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Phillies overhaul 40-man roster to protect prospects

Andrew-Knapp-2-300x225.jpgThe Phillies put 11 players on the 40-man roster Friday, the deadline to protect players from being selected in the Rule 5 Draft.

Those 11 players are:

No surprises here. Each of these 11 are prospects who would’ve been in danger of being selected by another team in the draft. Anderson is probably the most unknown name in the bunch, but only because the 22-year-old had Tommy John surgery in 2015. He returned in 2016 with dynamite stints in Lakewood and Clearwater.

Of the 11 protected players, Knapp and Valentin have the best chances at landing on the final 25-man roster. Knapp could find himself as Cameron Rupp‘s early-season backup, while Valentin profiles as a utility infielder, and could slide right into Andres Blanco‘s old role unless the Phils find a veteran to take that spot.

Lively also has a decent shot of making the roster, but the Phils have quite a few arms racing for rotation spots.

Meanwhile, a host of players were not placed on the 40-man and, thus, left unprotected. Some of the more important names:

Tocci – a prospect who hasn’t exactly raised his stock yet – was on the bubble. Canelo, Perkins and Pullin could definitely be nabbed by other teams, as they’re both AAA-ready and can find opening-day bench roles on major league teams. Pujols is a potential stud slugger, but he’s still pretty young to be taken in the Rule 5. The Phillies are betting he (along with Tocci) will be shrugged off by the rest of the league.

Finally, to make room for the 11 protected players, the Phillies designated for assignment pitchers David Buchanan and Jimmy Cordero. The former’s assignment wasn’t surprising, but Cordero was thought to be a potential closer for the Phillies. It still could happen, but injuries have derailed his development somewhat.

Meanwhile, the Marlins claimed reliever Elvis Araujo off waivers.

The 40-man roster now stands at exactly 40 men.

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