Opinion

Let’s bring the Phillies’ 40-man roster back to 40 men



The Phillies’ 40-man roster is now at 46.

That sounds weird, but it’s true, and it happened because players on the 60-day disabled list are now included.

Also it was 47, but now it’s 46 because the team put Ty Kelly on waivers. He cleared, and now he’s a free agent. Goodbye, Ty Kelly.

So here’s the question: Who else will be expunged to bring the roster back to 40? Let’s do this in a tiered, easy-to-understand style.

Not going anywhere

  1. Victor Arano
  2. Ben Lively
  3. Hoby Milner
  4. Aaron Nola
  5. Edubray Ramos
  6. Vince Velasquez
  7. Jorge Alfaro
  8. Rhys Hoskins
  9. J.P. Crawford
  10. Aaron Altherr
  11. Odubel Herrera
  12. Nick Williams

Okay, weird list, but let me explain:

Arano, Milner and Ramos feel like near or absolute locks to make the 2018 bullpen, and you tend to keep a few extra relievers on the 40-man.

Nola is a stone-cold lock, but why Lively and Velasquez? The former is a surefire fringe guy. He doesn’t have huge value (maybe he’s the back end of some trade), but he’s also someone you can relatively trust. The Phils need at least one of those guys right now. The former? He has little to no value right now, and the Phils need pitching.

The hitters are relatively obvious.

Not going anywhere, but you never know after the World Series …

13. Jerad Eickhoff
14. Luis Garcia
15. Adam Morgan
16. Hector Neris
17. Nick Pivetta
18. Yacksel Rios
19. Jake Thompson
20. Andrew Knapp
21. Cameron Rupp
22. Maikel Franco
23. Freddy Galvis
24. Cesar Hernandez
25. Tommy Joseph
26. Dylan Cozens
27. Roman Quinn

So this exercise is looking at the 40-man roster once the major league offseason actually begins, which is after the World Series. So these guys are locks for the 40-man because of their experience, decent play, or maybe the commitment the team has with them. Once the offseason begins, any one of these guys can be trade bait. Also I’m not sure why I put Rios here and the other young relievers in the first category, but whatever.

Tougher decision, but probably safe

28. Zach Eflin
29. Elniery Garcia
30. Mark Leiter Jr.
31. Eliezer Alvarez
32. Jesmuel Valentin

This group includes guys who are either fringe MLB players or guys who haven’t yet made their impressions in the big leagues – mostly because of injury – but deserve the chance.

The winners of the tough decision

33. Drew Anderson
34. Zac Curtis
35. Ricardo Pinto
36. Kevin Siegrist
37. Jesen Therrien
38. Alberto Tirado
39. Pedro Florimon
40. Cameron Perkins

For now, these guys make the cut. Things will change – new players will come in from the outside and the organization (thinking Ranger Suarez, Scott Kingery, etc.). Curtis is an interesting arm, and you’d have to prefer the youth of Anderson and Tirado over some other guys. Florimon is arb-eligible this offseason, and the way he played before his gruesome injury should give the Phils pause to consider him an option for 2018.

The loser of the tough decision

Mark Appel

So there’s only one player who’s really at risk of missing the offseason 40-man. I’m saying it’s Appel, who did nothing in 2017 to even entertain a promotion. And while he does have the stuff, he’s never been able to put it together. Not for any long stretch. This may be the end of the road.

Free agents sure to move on

Henderson Alvarez
Clay Buchholz
Andres Blanco
Hyun-soo Kim
Daniel Nava

Nava was great, and there’s a chance the Phils try to bring him back on a two-year pact, but it’s more likely they find a guy with slightly more pop to be the fourth outfielder. Kim could’ve been interesting, but he did nothing to show he belongs in 2018. And that’s about it.

***

Okay, so this was one big piece just to say Mark Appel could be the odd man out.

Also, the Phils can certainly cut more players by the offseason.

We’ll see what happens as the roster dwindles.

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