With a 5 p.m. deadline to get rosters down to the required 40 players, the Phillies made several moves today to clean up their roster. The first moves came in the form of adding players who were on the 60-day IL or the restricted list to the roster. During the season, such players don’t count against the 40-man limit, but they must be activated five days after the end of the World Series. The team had pitchers Jake Arrieta, Victor Arano, Seranthony Dominguez, Adam Morgan, David Robertson and Robert Stock on the 60-day IL along with outfielder Andrew McCutchen.
The team had previously announced that they would not pick up the team option on reliever Pat Neshek. In addition to making that official, the Phillies also declined the options on pitchers Jared Hughes and Jason Vargas, bringing the roster down to the required 40 players, but the Phillies cleared some roster room with more moves.
The Phillies then outrighted five players to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, all of whom elected to become free agents rather than take the assignment to the minors. The newly minted free agents are: pitchers Jerad Eickhoff, Mike Morin, Blake Parker and Edubray Ramos and infielder Phil Gosselin.
Eickhoff is the most notable name on the list, having been acquired in the Cole Hamels trade with Texas back in 2015. The 29-year old made 33 starts and pitched to a 3.65 ERA for the Phillies the year following the trade and seemed destined to be a fixture in the rotation. From there though injuries hit the right-hander and he never regained the form that he showed in that first full season with the team.
Gosselin proved to be a valuable bat off the bench in his time with the Phillies. He also spent a good amount of time at Lehigh Valley where he hit .314 in 78 games. With Philadelphia, Gosselin hit .262 overall in 44 games. Of his 17 overall hits, 10 came as a pinch-hitter in 32 opportunities for a .313 average off the bench.
The five open spots gives the Phillies room to add players who must be protected from the Rule 5 Draft and to sign free agents. The free agency period began at the same time that rosters had to be cut to 40 players.