Dan Meyer, the 29 year old lefty reliever, was signed to a minor league deal this past week. He was very effective in 2009 with the Marlins (3.09 ERA and 1.17 WHIP over 58.1 IP in 71 appearances), but has been highly erratic otherwise. The former 1st round pick of the Braves comes in at little cost with possible upside, so the deal makes sense. Career: 3-9, 103 G, 113.2 IP, 92 K, 5.46 ERA, and 1.55 WHIP with Atlanta, Oakland, and Florida.
Jeff Larish, the former Tiger and A's 3B/1B/OF, was inked to a minor league deal as well. He's 28 years old and has spent part of the past 3 seasons in the majors racking up 245 at bats in 101 games while batting .224/.688. In the minors he's shown power- 99 homeruns over 6 seasons with an .865 OPS. He's unlikely to make the 25-man roster out of spring training, but wouldn't be surprised to see him during the season as a fill-in given his versatility.
Justin De Fratus was just added to 40-man roster. He took a major step forward this season posting a 1.94 ERA and 0.99 WHIP in Single and Double-A. The righthanded reliever has been impressive in the Arizona Fall League thus far, striking out 11 in 7 scoreless frames. His addition to the 40-man roster brings the Phillies total up to 36 players.
De Fratus had to be added or the Phils would have run the risk of him being selected in the upcoming Rule 5 draft. Other notable Phillies minor leaguers that are on the bubble include Matthew Rizzotti, D'Arby Myers, and Joe Savery. There's room for all 3 to be added to the 40-man roster. Also, Brian Bocock could easily be cut from the 40-man to make additional room if need be (he's worthless).
Rizzotti had a breakout season, climbing the whole way up to Triple-A. 2010: .343/.985 with 17 homeruns. Although he's blocked by Ryan Howard at his natural position of 1st base, and there's been rumblings about a possible transition to leftfield. He deserves to stick around for another year at least. Allowing players of his potential to slip away is foolish.
Myers has been a bust since being drafted in the 4th round of 2006. The outfielder has no power, on base skills, or any redeeming quality that warrants protection. My guess is the Phils could leave him unprotected and no team would even bother selecting him. He is just 21, but his upside seems limited, if there's any at all.
Savery is another disappointment. Philly's 1st round pick in 2007 has not performed well as a pitcher. He hasn't been horrible, nor has he been good. Numbers: 28-31, 90 G, 455.1 IP, 4.29 ERA, and 1.54 WHIP. What he does have going for him though is that he's a lefty and he can hit. He was given a chance to showcase his batting skills at the end of the 2010 season and posted a .348/.826 line in 46 at bats. Perhaps he could serve as long relief and a pinch hitter in the majors. Since there's room for him on the 40-man roster, protecting him seems prudent.
Mickey Morandini was chosen to manage the Single-A Williamsport Crosscutters. He's just another part of the reuniting theme the Phils have going on this offseason, as they've also added Ryne Sandberg and Juan Samuel to the fold.
Amaro is interested in left-handers like Hisanori Takahashi, Pedro Feliciano, Brian Fuentes and Arthur Rhodes. There's still the possibility that they could bring back Chad Durbin too. Some righthanded outfielders are connected to the Phils as well. Carlos Quentin, Jeff Francoeur, Magglio Ordonez, and Jermaine Dye are all rumored to be on Amaro's radar.
Of those names Feliciano and Fuentes excite me the most. The outfielders listed are all questionable and likely not any better than our in-house option of Ben Francisco.