It’s that time of the year…free agency begins on Friday (first time players can be signed by other teams…they’ve been allowed to talk since the end of the World Series) and the Rule Five Draft (Shane Victorino anyone?) is less than a month aw
ay at the Winter Meetings in Indy.
Basically, any high school player drafted in 2005 or college player drafted in 2006 would have to be put in on their organization’s 40-man roster to protect them from being drafted. Of course, if they are selected, they must be on the new team’s 25-man roster for the entire season or be offered back. More on this below. Here’s our take:
First Up…The Phillies 40-man roster (as of World Series) can be viewed here. We count 36 listed. Then take out the following:
- Brett Myers (informed he won’t be returning)
- Pedro Feliz (option declined)
- The following free agents (Park, Eyre, Martinez, Stairs, Bako, Cairo)
- Those removed from the 40-man yesterday (Bruntlett, Hoover, Walker, Ennis, Tracy–some aren’t listed on Phillies 40-man so we only subtract one from number)
This brings us down to 27, though of course anyone is elgibile to re-sign with the club, and the Phillies have a lot of moves to make.
Last year at this time, the team added Carlos Carrasco, Drew Naylor, Sergio Escalona and Joel Naughton to the 40-man (Escalona remains on the 40, Carrasco would have had he not been traded).
Rule Five Eligible: The following players are eligible to be selected.
- From the 2005 high school draft crop: Michael Durant, Darren Byrd, Derrick Mitchell (note here that in this draft they also selected Mike Costanzo [Brad Lidge trade], Matt Maloney [Kyle Lohse trade], Josh Outman [Joe Blanton trade] and a high school pitcher named Vance Worley [who they took again in 2008]).
- From the 2006 college draft crop: Quintin Berry (this draft included Kyle Drabek and Adrian Cardenas [Joe Blanton trade])
- International signings: Edgar Garcia, Tim Kennelly
- Other: Tuffy Gosewisch (drafted out of Arizona State in 2005)
So what players could be added? We figure these first three definately, maybe the fourth:
- Berry, a BlueClaw in 2007, hit .266 and stole 48 bases with Double-A Reading this year.
- Gosewisch, also a BlueClaw in 2007, is currently in the Arizona Fall League and made it all the way up to AAA Lehigh Valley this year, though he only went 11-55 with the IronPigs. Would be less of a surprise than Naughton was being added last year, plus only Carlos Ruiz is currently under contract at the catcher position.
- Garcia, also on the 2007 BlueClaws, was once ranked the #2 prospect in the organization before a shaky two years…He had some visa problems this year but is currently in the Arizona Fall League. Gut feeling says yes.
- Kennelly, with Lakewood last year, is a very useful player who can play all over the field, including catcher, and has some pop in his bat. Would be no surprise. He made it up to Reading this year.
- Other players that could (but don’t have to) be added: Michael Taylor (doesn’t have to be added until next year, but logically he’ll debut at some point in 2010 so he would seem a likely candidate), Kyle Drabek (also doesn’t have to be added until next year, but he’s another that would likely debut in 2010), Domonic Brown (still a year away from him too)…Remember, putting them on the 40-man starts the clock towards free agency, so there is no need to rush it with any of these guys.
That would leave the Phillies at about 31 before free agency and of course they’ll keep a few open before the Rule Five Draft.