40-Man Roster, Free Agency, and Rule 5 Considerations after the 2018 Season

With the baseball season drawing to an end, it’s not too early to take a look at some of the decisions the front office will be faced with.  I’m not going to try and provide answers like I did last year.  Rather, I’m going to provide you with all the pertinent information to foment discussion.

When you we decide which prospects need to be protected from the Rule 5 draft, you need to keep in mind that this has to be done within the constraints of the 40-man roster.

This begets the necessity of constructing the 40-man roster in a way that you can protect prospects AND field a 25-man roster capable of competing at the major league level.

Additionally, the Phillies have exhibited a tendency to not promote a prospect before they deem his is ready to participate at the major league level.  This was not as apparent in 2018, and may not be a consideration going forward.

Also, the 40-man roster will hopefully have to include some acquisitions from this off season.  We’ve anticipated this off season.  Let’s hope that our hopes come to fruition.

And, 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.  We would hope that these slots could be filled from within the organization, ideally with top prospects.  But, this will usually require assigning 40-man protection to non-prospects who can fill in when needed.

This is not about protecting our favorite players.

While we’re trying to thin our roster, other teams are doing the same thing.  So, it will be difficult to trade players “we don’t want” to protect.

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.  Selection still doesn’t mean the loss of a player.  (Hoby Milner was returned after the 2016 Rule 5 draft, however Carlos Tocci was retained after the 2017 Rule 5 draft).

Here are some pertinent facts when considering off season moves.

Current 40-Man Roster

  1. Anderson, Drew: rhp
  2. Arano, Victor: rhp
  3. Arrieta, Jake: rhp-s
  4. Avilan, Luis: lhp
  5. Davis, Austin: lhp
  6. De Los Santos, Enyel: rhp
  7. Dominguez, Seranthony: rhp
  8. Eflin, Zach: rhp-s
  9. Eickhoff, Jerad: rhp-s
  10. Garcia, Luis: rhp
  11. Hunter, Tommy: rhp
  12. Loup, Aaron: lhp
  13. Morgan, Adam: lhp
  14. Neris, Hector: rhp
  15. Neshek, Pat: rhp
  16. Nola, Aaron: rhp-s
  17. Pivetta, Nick: rhp
  18. Ramos, Edubray: rhp
  19. Rios, Yacksel: rhp
  20. Suarez, Ranger: lhp
  21. Velasquez, Vincent: rhp-s
  22. Alfaro, Jorge: c
  23. Knapp, Andrew: c
  24. Ramos, Wilson: c
  25. Bour, Justin: 1b
  26. Cabrera, Asdrubal: ss
  27. Crawford, J.P.: ss
  28. Florimon Jr, Pedro: ss
  29. Franco, Maikel: 3b
  30. Hernandez, Cesar: 2b
  31. Kingery, Scott: 2b
  32. Santana, Carlos: dh-1b
  33. Walding, Mitch: 3b
  34. Altherr, Aaron: of
  35. Bautista, Jose: 3b-rf
  36. Cozens, Dylan: of
  37. Herrera, Odubel: cf
  38. Hoskins, Rhys: 1b
  39. Quinn, Roman: of
  40. Williams, Nick: of

The Forty is at 40 players; 39 active, 1 on the 10-day DL (Loup).

Players Who Have Contracts in 2019

  1. Arrieta, Jake – second year of a 3-year $75M contract ($25M in ’19, $20M in ’20, FA in ’21)
  2. Santana, Carlos – second year of a 3-year $60M contract ($20.333 in ’19, $20.833M in ’20, option in ’21 w/$.500K buyout)
  3. Hunter, Tommy – second year of a 2-year $18M contract ($9M in ’19)
  4. Neshek, Pat – second year of a 2-year $16.25M contract ($7.750M in ’19, option in ’20 w/$750K buyout)
  5. Herrera, Odubel – third year of a 5-year $30.5M contract ($5.350M in ’19, $7.350M in ’20, $10.350M in ’21, option in ’22 and ’23 w/$2.5M buyout)
  6. Kingery, Scott – second year of a 6-year contract ($1.5M in ’19, $1.75M in ’20, $4.25M in ’21, $6.25M in ’22, $8.25M in ’23, and options in ’24-26)

Arbitration Eligible Players This Off Season

  1. Avilan, Luis – 4th year of four
  2. Hernandez, Cesar – 3rd year of four
  3. Bour, Justin – 2nd year of three
  4. Garcia, Luis – 2nd year of three
  5. Franco, Maikel – 2nd year of four
  6. Florimon, Pedro – first year of three
  7. Neris, Hector – first year of three
  8. Nola, Aaron – first year of three
  9. Eickhoff, Jerad – first year of three
  10. Altherr, Aaron – first year of three
  11. Morgan, Adam – first year of three
  12. Velasquez, Vince – first year of three

MLB Free Agents After The 2018 Season

  1. Ramos, Wilson
  2. Cabrera, Asdrubel
  3. Loup, Aaron
  4. Bautista, Jose

Pre-Arb One-Year Tenders This Off Season

  1. Ramos, Edubray: rhp
  2. Williams, Nick: of
  3. Hoskins, Rhys: 1b
  4. Pivetta, Nick: rhp
  5. Knapp, Andrew: c
  6. Alfaro, Jorge: c
  7. Crawford, J.P.: ss
  8. Arano, Victor: rhp
  9. Anderson, Drew: rhp
  10. Quinn, Roman: of
  11. Cozens, Dylan: of
  12. Davis, Austin: lhp
  13. De Los Santos, Enyel: rhp
  14. Dominguez, Seranthony: rhp
  15. Eflin, Zach: rhp-s
  16. Rios, Yacksel: rhp
  17. Suarez, Ranger: lhp
  18. Walding, Mitch: 3b

Minor League Free Agents at the Conclusion of their Seasons

  1. Anna, Dean – Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  2. Arauz, Harold – Reading Fightin Phils
  3. Beato, Pedro – Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  4. Canelo, Malquin – Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  5. Casimiro, Ranfi – Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  6. Cowgill, Collin – Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  7. Goins, Ryan – Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  8. Green, Zach – Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  9. Lino, Gabriel – Clearwater Threshers
  10. Martir, Kevin – Lakewood Blueclaws
  11. McBride, Matt – Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  12. Meneses, Heiker – Reading Fightin Phils
  13. Meneses, Joey – Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  14. Middlebrooks, Will – Clearwater Threshers
  15. Moore, Logan – Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  16. Ortiz, Danny – Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  17. Plouffe, Trevor – Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  18. Rickles, Nick – Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  19. Tirado, Alberto – Clearwater Threshers
  20. Tromp, Jiandido – Reading Fightin Phils
  21. Valentin, Jesmuel – Lehigh Valley IronPigs

First Year Rule 5 Eligible Players This Off Season

  1. Eshelman, Tom – Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  2. Garcia, Edgar – Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  3. Gilbert, Tyler – Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  4. Bossart, Austin – Reading Fightin Phils
  5. Leftwich, Luke – Reading Fightin Phils
  6. McGarry, Seth – Reading Fightin Phils
  7. Brito, Daniel – Clearwater Threshers
  8. Cabral, Edgar – Clearwater Threshers
  9. Cleavinger, Garrett – Clearwater Threshers
  10. Gamboa, Arquimedes – Clearwater Threshers
  11. Martin, Kyle – Clearwater Threshers
  12. Medina, Adonis – Clearwater Threshers
  13. Antequera, Jose – Lakewood Blueclaws
  14. Carrasco, Luis – Lakewood Blueclaws
  15. Sobil, Victor – Lakewood Blueclaws
  16. Alcantara, Randy – Williamsport Crosscutters
  17. Marcelino, Oscar – Williamsport Crosscutters
  18. Martinez, Nerluis – Williamsport Crosscutters
  19. Rodriguez, Edwin – Williamsport Crosscutters
  20. Rosario, Sandro – GCL Phillies West

Returning Rule 5 Eligible Players This Off Season

  1. Leibrandt, Brandon – Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  2. Viza, Tyler – Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  3. Windle, Tom – Lehigh Valley IronPigs
  4. Brown, Aaron – Reading Fightin Phils
  5. Cabrera, Ismael – Reading Fightin Phils
  6. Garcia, Harold – Reading Fightin Phils
  7. Grullon, Deivi – Reading Fightin Phils
  8. Hernandez, Jan – Reading Fightin Phils
  9. Marrero, Emmanuel – Reading Fightin Phils
  10. Pujols, Jose – Reading Fightin Phils
  11. Rivero, Alexis – Reading Fightin Phils
  12. Sanchez, Mario – Reading Fightin Phils
  13. Stankiewicz, Drew – Reading Fightin Phils
  14. Taveras, Jose – Reading Fightin Phils
  15. Tomscha, Damek – Reading Fightin Phils
  16. Cumana, Grenny – Clearwater Threshers
  17. Gomez, Jose – Clearwater Threshers
  18. Requena, Alejandro – Clearwater Threshers
  19. Alastre, Jesus – Lakewood Blueclaws
  20. Armas, Gustavo – Lakewood Blueclaws
  21. Cedeno, Luis – Lakewood Blueclaws
  22. Rivero, Gregori – Lakewood Blueclaws
  23. Escorcia, Juan – Williamsport Crosscutters
  24. Henriquez, Jesus – Williamsport Crosscutters
  25. Rodriguez, Lenin – Williamsport Crosscutters

Guys who have options (# remaining)

  1. Hoskins (3)
  2. Williams (2)
  3. Herrera (3)
  4. Kingery (3)
  5. Knapp (2)
  6. Bour (1)
  7. Franco (2)
  8. Walding (2)
  9. Crawford (2)
  10. Cozens (1)
  11. Nola (3)
  12. Eflin (1)
  13. Velasquez (2)
  14. Pivetta (2)
  15. Dominguez (2)
  16. Arano (3)
  17. Davis (3)
  18. Rios (2)
  19. Eickhoff (2)
  20. De Los Santos (2)
  21. Suarez (2)
  22. Anderson (1)
  23. McBride (1)
  24. Valentin (1)
  25. Taveras (2)
  26. Tirado (2)

Last Option Used This Season

  1. Altherr
  2. Quinn
  3. Neris
  4. Ramos

And, finally, if the Phillies attempt to DFA someone off the 40-man roster, and if that player clears waivers, that player may be Rule 5 eligible or have the time served to elect free agency rather than accept assignment to a minor league team.

I think that Medina is a lock to be protected from the Rule 5 draft.  Maybe Grullon and Pujols have played their way back into needing protection.  Gamboa and Brito are probably worthy, but since they are only in High-A it is unlikely that they need to be protected.  In spite of his high ranking in the MLB prospect list, I don’e see a need to protect Gomez.  Two first timers may be interesting – Edgar Garcia and Cabral.  Two other first timers Leftwich and McGarry will likely determine their own Rule 5 fate in the AFL.  Viza was exposed last year, his AFL experience may matter.  Other AFL participants – Sanchez, Hall, Listi, and Williams are not eligible.  And I touched on Gamboa above.

24 thoughts on “40-Man Roster, Free Agency, and Rule 5 Considerations after the 2018 Season

  1. (22) Nola, Arrieta, Dominguez, Neshek, Velasquez, Eflin, Pivetta, Hunter, Arano, Neris, E. Ramos, Medina, Avilan, de los Santos, Anderson, Suarez, Davis, Eickhoff, Rios, Garcia, Leibrandt, Morgan

    (2) Alfaro, Knapp

    (8) Santana, Hernandez, Franco, Kingery, Crawford, Bour, Gamboa, J. Meneses

    (7) Hoskins, Williams, Herrera, Quinn, Altherr, Pujols, Cozens

    I’d prioritize Wilson Ramos as a free agent signing and find room for Machado (vice Cozens). There is room to sign 3 pitchers lopping off those on the back end of my pitching list without a concern.

      1. And obviously the Phillies view Meneses as filler. Some may not like that but that is where all the evidence points.

        1. Listi and Meneses are kind of like identical type players…good hit…but have limitations with no set defensive positions where they will excel.

          1. Maybe – but Listi is two years younger and a fast climber in the system. Listi could end up being a much better offensive player than Meneses.

            1. I see.

              I have “June 20, 2013 – Philadelphia Phillies signed free agent C Deivi Grullon to a minor league contract.” from his player page in MiLB

              Plus, I have an official minor league report that lists a lot of roster details. For instance –
              Player – Grullon, Deivi W.
              Position – C
              B/T – R/R
              R5 Selectable – Y
              Minor League Contract Years – 6
              Eligible for Minor League Free Agency – (blank)
              DOB – 2/17/1996
              First Signing Date – 7/2/2012
              Effective Season – 2013
              Visa Status – (blank)
              Current Status – (blank)

              I wrote about future services contracts a couple weeks ago (?). A player can be signed to a future srvices contract and has to be invited to spring training for 15 days and if retained has to be assigned to an affiliates roster after ST (or (XST). This looks like that here. Grullon was signed to a future services in July 2012 contract and his effective season for “clock” purposes was 2013 when he was assigned to the GCL. June 20, 2013 became his effective signing date.

              At least, that is my understanding. (However, following this line of thinking, I don’t understand why Gamboa and Brito are Rule 5 eligible this year. Apparently a future services contract starts the Rule 5 clock but not the free agent clock.)

      1. Grullon is an absolute lock to be protected. He would be as serviceable, if not better, than Andrew Knapp as a big league back up at this very point. Especially as a defender. One way or another, Andrew Knapp needs to be the starter at LHV in 19′.

        1. Having watched Grullon, I see him as a well below average defensive catcher. Since neither Alfaro nor Knapp represents a plus in the defensive/game calling area, I see no reason to burden the roster with more of the same. He’s the kind of guy that a team might take in the Rule 5 draft and offer back to the Phils rather than stash on a big league roster for a year.

          1. Wow! I can’t recall anyone having this opinion of Grullon. Other than me. I have always wondered why others were so quick to jump on the Grullon band wagon and loathe to jump off. The noise of his great offensive season is calling attention to him again. He has always had a strong arm, and he wasn’t afraid to throw behind runners. But, I noticed (I was going to say deficiencies, butu decided that is not accurate) that he was the third best catcher when he was in Clearwater. Cabral and Bossart both posted better CS%, had fewer PB, and lower catcher’s ERA.

            1. Jim, I’m vulnerable to the criticism about small sample sizes but in the 2 games I saw Grullon play in this year I saw him launch a throw into CF on a ball 4 call with the runner stealing which is not a move you expect to see above a high school level. I saw a passed ball reminiscent of what we’ve seen from Alfaro. I saw a good bat as well but to stick on a 40 man roster Grullon has to offer defensive skills not available from others. I didn’t see it. It’s hard for me to picture a team using him as a backup catcher in 2019 and therefore hard to see him lost to the Rule 5.

            2. As a point of reference with Alfaro.
              Grullon .has 472 games….73 PBs…63 errors and a .984 Fld%
              Alfaro…..had 477 games….98 PBs…57 errors and a .986 Fld%

              Hard to believe how almost identically and similarly poor their defensive metrics are and were in the minors respectively..

            3. I have a question and this isn’t exactly the right place to put it in this thread… but not all comments are “replyable”. It is my understanding that Alfaro is relatively new to being a catcher, but I don’t know how long it takes to learn how to be a catcher, or whether observers are seeing improvement in his defensive prowess over, for example, this past season.

        2. This Just In, Knapp can’t hit (.214), can’t throw (16%CS), can’t catch (only 1 fewer PB-5 than CS-6). Knapp is Frozen … “Let Him Go, Let Him Go, I don’t care to watch him anymore”. Let Knapp thaw out somewhere else. Re-sign Ramos and Alfaro backs him up while working on his defense. Bring someone new up to AAA and let’s move on.

  2. August and September have just been dreadful for the Phillies – I actually can’t wait until the season ends. I need a break from the unremitting frustration. Somehow, I think I’ll be happier just watching the Eagles and Sixers.

    1. I tried to explain how maddening this team is to a Braves fan. They are sadly, just not fun to watch imo, even when they win, minus Nola’s starts… you can literally feel the teams growing pains through the tv. For me, a high point of frustration is watching an Alfaro at bat … how is he not dizzy from circling home plate after every pitch? Stay in the box and hit already

  3. great info, Jim. With Medina as the only guy you absolutely have to add to the 40, looks like they should have a lot of flexibility this off season.
    with Edgar Garcia being just 21 and having spent most of year in AA, guess theres a chance a team could take a flyer on him in rule 5 if not protected.

  4. From the 40man, I expect (or think/hope) the following (9) to be either DFA’d or non-tendered as FAs or arb eligible:

    Anderson, Garcia, Loup(FA), Morgan, Rios, Cabrera(FA), Florimon, Walding, and Bautista(FA).

    Any or all of the following (8) may be traded from among the 40man:

    Eflin, Velasquez, Knapp, Franco, Hernandez, Santana, Cozens and Herrera. (I would like to see Hunter traded as well but doubt they will.)

Comments are closed.