Forecasting the 2014 Rosters

Asche and Ruf, Here to Stay.
Photo by Richard Wilkins Jr.

Matt Gelb asked it, Paul Boye at Crashburn Alley tried it, and frankly why not do it too? Who will be on the 40 man next year that is on it now, you ask? Probably most of the players on now, sadly. Turnover isn't easy in MLB, and it won't be for the Phillies. So with that in mind, and using the current 40 man roster on the Phillies own site, i'll give this a try. I'll start with the 25 man, and then we'll build from there.

  • Starting 8 players- Revere-CF, Rollins-SS, Utley-2B, Brown-RF, Ruf-LF, Howard-1B, Free Agent Catcher-C, Asche-3B
  • Rotation- Hamels-LHP, Lee-LHP, Halladay-RHP, Pettibone-RHP, Free Agent Righty-RHP
  • Bench- Kratz, Hernandez, Bernadina, Free Agent right-handed Outfielder, Frandsen
  • Bullpen- Papelbon, Adams, Bastardo, Diekman, De Fratus, Free Agent Set-Up man, Horst
Ok, so lots of "free agents" in there. So who?
Let's start at catcher. My guess is the club moves on from Chooch and puts some real money here. Real world money at catcher probably means Jarrod Saltalamacchia is a major target of the team. How much is too much? I'm not sure, but to get a young catcher with solid offensive skills is nice. If not him, Chooch very well could be back, but you could also see the Phillies pursue a Pierzynski, Buck, or Navarro type there (I know, not exciting). I'm guessing they pay up and get "Salty."
Then there's the #5 job in the rotation, this right-handed outfielder I'm hoping for, and a set up man. Don't think super big for the starter. If they get a bigger name, it'll be on a shorter deal (I think), so think someone like Bartolo Colon, or another older starter who has been good lately. The other possibility is that they go cheaper, and look for a potential recover project (Ubaldo Jimenez), possible swing-man for when Morgan/Biddle are up (Sean Marcum), or they go trade. I suppose it's possible they bring back Kendrick, but I don't see the point in paying him if you like what you've seen from Morgan lately (which I have), since you could just use Morgan for a cheaper price. In the outfield, think power, but the ability to maybe provide some defensive improvement on Ruf if needed, and able to start some games. I'm seeing Jeff Francoeur. I wouldn't rule out them cutting Bernadina, bringing back Mayberry, and signing Morse either. In the bullpen, I'd like to see someone capable of maybe closing if Papelbon implodes, but willing to sign as a set-up man. They could go reclamation project (Hanrahan, Madson, Francisco), old (Dotel), questionable from health (O'Flaherty), or expensive (Uehara). 
I'm guessing they get a low risk/high reward Ubaldo Jimenez (if his option isn't picked up at $8 million) or Josh Johnson type, which I'm not crazy about, but Ruben will be, as the fifth starter. I'm guessing we'll see an outfielder who is Francoeur, or virtually the same thing. I'm guessing they go sign either Hanrahan, Francisco, or O'Flaherty to be in the 'pen.
Now that I've depressed you a bit about the team, here comes the fun stuff. Who stays on the 40 man then? First off, bank on Galvis and Martin surviving here, with Martin being converted to a reliever in AAA to start the season. Next, add Maikel Franco, Kelly Dugan, Adam Morgan, Aaron Altherr, Cameron Rupp, and Jesse Biddle to be on. That gives you 33 players. Phillipe Aumont, Tyler Cloyd, B.J. Rosenberg, and Joe Savery probably survive too, so you're at 37. Think match-ups from there: Gillies vs. Collier, Orr vs. Martinez, Giles vs. Nesseth vs. slop field of relievers on now. Personally, I'd probably guess they keep Gillies, Martinez, and Giles, though I disagree with like two of them.
For the record, I just cut Valdes, Stutes, Robles, Ramirez, Miner, Jimenez, Lannan, Kendrick, Garcia, Valle, McDonald, Orr, Young, Ruiz, Collier, Orr, Mayberry, and Wells, or 18 players of the 46 currently on the 40 man roster. Obviously I'm going to get a bunch of these wrong, and hope I do. This is just my best attempt at guessing Ruben Amaro's failed logic.