The Coming Roster Purge


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The Phillies have 47 players on their 40 man roster. Right now that means little to nothing, as they have seven players sitting on the 60 Day DL, which allows them to do this. After the season, the Phillies will have to get back down to 40 players on the roster though, and that means the cuts are coming quickly. Even beyond that, if the Phillies want to sign any major league free agent contracts this off-season, or draft any Rule 5 players, or protect such major prospects as Nick Williams or Roman Quinn, they need to have open roster spaces. They obviously want to do all of those things, so the Phillies are going to cut a lot of guys fast.

First and foremost, some guys will reach free agency and open up spots. Jeff Francoeur is one free agent that they want to keep, but there are others who will be leaving. Chad Billingsley, Aaron Harang, Jerome Williams, and Cliff Lee are certainly not returning. If all five reach free agency, it would take the Phillies down to 42 players.

Next up are the obvious cuts. Jonathan Pettibone, Jordan Danks, Brian Bogusevic, Chase d’Arnaud, and Erik Kratz are in this group. If the Phillies cut all five of these guys early on, and all the free agents reach free agency, the Phillies would be down to 37 players.

There are also players up for arbitration eligibility, some of which are basically locks to return. The players in question are Justin De Fratus, Dom Brown, and Andres Blanco. I’m guessing they only non-tender Dom out of the three. That would move the roster down to 36.

This would take the Phillies down to the point in the process where they simply have to decide what other players should lose their roster spots. Do the Phillies need to keep David Buchanan, Severino Gonzalez, and Joely Rodriguez. My thought is that they can trade one, they have more pitching depth coming back. Does Adam Loewen warrant a roster spot moving forward? I think not. Should Hinojosa, Murray, Neris, and Roberts all stick around? I’m not ready to keep them all, that’s for sure. Can an improved roster carry Howard, Ruf, and Joseph as first basemen? Should they move Carlos Ruiz and Cody Asche? By my estimation, they can clear out at least four more spots. So, I can see the roster getting to 32.

That would leave the Phillies with eight spots to use on prospects, Rule 5 picks, and major league free agents. Obviously they can also work the trade market, or even cut more to keep space open for free agency. As much as the Phillies are in full rebuild mode already, it’s important to note that the team could change a lot more by next season.

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