Minor League Free Agency

First I want to apologize for going a bit nuts last week about the Phillies not protecting Carlos Tocci from minor league free agency. It turns out that Tocci (and Jiandido Tromp and Harold Arauz) are not free agents because baseball’s contract rules are incredibly confusing. Both will be Rule 5 eligible if not added to the 40 man roster later this month. I expect Tocci to be added, but not Tromp or Arauz. So once again, sorry for making a fool of myself online.

As for the rest of the Phillies minor league free agents, they come in three categories; those re-signed already, those already gone, and those in limbo.

Re-Signed:

Mitch Walding, Ranfi Casimiro, Logan Moore

Mitch Walding is the only one of the trio that has any stake to be called a prospect, and while his 2017 season was a breakout of sorts, he is still highly flawed an unlikely to make the majors. However, the Phillies are weak at third throughout the organization, so Walding will get plenty of playing time and attention. Casimiro has moved to the bullpen fairly full time at this point and the 6’8″ 25 year old has been solid, but not amazing in the role. He doesn’t walk many, but doesn’t strike many out. He is a perfectly good swing arm in the minors. Logan Moore will return to AAA where he will continue to be a great defensive catcher, serving as a mentor to other catchers coming up through the system and as a good partner for the Phillies pitchers.

Gone:

Chace Numata (Yankees)

The Phillies re-signed Numata a yea ago after a breakout campaign in Clearwater. The 25 year old disappointed when handed the every day job in AA this year. hitting .249/.318/.351 on the season. Numata continues to have a strong arm, but his receiving has not really progressed like some thought it might. He walks a lot and doesn’t strike out much, but ultimately he has limited impact in his bat. The Phillies only had room for one of Numata and Moore, and Moore is the better defender.

In Limbo:

Wilson Garcia, Herlis Rodriguez, Angelo Mora, Brock Stassi, Jesen Therrien, Harold Martinez, Miguel Nunez

Wilson Garcia is an org first baseman who doesn’t strikeout and does a lot of over things ok. Herlis Rodriguez might get a cup of coffee as an emergency 5th outfielder, but he lacks impact tools. Mora might catch on as a utility infielder somewhere, but his inability to play shortstop in the majors hurts his future. Brock Stassi showed his limitations in the majors last year. Harold Martinez was a second round pick for the Phillies in 2011 and has been a complete disappointment as a prospect, but somehow got 7 minor league seasons of org filler. Nunez is probably the most interesting name of the bunch. He is a big righty with a big fastball and secondary pitches that at times can look impressive. However, repeated should injuries limited his innings, and he lost both his ability to strike batters out and to not walk them all. Therrien was outrighted and elected free agency this week. He underwent Tommy John surgery last month.

With Moore already back, I think Nunez and Therrien represent the next two most likely to re-sign. The Phillies could bring Therrien back on a 2 year deal where they monitor his rehab in 2018 and see if there is anything there for 2019. In the case of Nunez, he probably has already missed his window, but if he can recapture some of his 2016 stuff, he could be a major league middle reliever.

Author: Matt Winkelman

Matt Winkelman
Matt is originally from Mt. Holly, NJ, but after a 4 year side track to Cleveland for college he now resides in Madison, WI. His work has appeared on Phuture Phillies, The Good Phight, and TheDynastyGuru.

2 comments

  1. Floridaphilly

    What are your thoughts on Harold Arauz. Is he a tradable chip? or an Organization guy?

    • Matt Winkelman

      Despite the numbers and the feel for pitching, I haven’t gotten reports on him showing enough stuff to be more than an org arm

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