The Phillies just made a move, opting to add the following players to the 40-man roster:
- Jimmy Cordero – RHP, 24; 45 G, 2.55 ERA, 64 K, 24 BB in 2015 (A+/AA)
- Edubray Ramos – RHP, 22; 47 G, 2.07 ERA, 65 K, 16 BB in 2015 (A+/AA)
- Roman Quinn – OF, 22; 58 G, .306/.356/.435, 16 XBH, 42 K, 18 BB, 29 SB in 2015 (AA)
They also claimed right-handed relief pitcher A.J. Achter off waivers. Achter (it’s pronounced OCK-ter, so that would be an easy thing for Phillies fans to say), who is 27, recorded a 6.75 ERA in 13 relief innings for the Twins in 2015. He struck out 14 and walked six. For AAA Rochester he had a 2.62 ERA with 47 strikeouts and 13 walks.
Since they’re on the 40-man roster, these four are protected for the Rule 5 Draft, meaning teams cannot select them (like we did with Odubel Herrera last year from Texas). Quinn is a top prospect and may get to Philadelphia during the 2016 season. Left unprotected, however, are prospects Carlos Tocci and Miguel Tirado (pitcher acquired with Cordero in the Ben Revere trade). Todd Zolecki, however, says it’s unlikely those two will be selected.
We’re counting on you, Todd.
And that’s a different conversation, anyway.
This one is about the bullpen. The following relievers are now on the 40-man roster:
- A.J. Achter
- Elvis Araujo
- Jimmy Cordero
- Luis Garcia
- Ken Giles
- Jeanmar Gomez
- Dalier Hinojosa
- Mario Hollands
- Colton Murray
- Hector Neris
- Nefi Ogando
- Dan Otero
- Edubray Ramos
- Joely Rodriguez
So we’re saying there’s depth there. Of course, fringe starters like Alec Asher, David Buchanan and Severino Gonzalez also could qualify for bullpen innings, so there’s no shortage of relief arms prepared to pitch for the Phils in 2016.
That’s a good thing, considering the Phillies don’t need to acquire any relief pitcher through free agency. In fact if they do, it’s a pretty worthless endeavor. The Phils are supposed to be bad next year, and bringing in a reliever for more than, say $2 million for more than, say, one year, is an illogical move.
A betting person might say next year’s bullpen starts with Giles, Gomez, Neris and Garcia. You’d carry at least one lefty and maybe two (Araujo, Hollands the favorites here). The seventh spot would more than likely go to a long man candidate (Gonzalez, Asher).
But anything can happen still, including – and I’d put odds at 35/65 not happening – trading Giles.
Considering the Padres received a substantial return for Craig Kimbrel, and considering there’s a hubbub over free agent closers like Darren O’Day, the Phillies should hold Giles for at least one top prospect, or two high-ceiling prospects, at least. Giles doesn’t have Kimbrel or O’Day’s track records yet, but he is young, cheap and shows no signs of struggling too badly.
I’m definitively in the perspective that if the right offer is there, the Phillies need to deal Giles. It’s great having a young and very possibly elite closer for many years, but there are numerous ways to build an effective bullpen. Ask Kansas City. Ask San Francisco. Ask St. Louis. Heck, ask the 2009 Phillies with a lackluster Brad Lidge. You don’t need a clear-cut closer to be successful.
Giles has high value right now, and it may never be higher. If the Phils can score a future everyday player for him, it’s no contest.
The 2016 Phillies bullpen, with or without Giles, should manage, long as there’s quality depth. And today there is quality depth up there.