Matt Klentak will have to make his biggest roster decisions of the Phillies offseason in the next couple of hours
Phillies general manager Matt Klentak will be working the phones Monday afternoon leading up to the 40-man roster deadline at 8 p.m. All of the teams must have their 40-man rosters set by the deadline to establish which players are eligible for the Rule 5 Draft during the winter meetings in December.
As of 7 p.m. Sunday evening, the Phillies have just two roster spots available to protect prospects eligible for the Rule 5 Draft.
According to Major League Baseball “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.”
That leaves several young, talented players in the Phillies organization vulnerable to the Rule 5 Draft. Klentak will likely clear at least one spot by trading or designating a player for assignment.
Reliever Zac Curtis, who the team picked up on waivers from Seattle midseason, is the likeliest candidate to be placed on waivers. Outfielder Cam Perkins is also in danger of losing his roster spot after hitting a mere .182 in 42 games this season.
If a trade is executed before the deadline, don’t be surprised if it involves either Cameron Rupp or pitching prospect Mark Appel.
Pitchers Frankyn Kilome, Ranger Suarez, and Seranthony Dominguez are three prospects the organization would like to protect before the 8 p.m. deadline. All three are within the organization’s top-30 prospects, while Kilome is the organization’s seventh-overall prospect according to MLB Pipeline.
If Curtis is waived the organization will likely prioritize those three pitchers with the remaining three spots.
Several other players will be eligible and potentially susceptible to the Rule 5 Draft. The most glaring name is outfielder Carlos Tocci, who advanced to Lehigh Valley last season.
Tocci has sat among the bottom of the organization’s top-30 prospects but hit over .300 in Reading last year.
If a team were to claim an unprotected Tocci he’d have to be on their major league opening day roster throughout the season.
It’s unlikely a team sees Tocci as a major league player, but the talent and speed could be too good to pass up.
Outfielders Jiordani Tromp and Andrew Pullin will be eligible, as will pitcher Jose Tavares.
Expect the team to make at least one roster move in the next 24 hours to protect their young talent.