can/will be protected.  It just comes down to who the Phillies “know” has to be protected, and who the Phillies expect to be able to play at the major league level.

One last thing, that shouldn’t play a part in the Forty, but will have to considered when constructing the rosters of the affiliates – minor league free agency.  Several minor league players may have completed their contractual obligations and become first time free agents.  The Minor League Uniform Player Contract is in effect for seven years (although it can be negotiated for fewer years).  I think that being on the Forty (for Rios, Therrien, Quinn, and Tirado) puts a player in a different classification.  But, I am nor sure if having been on the Forty (Stassi) makes a difference.  We also can’t be sure if any players were afforded the opportunity to sign for less than seven years.  So, my best guess is that the following players who signed their first contracts in 2011 and who are not currently on the Forty may become free agents this off season – MooreHarold MartinezStassiHerlis Rodriguez, Casimiro, Angelo MoraWaldingTocciTromp.

If the above is accurate, then maybe the Phillies consider Tocci and/or Tromp for the Forty. Or, try to sign them to attractive minor league contracts.

Okay, that’s all, before I think of something else to add.  And before I look at the Transactions List and have to go back and make more changes.

 

 

70 thoughts on “40-Man Roster Construction Following the 2017 Season

  1. To start Jim, Thank You for doing this. It will be fun to read everyone’s opinion. Just off the top of my head, I don’t expect TJ to be with the team, and I do expect them to protect Tocci.

  2. Interesting. Tromp might be protected. I’m glad Pullin had a little down slump because otherwise he would be gone and I still believe in the bat.

    1. I would protect Pullin over Tromp or Tocci. He just hits way more extra base hits. Hard to see with the split season between LHV and reading, but he hit the ball hard in both places. If you take his combined season work and lay it side by side with the other two, it seems to speak for itself. Put his bat behind guys that really can run and it equals more runs for Philly. For the year he has 20 homers and lots of doubles. Took some time moving to LHV, but has been settling in. Low Strike outs and improving walks. I think some team will pick him up this year if left unprotected. Maybe not, but teams like guys that can hit that many extra base shots with HR power too. Exit velocity on his ball is good. Not floaters, drives.

  3. Some tough decisions ahead. I hope that the FO navigates this correctly. Jim, you are correct, this is an unpopular list. I can’t see some of those names surviving. I know it is not automatic, but with the phils minors getting some Praise over the recent seasons, im looking for teams to target us. Thompson will be a casualty, no doubt if left unprotected.

  4. Some tough decisions ahead. I hope that the FO navigates this correctly. Jim, you are correct, this is an unpopular list. I can’t see some of those names surviving. I know it is not automatic, but with the phils minors getting some Praise over the recent seasons, im looking for teams to target us. Thompson will be a casualty, no doubt if left unprotected.

    I wonder if they add 2 FA SP just because of the 40 man crunch. Klentak will be busy for sure, hopefully wheelinga and dealing

    1. No way, I actually think that if he has a good winter he’ll make the team next year as the 4th OF. He has skills that the major league team needs.

    2. He would need to be waived and if that’s the case a team will take him and stash him in the minors.

      His 40 man spot is safe.

  5. Don’t you think he would be perfect for a team to stash? If he gets injured, it is almost as good for the claiming team because they don’t have to offer him back. If healthy, at the least, a very good 4th OF.

    1. He has not played at all since the elbow injury.
      So some teams may be reluctant in selecting him without seeing him play since the injury. Then there is his injury history he has had to endure.
      I guess a team could stash him for awhile…..but there is still a minimum amount of time he must be active on their 25 within those six months of the season or then it carries over to the following season.
      And his age, 25-years old, is now going against him.
      Sure, it is a risk…. the Phillies may be willing to do that with their number of OFers already on the 40.

  6. Whew, a lot to digest!

    The 25 man, 1B/C spots in particular, next spring will be interesting. Hoskins, Joseph, Rupp, Knapp, Alfaro (plus any other guy, the random OF or utility IF, who can wield a 1B mit) all won’t/can’t be there so movement must happen. I hope it settles to just Hoskins, Knapp and Alfaro but who knows what the front office will do.

    The rotation definitely needs two or three major league caliber additions. Ideally, we secure a better than average rotation piece for multiple years this off season.

    The bullpen is historically constructed with existing players and some discarded/reclamation arms from the outside. I would expect more of the same. Bullpen pieces are so volatile.

    I can’t argue for or against Jim’s Rule 5 protections. But I’m 100% sure that the 40 man outlined above will not be what is finalized next spring. There are far too many variables and potential moves that will happen between now and then.

  7. Well this is the offseason where the Gm has to start making some decisions. We’ve been storing redundancy of players at c, 1b, 2b, ss, sp ( especially back of the rotation types), 4th OF types.
    Need to put together some packages of players to upgrade weaker areas and relieve the overload. Pullin is a guy I would leave unprotected if necessary. He only players one position and didn’t hit much at AAA. Not ideal player for a team to keep for the entire year

  8. That’s a lot of work Jim. Impressive and thank you!

    A few notes from my own mind:

    Starting Pitchers to add:
    Seranthony Dominguez and Franklyn Kilome are strong bets to be added. Padres would grab them, as they have to similar high-ceiling SPs. Maybe Jose Taveras is protected too, because we’re so short at SP and his floor seems established. He’s an interesting case. Ranger Suarez is so far away, but a lefty with command and increasingly velocity could be hidden on a major league roster in the bullpen. Hmmm.

    Outfielders:
    Andrew Pullin and Jiandido Tromp are really tough but I bet neither is selected. Pullin is stuck in one OF corner and didn’t perform at AAA. Tromp is so under the radar, but who knows if a team with an older roster would just give him a shot (again the Padres, but also teams short in OF minor league depth like the Angels or Mariners). I’d bet Tocci is added to the 40. He looks like a pretty standard low power, high floor defensive CF Rule 5 taken in recent years (Ender Inciarte, Odubel, even Michael Martinez sort of counts).

    Infielders:
    Jesmuel Valentin almost broke camp with the Phils list year. Even with the injury, I think he’s a lock to stay on the 40.

  9. Talk about going into the Rabbit Hole man Jimmy you earn every cent of valor we can dish on you for this site.

    I think I share your expectations on the protections. I do believe one of the 3 catchers will be traded not for anything of great value but the fact that Rupp and Knapp have options remaining could be valuable to a club weak on catching depth.

    I don’t think Joseph is back and I think El. Garcia gets left unprotected.

    And I think this is the season some pretty big trades get made so the 40 man crunch would seem to be manageable after that.

  10. There are a few others on the list who’s are candidates to go unprotected also
    windle because he is so replacable
    Tirado because , even with a live arm, he has shown no evidence he can control his pitches and be effective.

  11. Jim, first off, this is really outstanding work. It is not a stretch to say that if you were sitting in the room with FO execs shaping the off-season roster, it is unimaginable that this input would not be seen as making a solid contribution to the process. It is that good.

    Second, I think it is important to take a deep breath and a 10,000 foot view down on the Phils and what they stand to expose and possibly lose in the Rule 5 this off-season. It is clear that readers have their favorites and it is important, in the big scheme of things, to recognize that there are other teams with substantially more at risk than the Phils. I don’t think the Phils are in line to take a bigger hit than last year — when of course there wasn’t a hit at all.

    Last year I believe 18 players were taken in the major league portion of the Rule 5. This means that quite a few teams sat out to begin with. Quite a few selected players were returned to their original team and of the remainder, a significant number were stashed on the DL for seemingly overly long periods of time as those teams were taking until this September with its roster expansion opportunity allowed teams to take players off the DL in order to get the remaining 90 days of active time on the roster that the rules require. None of the players retained through the Rule 5 made a real impact — there was no Odubel Herrera in the bunch. In short, I can’t agonize over this or that unpolished Philly diamond being left unprotected.

    That said, I agree with Jim’s list of unprotected players, with perhaps none of Tocci. Pullin or Tromp making my list.

    Given the uncertainty of the pitching going forward, I think the Phils would be foolish not to audition Alvarez, El. Garcia and Appel by giving them call-ups now. (There’s a roster spot for Alvarez with Florimon out for the year).

    Finally, Dylan Cozens is pretty close to my #40 and I would like to see him auditioned this month as well. For the Phils not to bring him up even just for Matt Stairs to work with him, makes a statement. If he isn’t close to being that left-handed bat the Phils seek to have to give protection to Hoskins in the order, then they have to go out and get that bat this off-season. I’ve suggested Logan Morrison, who is a free agent. If the Phils did that, I don’t know where that leaves Cozens if he were somehow left unprotected, got taken, and then languished on some team’s bench for a year. Would we miss him?

    1. Since Cozens is already on the 40-man he would have to clear waivers to be taken off. Any team could then claim him and all they’d have to do is keep him on their 40-man (like a AAA since he has options left).

      That’s the general problem with taking any player already on the 40-man who has options off of it

      1. I appreciate the distinction between a guy like Cozens and someone who needs to be added to the 40 man roster and, if selected, has to be stashed on a MLB roster for a season.

        Teams try and protect as many top prospects in expanding their 25 man roster to the off-season 40. Is Cozens at this point even a top 15 prospect for the Phils? Would he be a top 15 prospect for any team? If not, any team taking him off waivers might reach a point of having to expose him yet again in the off-season. It happens every year to some players..

  12. Agree with most of your conclusions, however I would be inclined to roll the dice with the 8 SP currently on the 40. At most add one more. If pitchers get injured we are going nowhere anyway 1n 2018, just along the next wave. I would not protect Quinn. Injury history makes losing him a low percentage nd CF is our strength. Haseley only 2 yrs away. Protect Suarez and Leibrandt over Pullin and Tromp. Protect Tocci if we don’t protect Quinn. What do we see in Siegrist? I’m not sure he is an improvement over our own guys.

    1. As much as it pains me to say, it I think you have to protect Quinn because he’s just that freaking good and someone WILL take him and keep him. Pullin won’t be taken. Tromp might be taken. Guys like Siegrist are a dime a dozen. Leibrandt might be taken but, oh well, they can’t keep everyone.

      1. Siegrist isn’t a dime a dozen , he’s a big lefty that once had elite stuff . He had a neck Injury if he comes back healthy boom.

    2. Quinn, like Cozens is already on the 40-man so he’s another waiver claim. Easy claim if a team has a 40-man spot since he can go to the minors. In general, they are not going to be taking any players off the 40-man who are on it already, have options left and are viewed as legitimate prospects.

  13. Nice job. One question and one thought:

    – Are Knapp, Rupp and Alfaro all protected? Spot “24” simply says that both Rupp and Knapp have options remaining.

    – Personally, despite his game-changing speed, I don’t think it’s worth spending a spot on Quinn. He’s just too darn injury prone.

    Jeff

    1. Are Knapp, Rupp and Alfaro all protected?
      Right now they are on the 40 and yes protected.
      Come November they have to be protected again, if not, then designated for assignment.
      The options mean, next season a player can be sent to the minors if they do not make the 25 out of ST…and can be shuttle back and forth thru the season…one option equals one season.

    2. I actually love Quinn in the role of a 4th OF. speed, swtich hit, defense. less likely to get hurt without the daily grind of playing everyday

      1. Me too, he’s on my projected 25 man roster next year if he has a good winter and spring training. He’s a good 4th OF where the grind won’t be as bad to his body. He just offers so much to a team if healthy. Who knows, Joseph could come back in a bench role with Hoskins swinging to the OF occasionally, if they can’t trade him. The bench could be Knapp, Galvis, Quinn, Joseph and ?

        1. And last year he got hit on the head on a throwback to first and missed some time. He’s just prone to injuries

  14. Romus … gonna disagree on Roman Quinn. I think he’s protected.
    Also, look for some of the bubble guys to be traded after the season.

    1. I would tend to agree, Hinkie. If a club selects Quinn and gets lucky with his health next season like a roulette wheel, can you imagine the uproar around these parts?!

  15. Rupp, Joseph, Blanco are as good as gone. I do like Hinkie’s layout for a deal with Baltimore exchanging Joseph for his identical but much older and more expensive twin Trumbo and his big bad contract, along with a comp balance pick and some int’l slot dollars (if the O’s still any left to offer.)

      1. Or better yet, trade him and eat much of the money. There would be a market for Trumbo if the salary was low.

      2. Not many people players that have 30 hr seasons get released.Trumbo is a yr remove from 47 hr season a All Star and Silver Slugger. Plus Baltimore .5 out of the wildcard he could explode. I do think there will be traded with some of the prospects . It could make the forty easier work.

  16. I agree with Jim’s educated guess at who will be protected on the 40 man roster (i.e., Crawford, Kilome, Taveras, Dominquez, Arano, and Tocci).

    There is a little chance that Tromp or Pullin would be selected in the Rule 5 draft. If either one was selected, there is even less chance that either would remain on a team’s 25-man roster for an entire season. Both guys likely fall into the “unready position player on the bench” category.

    Among pitchers, it seems unlikely that Windle, Harold Aruaz, Casimiro, Nunez, or Watson would be selected in Rule 5. If any are, so be it. The only guy I really rather not lose is Ranger Suarez.

    Roman Quinn and Jesmuel Valentin will remain on the 40-man roster. Not sure about Tirado; the Phillies might have lost some patience with him this season. If I had to guess, I’ll say he remains on the 40-man and the Phillies give him one more season.

  17. I really enjoy discussions on roster construction because there are so many factors as Jim mentioned in the article.
    I think what I like best is that is shows the ‘real’ thoughts by the organization. During the year all prospects are hyped but the 40 man reveals the value and risk the Phillies actually place on both the major league and minor league roster.
    I also like the ‘gamble’ teams make on not protecting high talent low level guys. Like Tirado last year who likely would not be selected if unprotected this year but if released, will be picked up by another team. I see Dominguez in a similar situation this year.
    Since I’d rather keeps more prospects my 40man will be weak on a useful bench and probably will expect trades to open more spots.

    There are so many unknowns but I think the bullpen will be the most interesting debate as I would prefer to keep starter types like Morgan, Leiter, Lively, Anderson for bullpen spots over more likely reliever guys like Milner, Therrien, Rios.

  18. I haven’t seen mention of Tom Eshelman. Seemed to have a solid year; where does he fit into all of this?

  19. Trades are the wildcard to possibly thin out the ranks some. I could see a Hernandez, Rupp, Joseph or Galvis trade possibly combined with a pitcher on the fringe such as Lively, Thompson, Eflin, Pivetta and such to help fill a starting pitcher or bullpen spot. Basically they could trade 2 or 3 players of value for 1 better player as an upgrade to a spot of need. This also could include a player on chopping block in minors

  20. My guess is you’re looking at a rotation of:

    Nola
    Free agent
    Eickhoff
    Velasquez
    Lively

    Just can’t see the Phillies dipping into the free agent well for a bunch of pitchers that don’t fit their time line.

    You have Pivetta, Eshleman, Leibrandt, Eflin and Thompson at Triple-A and give the young kids another year to develop.

    Then you are looking at Sixto, Suarez, Kilome, Dominguez and Medina another rung or two up as well. All of a sudden the time line is a lot closer.

    But no need to give up kids for pitchers that don’t fit the time line.

    Only way we have two new starters next year is if Cesar and/or Freddy fetch us a starter.

    I also think Velasquez has a real shot to move to the bullpen next spring.

  21. Klentak will send some goodwill trades to BAL or LAA for PTBNL or cash – candidates will be Jake, Tirado, Leiter. Klentak should be able to trade Appel for lottery picks and I can see ToJo to be trade for another PTBNL or Cash this winter meeting. Young RPs will mid to upper 90s and plus secondary will taken by any team – so Pinto will be safe. However, the Phils have a ton of young BP arms so one or two will be traded.

    I can see Perkins to be DFAd and Rupp non-tended if Klentak cannot mover them for PTBNL or cash and decided to sign some veteran bats. Taveras is a potential non-40 to be traded since there’s a high probability he will be selected in the Rule V.

    I can see the Phils protecting the following: Kilome, Dominguez, Tocci and Arano and I really like the Phils to protect Austin Davis as well. Jose Gomez can be a possibility as well but he hasn’t played above A+

    My projected 40-man is currently as follows:

    1) Nola
    2) Eickhoff
    3) Vinny
    4) Pivetta
    5) Lively
    6) Morgan
    7) Milner
    8) Ramos
    9) Pinto
    10) Garcia
    11) Veteran FA (or Siegriest)
    12) Neris
    13) Alfaro
    14) Hoskins
    15) Cesar (if traded, Kingery will only be added in Spring)
    16) Galvis
    17) Franco
    18) Williams
    19) Doobie
    20) Altherr
    21) Rupp (if not traded)
    22) Valentin
    23) Veteran FA (i.e. Florimon or Blanco type)
    24) Quinn
    25) Perkins

    26) Crawford – LHV
    27) Knapp – LHV
    28) Tocci – LHV
    29) Cozens – LHV
    30) Eflin – LHV
    31) Anderson – LHV
    32) Rios – LHV
    33) JDT – LHV
    34) Davis – LHV
    35) Arano – LHV
    36) Appel – LHV
    37) whoever is not traded between – Taveras, Jake, Leiter
    38) Garcia – REA
    39) Kilome – REA
    40) Dominguez – REA

    To be traded – Jake, Leiter, Tirado, ToJo
    DFAd (if not traded) – Tirado, Leiter

      1. @Guru – no worries. Just like Romus and Catch we know where we agree to disagree. We are all hard core Phillies fans here so no hard feelings really.

    1. I would plan for a free agent starter like Alex Cobb and/or Henderson Alvarez for the rotation. I’d add a left handed free agent bat like Logan Morrison, particularly if Joseph is gone. Perkins comes off (easy choice for me) and Tocci never makes it on. Cozens is my borderline guy. The OF you put up is pretty weak.

  22. i admire Hinkie’s creativity to move unwanted baggage (like ToJo) but Klentak is one of the least creative and most simplistic GM as of now. Klentak’s head will explode in those kind of trades.

    Klentak should be better of relying on their scouting directors in trading players the likes of ToJo and others for multiple lottery prospects in A+ below. HOU did it when they acquire Francis Martes (Cosart deal) and David Paulino (for Veras) and NYY got Jorge Guzman and Albert Abreu for McCann. The Phils have a lot of cost controlled pieces that they can trade to small market teams (with very good scouting team) and get some lottery prospects.

    If the Phis want to burn $$, then start signing good FAs to start attracting other FAs to join the run.

  23. I also understand the thought that giving more chances (i.e. via getting comp picks and higher draft order) to acquire talent. But you cannot get the best of both worlds by getting good chances and winning. Both scenarios go in opposite directions in most situations and I will prefer winning 24/7.

    I said this before that the Phils are in the Top 10 since 2014 Rule IV draft. When do they intend to start changing the course? 2018 should be the last year to pick in Top 10. The Sixers (with the original Hinkie) go rock bottom for multiple years but at least the Sixers are now ready to move from hope and lottery to actually winning games and playoffs. I expect Middleton to have more urgency and start the winning culture again.

    1. I agree.
      it is time to start moving forward.
      They have a core of young players at the Major league level
      time to start building a team that can start winning
      that means building a strong bench ( we have the young pieces for this), puttling together and managing a functional bullpen and hitting free agency to add one or two starting pitchers
      at this point, our goal should not be to acquire Hellickson or benoit type players to flip at the deadline at single A long term assets

      1. the goal should be clear – a) win the World Series and not to win the Rule IV draft order; b) acquire legitimate MLB talent and not acquire comp picks; and c) increase your talent pool and not increase your bonus pool.

  24. Raised this before in Open Discussion a while back but this is where it belongs. For a team like the Phils confronted with agonizing decisions on which prospects to protect this off-season should make the decision-making easier by acquiring better prospects through a trade.

    Worried by the thought of losing outfielders like Carlos Tocci or Andrew Pullin who have struggled hitting at AAA? Obtain Billy McKinney or Jake Cave who are left-handed hitters who have thrived on AAA pitching.

    Struggling with identifying a successor to Andres Blanco and concerned for how Jesmuel Valentin returns from injury? Acquire Thairo Estrada to fill that role.

    Concerned that too many Phils’ prospects project as back of the rotation starters or 6t/7th options out of the pen? Trade for Bryan Mitchell and Giovanny Gallegos.

    Mitchell, Gallegos, Estrada, McKinney and Cave are spare parts for the Yankees who likely won’t be protected on their off-season roster. All would be upgrades on the Phils’ 40-man.

    The Yankees get $100,000 for any of these guys lost in the Rule 5. That’s the baseline the Phils have to beat with their offer. I’d offer up prospects who don’t yet require Rule 5 protection. Guys like Damek Tomscha, Joey Denato, Kyle Martin, Austin Bossart, Luke Leftwich and Kyle Young.

    By trading before rosters are fixed, the Phils gain the flexibility they lose in agreeing to retain a Rule 5 pick on the major league roster for a season.

    1. Question…what makes you think the Yankees would want to protect Cave this year, when they left him unprotected in the past and was selected by the Reds in Dec 2015 and returned back to the Yankees?
      Pullin IMO has more potential than Cave.
      And Billy McKinney is the one that would appear to be more attractive IMO than both Pullin and Cave

      1. Cave, like a lot of guys, hadn’t broken out by the time he became Rule 5 eligible.

        It’s hard for me to counter the potential you see in Pullin. When do you expect to see it realized? Cave is on a better career track.

        McKinney is 22 and I think we agree that he would be attractive. Between him and Cozens I would take McKinney every time.

        I just wish the Phils would target some prospects worth keeping on their 40 man. When you have a lot of roster debates going into the off-season, you need more clear cut keepers.

      2. To be clear, I don’t think the Yanks are in a position to protect Cave, or the other guys I mentioned. Fans here would be excited if the Phils had .300 ++ hitters with power, like Cave and McKinney, at LV and there wouldn’t be a debate about protecting either.

  25. Delvy grullon could be lost in Rule 5. Young catcher who throws runners out and can be hidden as backup catcher on a team like the cardinals where Yadier catches 140 games.

  26. Just judging by the age differential…Pullin does have a year of youthfulness on his side. Their slash is fairly close and one has better K% (Pullin at 16 vs Cave’s 21%) and Cave has a better BB%…..8 vs 6. Their OPS is virtually identical.
    I prefer the younger one between the two.

    1. I like guys that are hitting extra base hits. Pullin was one of the top in all of minor league. Power gap hitters score base runners. He has been in the 6 spot at LHV. Will be fun to see how he does starting the season fresh at LHV. If he is here.

      1. I want to see Pullin next year too but he’s the type of guy you risk loosing in rule 5 because hes limited position wise and hasn’t hit at AAA effectively so unlikely he’ll be picked and carried by a team all year.
        Its hard to picture PUllin as more than a left handed bat of the bench in the majors. Just don’t see the skill set for a first division regular

  27. I’m wondering if trading Cesar Hernandez would net a better player for the Phils. I could see them opening with Galvis at 2nd and Crawford at SS, knowing that Kingery could be up at a moments notice. Cesar might be able to fetch some decent prospect(s) or pitcher for the big league club.

    1. It’s almost a given that the Phillies will attempt to trade Cesar, but they won’t give him away. The argument here is what will he fetch back. Forget about getting a top 100 prospect.

      For hitters, we really have that hole at 3B. Perhaps we can get a high-A prospect at 3B. For pitchers, maybe a low A with some projection left.

      1. Hate to see Hernandez traded for a A prospect. He is a good major league player even if Kingery has more upside. Hate to give away good players for players with a low precent likelihood of even reaching the majors which is true of even good A level players.
        Joseph, Rupp I’d be willing to move for some international money which is the equivalent of a lottery ticket prospect. They are not good major league players

        1. I know what you mean. Cesar has really worked hard to make himself into a quality MLB player. His offense has improved, his defense has improved, even his base running has improved somewhat. And he has 3 years of control left!

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