Philadelphia Phillies: Odds That Each 25-Man Roster Player Will Stay for 2013

Greg PintoCorrespondent IApril 13, 2012

Philadelphia Phillies: Odds That Each 25-Man Roster Player Will Stay for 2013

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    We are less than two weeks into the 2012 season, but baseball is the type of sport where you find yourself thinking, "It's never too early to be looking at the future."

    The Philadelphia Phillies are certainly thinking that way.

    Mired in a slump to kick off the 2012 campaign, the Phillies know that their elite pitching staff will hold up their "contender" status throughout the season, but what happens if the offense, which scored all of six runs in the first full series of the season, never kicks it into gear?

    The goal will always be to win the World Series this season, but you can bet your bottom dollar that a bunch of men in suits in the Phillies' front office are debating whether or not it is more prudent to re-sign Cole Hamels after the season or spend that money on guys like Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence.

    Baseball is as much a business as it is a game, and more often than not, performance on the field creates a numbers crunch off of it.

    Which cost-efficient prospects are ready to replace a pricey veteran? Which players do the club deem essential, and who is expendable?

    These are questions that Phillies officials will debate throughout the season, and this slideshow should serve as a bit of a primer for those discussions. Which members of the Phillies' 25-man roster will return for the 2013 season, and who is on the bubble?

    For news, rumors, analysis and game recaps during spring training, check out Greg's blog: The Phillies Phactor!

Roy Halladay

1 of 25

    2013 Age: 35

    2013 Contract Status: One year, $20 million; $20 million option for 2014.

    Chance of Return: 100%

    For a lot of teams, a 35-year-old ace would be a warning sign, but not for the Phillies. Their aging ace has kept pace with the likes of Justin Verlander (29 years old) and Clayton Kershaw (24 years old) for the glorious title of "best pitcher in baseball."

    Halladay will be under contract for his fourth season as the Phillies ace in 2013, and an unrivaled work ethic should help not only keep him on the mound, but at the top of the starting pitching rankings for the next couple of seasons.

Cliff Lee

2 of 25

    2013 Age: 34

    2013 Contract Status: Three years, $87.5 million guaranteed remaining; $27.5 million club option for 2016.

    Chance of Return: 100%

    At the outset, any team that has $55 million tied up in two starting pitchers of at least 34 years old in a single season should be terrified, but the Phillies aren't. They knew that would be the case when they inked Cliff Lee to his mammoth deal prior to the 2011 season.

    Like they did with Roy Halladay, the Phillies felt as though they were committing to a different kind of pitcher. Lee's easy delivery and reliance on pitch location and deception over velocity makes him a prime candidate to age well, and the Phillies felt as though he'd be in his prime longer than most pitchers.

    He'll be back in 2013, but will his lofty salary force out his teammate and the Phillies' biggest potential free agent?

Cole Hamels

3 of 25

    2013 Age: 29

    2013 Contract Status: Free Agent

    Chance of Return: 75%

    The Phillies know what it will take to re-sign Cole Hamels. With Matt Cain off the market, he is not only going to be the most sought-after starting pitcher on the market, but quite possibly the most sought-after free agent in general.

    Reporters have grilled both Hamels and Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. over the last couple of months. Every indication is that both sides are interested in working out a deal and the Phillies can afford to bring back another starting pitcher for $20 million-plus per year.

    There's a strong chance Hamels returns, but there is certainly no guarantee.

Vance Worley

4 of 25

    2013 Age: 25

    2013 Contract Status: Pre-arbitration

    Chance of Return: 100%

    Regardless of the type of year he has in 2012, Vance Worley is going to be an integral part of this team's future. Not yet eligible for arbitration, he is one of the most affordable players on the roster.

    Sure, another great year in '12 would only solidify his spot in the starting rotation for the foreseeable future, but with Cole Hamels and Joe Blanton both facing free agency at the end of this season, Worley isn't going anywhere in 2013.

Joe Blanton

5 of 25

    2013 Age: 32

    2013 Contract Status: Free Agent

    Chance of Return: 10%

    Even with the Phillies' starting rotation in a potential state of flux heading into the next offseason, Joe Blanton isn't likely to return.

    First and foremost, there just may not be enough room for the right-handed starter. The Phillies are intent on re-signing Cole Hamels, and with both Kyle Kendrick and top prospect Trevor May capable of filling out the rotation at a more cost-efficient rate, Blanton may be the odd man out.

    There is also a concern about his long-term health, and unless he is willing to come back to the Phillies way below market value, it is likely that he'll be pitching elsewhere in 2013.

    Plans can certainly change, but even that 10 percent mark seems generous.

Kyle Kendrick

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    2013 Age: 28

    2013 Contract Status: One year, $4.5 million

    Chance of Return: 100%

    The Phillies have shown a great deal of faith in Kyle Kendrick over the years—the culmination of which came during the last offseason when the Phillies trashed his contract that saw him avoid arbitration and provided a new one that guaranteed him money throughout the arbitration process.

    Some will argue that it was a move of cost certainty on the Phillies' part, and that is certainly true. However, the deal also keeps him in Philadelphia, when if the intention was to part with him following the season (some teams find the guaranteed money as a positive in a potential trade, with the uncertainty of arbitration eliminated), he could have just as easily been non-tendered.

    The Phillies view him as the type of guy that can pitch in a number of different roles, including the fifth starter's spot if need be, and you may very well see him there in 2013. That's not bad value for what Kendrick can provide at just $4.5 million.

David Herndon

7 of 25

    2013 Age: 27

    2013 Contract Status: Eligible for first year of arbitration.

    Chance of Return: 95%

    At his best, David Herndon is an average pitcher. We haven't really seem him at his best here in Philadelphia very frequently, but his price tag is something that appeals to the front office when the rest of the payroll is busting at the seams.

    With a number of high-upside pitchers who are not eligible for arbitration—guys like Justin De Fratus, Phillippe Aumont and Jake Diekman should all be pitching in the MLB by next season—there is a very minor chance that the Phillies non-tender Herndon in his first year of arbitration.

    That's not all too likely, as he still won't be a very expensive player.

    He'll almost surely remain in the organization, even if that means going to Triple-A in favor of some of those high-upside guys.

Mike Stutes

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    2013 Age: 26

    2013 Contract Status: Pre-arbitration

    Chance of Return: 100%

    Mike Stutes will be back in 2013. Everything is working in his favor.

    For a team like the Phillies, a huge payroll can often lead to a numbers crunch. The simple fact that Stutes isn't even eligible for arbitration yet next offseason certainly works in his favor for a roster spot (though, not so much for his paycheck).

    He'll have some competition from young guns on their way to the MLB, but Stutes has the upside to stick around. By next season, at just 26 years old, he may just be one of the most experienced guys in the bullpen, believe it or not.

Chad Qualls

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    2013 Age: 34

    2013 Contract Status: Free Agent

    Chance of Return: 50%

    I really haven't seen enough of Chad Qualls yet to lean in either direction.

    On one hand, you have to imagine that the Phillies will be comfortable turning the reins over to their plethora of touted relief prospects in 2013. Qualls isn't earning much in 2012 and probably wouldn't earn more than this year's salary next season, but letting him walk is a way to save money in an area where the Phillies have plenty of depth is a wise business decision.

    On the other, the Phillies have a strange fascination with veteran relievers. Just look at Jose Contreras, who was signed to a multi-year contract at the age of 39.

    The Phillies weren't bluffing when they said that their scouts reported that Qualls was throwing hard. He's come into the regular season regularly pounding the strike zone with a heavy sinker that sits in the low to mid 90s.

    My guess is that he moves on next season, but I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to see him back for '13 if he is effective in '12.

Jose Contreras

10 of 25

    2013 Age: 41

    2013 Contract Status: $2.5 million club option with $500,000 buyout.

    Chance of Return: 5%

    If Ruben Amaro wasn't foolish enough to give a 39-year-old reliever a multi-year contract prior to the 2011 season, Jose Contreras would have been seeking employment elsewhere this season. Of course, that wasn't how the cookie crumbled, and after spending most of last season on the disabled list, Contreras will look to retake the mound sometime during the month of April.

    After the 2012 season, I don't think the Phillies will be all that hesitant in paying Contreras his buyout and parting ways.

    The 40-year-old reliever had exploratory surgery in the offseason, and though he has recovered well and will pitch in '12, one must imagine that the Phillies don't need to take the risk of picking up his option for next season.

    Then again, the Phillies do crazy things from time to time.

Antonio Bastardo

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    2013 Age: 27

    2013 Contract Status: Eligible for first year of arbitration.

    Chance of Return: 100%

    There is a growing air of concern surrounding Antonio Bastardo. Though it is early in the season, the left-handed reliever hasn't had that explosive rush to his fastball or sharp bite to his slider that made him so successful in 2011 yet in 2012.

    The Phillies need Bastardo to be that dominant setup man. Even if he's not, he'll return to the club's bullpen for the 2013 season. Bastardo will still be affordable in his first year of arbitration.

    At his worst, he is a left-handed specialist; at his best, Bastardo has closer-like "stuff."

Jonathan Papelbon

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    2013 Age: 32

    2013 Contract Status: Three years, $33 million with $13 million vesting option for 2016.

    Chance of Return: 100%

    The Phillies wanted a bit of stability in the closer's role when they made an aggressive push for Jonathan Papelbon in the offseason and they certainly got that.

    The Phillies closer is under contract for the next three seasons with an easily obtainable vesting option for the 2016 season.

    He's not going anywhere. Perhaps a better question is: How long will he stick with Alice in Chains' "Man in the Box" as his entrance music?

Carlos Ruiz

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    2013 Age: 34

    2013 Contract Status: $5 million club option with $500,000 buyout

    Chance of Return: 100%

    Even with Sebastian Valle, the top position prospect, knocking on the door, Carlos Ruiz figures to return as the Phillies' top catcher again in 2013.

    With a contract option of just $5 million next season, he is one of the club's greatest bargains, and with the way "Chooch" has kicked off his 2012 season, it certainly doesn't seem as though the Phillies are going to have much trouble deciding whether or not to exercise that option for 2013.

    Valle has progressed alongside the Phillies' top pitching prospect on each step of the way, so as they start to compose a majority of the big-league staff, you may see more playing time for Valle, but that won't come in 2013.

    Ruiz will certainly be the starter in 2013, and probably beyond.

Brian Schneider

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    2013 Age: 36

    2013 Contract Status: Free Agent

    Chance of Return: 10%

    Quite honestly, I didn't think Brian Schneider would return for the 2012 season, but he did. With that in mind, I put the odds of him returning at 10 percent, but even that seems a bit strong.

    Though there were other (and arguably better) options to fill the backup catcher spot over the winter, the Phillies cited Schneider's defensive work and game-calling abilities as the biggest reasons for his return. His success with Vance Worley last season certainly didn't hurt.

    This will probably be his last year with the Phillies, though. Schneider will be 36 years old in 2013 and the Phillies have cheaper options in-house—like Erik Kratz and Tuffy Gosewisch—capable of filling that role.

Ryan Howard

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    2013 Age: 33

    2013 Contract Status: Four years, $105 million with $23 million club option for 2017. 

    Chance of Return: 100%

    Can't say for sure, but I think the Phillies would love to have a do-over on this deal, and I type that first bit in an entirely sarcastic manner.

    The Phillies jumped the gun by signing Ryan Howard to a huge contract extension and now they're going to pay for it. As if the unsettling trend of declining production wasn't enough to make front office officials nauseous, now he has to attempt a return from a torn Achilles' tendon—not a simple task for a big-bodied power hitter. 

    Of course, all of that is moot considering the fact that he is under contract for at least the next four seasons.

Chase Utley

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    2013 Age: 34

    2013 Contract Status: One year, $15 million

    Chance of Return: 100%

    The only "sure thing" about the future of Chase Utley is the fact that he is under contract for the 2013 season. Everything else is up in the air.

    While the Phillies maintain the belief that Utley's most recent visit to a knee specialist will help to create a long-term solution, the truth is that no one can know for sure. It is a chronic knee condition with no guaranteed treatment.

    With that being said, Utley will definitely return to the Phillies for a contract year in '13, which, of course, raises the question: How effective will he be?

    We'll need to see him in 2012 before we can make that call.

Jimmy Rollins

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    2013 Age: 34

    2013 Contract Status: Two years, $22 million with $11 million vesting option for 2015.

    Chance of Return: 100%

    Though the longtime Phillies shortstop wanted to test free agency over the winter, it was hard to imagine Jimmy Rollins playing elsewhere in the future. It was really a simple debate that everyone knew would eventually get done: How long and how much?

    The Phillies actually got a pretty good deal on Rollins, keeping him with the club through at least the 2014 season, but likely 2015 as well.

Placido Polanco

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    2013 Age: 37

    2013 Contract Status: $5.5 million mutual option with $1 million buyout.

    Chance of Return: 35%

    At one point during the offseason, I probably would have put Placido Polanco's chances of returning to the Phillies next season a lot closer to zero.

    The club's third baseman has been dealing with a number of injuries to several different areas of the body over the last couple of seasons, including his elbow, back and not one, but two, sports hernias. Coupled with a decline in production, it seemed as though the Phillies would look elsewhere for third base help in 2013. 

    Now, it doesn't seem like they're going to find many better options. The free-agent market is thin and the Phillies aren't going to have much money to spend on a third baseman. The trade market can always provide a surprise, but if Polanco can prove he's healthy, he isn't a bad guy to have around for cheap.

    That said, I don't think he's going to return in 2013.

Jim Thome

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    2013 Age: 42

    2013 Contract Status: Free Agent

    Chance of Return: 45%

    Jim Thome's return to the Phillies made for a great story in 2012, but it may have run its course by 2013.

    For this season, Thome gives the Phillies just what they're looking for. They needed some power off of the bench and Thome certainly provides that, not to mention yet another presence hungry for that elusive World Series ring.

    If the experiment works in '12 but the Phillies come up short of a championship, there is chance both sides can work out a deal for '13.

    Then again, Thome will be 42 years old, so there are no guarantees in that regard either. At this point in time, I would put the chances of a Thome return at a little less than half, but that can change throughout the season.

Ty Wigginton

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    2013 Age: 35

    2013 Contract Status: $4 million option with $500,000 buyout.

    Chance of Return: 45%

    Ty Wigginton's story for next winter will be written a lot like Jim Thome's.

    First and foremost, there is no way the Phillies will exercise his $4 million option. They'll decline the option and try and work out an agreement with Wigginton as a free agent, should that be the direction they intend to go.

    With that being said, there are no guarantees once a player reaches the free-agent market. At this point in his career, Wigginton is a replaceable bench player. The Phillies seem to like him a lot, so there is a good chance he returns.

    Right now, however, I just don't see him being a priority, so I'll peg his chances at a little less than half.

Freddy Galvis

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    2013 Age: 23

    2013 Contract Status: Pre-arbitration

    Chance of Return: 100%

    Even with Jimmy Rollins blocking him at shortstop over the next couple of seasons, Freddy Galvis is going to be a valuable player for the Phillies in the future, and the first couple months of the 2012 season may be a perfect testament to that.

    Though a shortstop by trade, Galvis has shown that he can play both middle infield positions. Actually, that probably doesn't do his defensive abilities any justice. The man has shown that he can play Gold Glove-caliber defense at two positions.

    The bat needs work—there is no doubt about that. But that doesn't change the fact that Galvis is going to be a member of this club for a long time and his development as an MLB player is crucial for the club's future.

John Mayberry Jr.

22 of 25

    2013 Age: 29

    2013 Contract Status: Pre-arbitration

    Chance of Return: 100%

    The Phillies would love for John Mayberry Jr. to head into the 2013 season having lived up to his potential in 2012, and while there will be plenty of time to determine that, there should be no doubt that he will be with the organization in 2013.

    Mayberry represents one of the Phillies' few cost-efficient players, and they'll need him to produce up to his talent level if they want to have any shot at putting an above-average lineup together.

    He won't be eligible for arbitration until after the '13 season, so the next couple of years will be huge for Mayberry.

Laynce Nix

23 of 25

    2013 Age: 32

    2013 Contract Status: One year, $1.35 million

    Chance of Return: 85%

    Laynce Nix has gone Waldo on us through the first couple of series of the season. 

    The Phillies signed the powerful lefty during the offseason as a potential platoon player with John Mayberry Jr. in left field, but after missing some time during spring training with a rib injury, it looks as though he fell down the depth chart as well.

    Juan Pierre, another lefty, has grabbed most of the playing time in left field early in the season and Nix has made a grand total of four at-bats through the season's first two series.

    That's why I'm not comfortable putting his odds of return at 100 percent.

    However, Nix is signed to a major league deal next season and the 2012 campaign will be a long one. The Phillies have shown in the past that you have to be pretty dreadful for them to eat your salary and send you packing, and there will be plenty of time for him to prove he belongs.

Shane Victorino

24 of 25

    2013 Age: 32

    2013 Contract Status: Free Agent

    Chance of Return: 75%

    With Cole Hamels' situation in flux and the realization that the Phillies are going to have to pay Hunter Pence a boatload of money to keep him around, a lot of people feel as though the club may have to part with Shane Victorino over the winter.

    I don't.

    The Phillies have the money to keep all three of those guys around. They'll have to debate whether or not it is prudent for them to go over the luxury tax or not, but when you look at their options, they really do need all three of these guys moving forward.

    Victorino has been vocal about his desire to stay—even if it means taking a discount. I think the Phillies work something out with Victorino. It's probably more of a gut feeling than anything, but I just can't picture him playing elsewhere after the comments he made in the offseason.

Hunter Pence

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    2013 Age: 29

    2013 Contract Status: Eligible for fourth year of arbitration.

    Chance of Return: 100%

    Hunter Pence is quickly becoming the cornerstone of the Phillies. With guys like Ryan Howard and Chase Utley on the shelf, Pence has become a huge part of this club, and not just on the field.

    Sure, he is going to be a big part of the offense. He has the potential to hit for both contact and power and the Phillies are going to need him to drive some runs home from the middle of the order.

    His transformation off of the field has been phenomenal. Pence has become one of the club's most marketable players, landing the commercials, the merchandising deals and so on and so forth.

    In short, it is just good business for the Phillies to make Pence a part of their long-term plans. With another year of arbitration remaining, he'll definitely be back for 2013. However, it wouldn't surprise me in the least bit to see him sign a contract extension between now and the time he reaches free agency.