Phillies baseball is at an all-time low, and the 40-man roster is getting a facelift
Pat Neshek, Jeremy Hellickson, Daniel Nava, Joaquin Benoit, Tommy Joseph, and Howie Kendrick are all expected to be traded if not by July 31st, then August 31st at the conclusion of the waiver trade deadline.
Additionally, role players on the roster including Ty Kelly, Andres Blanco, Holby Millner, Cam Perkins, and Brock Stassi are expendable pieces regarding the 40-man roster. The Phillies could keep all of these players if they were designated for assignment and not claimed on waivers, but they would have to report to the minor leagues.
If the six trade pieces mentioned earlier are in fact moved, there would be as many spots available on the 40-man roster. To create a margin of error, we’ll narrow it down to four spaces to accommodate any players added through a trade or a player not being moved.
Here’s what constitutes whether a player is eligible for the Rule 5 Draft or not:
"Players who were signed when they were 19 or older and have played in professional baseball for four years are eligible, as are players who were signed at 18 and have played for five years."
The big names eligible for the Rule 5 Draft are as follows: J.P. Crawford, Franklyn Kilome, Brandon Leibrandt, Yacksel Rios, Jesen Dygestile-Therrien, Rhys Hoskins, Andrew Pullin, Victor Arano, Elniery Garcia, Alberto Tirado, Malquin Canelo, Jiandido Tromp, and Carlos Tocci.
If the Phillies want to ensure they are not taken by another franchise, who must add them to their 25-man Major League roster on Opening Day and keep throughout the season, they must protect them on the 40-man roster.
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Conversely, Thomas Eshelman and Scott Kingery are still protected from the Rule 5 Draft and are not required to be on the 40-man roster. However, if the team believes they are ready, they will use a year of Major League eligibility and add them to the 40-man roster, taking away a spot from a player eligible to be taken in the Rule 5 Draft.
After the trade deadline on July 31st, we’re projecting four spots to be open not just on the 40-man roster, but the 25-man. During the season the team could add anyone they wanted to the 40-man to make the jump to the Phillies, meaning veteran switch-pitcher Pat Venditte or veteran infielder Hector Gomez could receive a call-up.
If Joseph is moved, Hoskins is likely to be called up, now leaving three spots in our theoretical roster.
Fans are begging for Kingery to come up in September (or even earlier) when the 40-man roster can be used in the big leagues. Adding Kingery leaves just two spots for that large list of players.
Andrew Pullin will be another name to watch at some point this year if the Phillies want to get an early look.
All of this can change depending on who is moved and acquired at the deadline this summer. It’s highly probable the team will add a prospect that falls under the Rule 5 umbrella. But fan’s need to understand that not anyone can be called up at a moments notice, and there are consequences for roster moves.
A lot is going to change the shape of the franchise in the next two weeks, so buckle up.