Klentak adds 11 to 40man roster
The Philadelphia Phillies confirmed Friday that they are protecting 11 prospects by placing them on their 40-man major league roster, which now averages out to a cool 25 years of age.
Having cleaned out all clubhouse remnants of the World Series era, and despite re-signing veteran pitcher Jeremy Hellickson this week, the Phillies have assured themselves of being one of baseball’s youngest teams next year.
They confirmed that Friday, protecting 11 prospects by placing them on their 40-man major league roster, which now averages out to a cool 25 years of age.
The prospects include familiar names that could or should be on the verge of big league promotion (outfielder Nick Williams, catcher Andrew Knapp, pitchers Mark Appel and Ben Lively), along with players like infielder Jesuel Valentin and Dylan Cozens who will get long spring training looks. The other players included right-handed pitchers Ricardo Pinto, Nick Pivetta, Alberto Tirado and Drew Anderson, and lefty Elniery Garica.
“There’s no secret that in the last couple of years this organization is starting to head in a new direction and these roster moves today really demonstrate our continued commitment to not only building a winner in Philadelphia, but building it the right way,” general manager Matt Klentak said in a conference call Friday. “The fact that our average age today is 25 is a reflection of that.”
Klentak had to make room on the 40-man to squeeze the 11 prospects in, so he designated pitchers David Buchanan and Jimmy Cordero for assignment. Reliever Elvis Araujo was already gone, claimed off waivers by the Marlins.
While Buchanan, who has had a couple of extended looks with the Phillies, was coming off an encouraging season at Class AAA Lehigh Valley, it was the hard-throwing Cordero’s release that was probably the biggest surprise. He was considered a high-end prospect after coming over in 2015 in the Ben Revere trade with Toronto.
“Aa year ago at this time, we were pretty high on Jimmy,” Klentak said. “His year was not as productive as we had hoped and as he had hoped. It becomes a numbers game. That may sound cliche, but truly that’s the reality of it. We like him a lot and we would love to keep him in the organization, if possible.”
Cordero had some injury woes last season, appearing in only 22 games, half of them for Double A Reading. In 11 outings there he posted a 3.46 ERA. Buchanan, 8-17 with a 5.01 ERA in 35 Phillies games in 2014-15, was an IronPigs rotation mainstay last season, going 10-9 with a 3.98 ERA in 27 games, all but one of them starts. He should garner interest elsewhere.
Klentak said he also anticipates the possibility of losing a player or two in the Rule 5 draft in December.
“We know we can’t protect everybody, but we protected as many as we could,” Klentak said. “Eleven is a lot. We’re prepared for the possibility that we might (lose players) . ... On the one side it’s disappointing that we may lose players. On the flip side, just organizationally, I think that’s an encouraging sign. I think it shows that our system is continuing to produce players.”