Offseason Encyclopedia

The offseason really isn't far away and some consider it to be the fun part; figuring out who is eligible for what and trying to gauge what's going to happen in the offseason. We've put together a list of key things to watch for to help you gauge just what might happen and why. Find out who's eligible and why for free agency, the Rule 5 Draft, arbitration, minor league free agency.

Florida Instructional League (FIL) - This is primarily for younger players in the organization that need extra work. The "league" does play games, but they're much more informal than even spring training games and players will sometimes get to take extra at-bats and are allowed other leniencies in order to get players the work that they need on particular parts of their games. Since the games are so informal, box scores and stats aren't really indicative of anything and aren't really made public. It really is much more about the training and helping players to develop in specific areas of their games. The games started this week and the schedule winds up on October 10.


Lisalberto Bonilla (RHP, 19)
Brody Colvin (RHP, 19)
Heitor Correa (RHP, 20)
Jarred Cosart (RHP, 19)
Justin DeFratus (RHP, 22)
Jacob Diekman (LHP, 22)
Nick Hernandez (LHP, 21)
Austin Hyatt (RHP, 23)
Colin Kleven (RHP, 18)
Siulman Lebron (RHP, 22)
Lino Martinez (LHP, 17)
Jonathan Pettibone (RHP, 19)
Julio Rodriguez (RHP, 18)
Julian Sampson (RHP, 20)
Jesus Sanchez (RHP, 22)
Ryan Sasaki (LHP, 18)
Colby Shreve (RHP, 21)
Juan Sosa (RHP, 18)
Josh Zeid (RHP, 22)

Travis D'Arnaud (20)
Marlon Mitchell (18)
Joel Naughton (23)
Sebastian Valle (19)

Ryan Bollinger (1B, 18)
Adam Buschini (2B, 22)
Edgar Duran (SS, 18)
Harold Garcia (2B, 22)
Cesar Hernandez (2B, 19)
Anthony Hewitt (3B, 20)
Darin Ruf (1B, 23)
Jonathan Singleton (1B, 17)
Jonathan Villar (2B/SS, 18)

Aaron Altherr (18)
Leandro Castro (20)
Zach Collier (19)
Kelly Dugan (19)
Anthony Gose (19)
Kyrell Hudson (18)
Jiwan James (20)
Domingo Santana (16)

Arizona Fall League (AFL) - This is the elite league for prospects to take part in. Teams generally send fairly highly regarded prospects who they want to see face quality opposition to help guage where they are in their development. What many fans don't realize is that the teams don't just pick players that they want to send to the AFL; teams are assigned particular positions for them to fill with prospects, although sometimes, teams may "swap" positions. In other words, maybe the Phillies are supposed to send a third baseman, but they really want to send a shortstop, they might find a team that is supposed to send a shortstop, but would be willing to switch with them. Also, there are qualifications on which players teams can send. All Phillies players are assigned to the Scottsdale Scorpions and the schedule begins on October 13.


  • All Triple-A and Double-A players are eligible, but they have to have been at either level prior to August 1 of the prior season.
  • One player per team below the Double-A level is eligible to be included.
  • One foreign player is allowed, but they can not be from a country that has winter ball in either the Caribbean Confederation or the Australian Winter League.
  • No players with more than one year of credited major league service are eligible, unless they were taken in the most recent Rule 5 Draft.
  • Any player who was on the minor league disabled list with less than 45 days remaining in the league schedule is ineligible.


Mike Cisco (RHP)
Scott Mathieson (RHP)
Michael Schwimer (RHP)
Mike Zagurski (LHP)
Tuffy Gosewisch (C)
Troy Hanzawa (IF)
Domonic Brown (OF)
Steve Susdorf (OF)

Arbitration Eligible Players - The arbitration system comes into play when a team and a player (who has at least three years of service, but less than six years) can not agree on a contract. Both sides submit their contract numbers to an arbitrator, who then hears arguments from both the player's side and the team's side and then chooses whose numbers make more sense. The arbitrator must choose one number or the other and can not come back with an alternative number for the team or player.


  • The top 17% of players with between two and three years of service are eligible and are known as "Super Twos". Generally, a player need around two years and 128 days of service to qualify as a Super Two.
  • Any player who has filed for free agency and has received an offer of arbitration from their former club is also eligible to go through the process. Teams must offer arbitration to their free agents by December 1 and the player must either accept or decline by December 7. If the player accepts, they are considered to be re-signed by their former team. If they decline, the two sides can continue to negotiate, but the player is also eligible to negotiate with other clubs. A team must offer arbitration to receive any compensation should the player sign elsewhere.
  • A club must offer a contract to their arbitration eligible players by December 12. Players who don't receive offers are considered "non-tendered" and become free agents.
  • A club offering a contract to an arbitration eligible player can not offer less than 80% of the players salary and performance bonuses from the previous year. There are two exceptions to this rule: 1. If the player received a 50% or higher raise through arbitration in the prior season. 2. If the player has filed for free agency.

Phillies arbitration eligible players:

Joe Blanton (RHP)
Eric Bruntlett (IF)
Clay Condrey (RHP)
Chad Durbin (RHP)
Carlos Ruiz (C)
Jack Taschner (LHP)
Shane Victorino (CF)

Free Agents - A player who has at least six full seasons of service time and does not have a contract for the following season may file for free agency and negotiate with any team. The free agent filing period begins the day after the conclusion of the World Series and continues for 15 days. During that time, he is not allowed to discuss contract length or salary with any club other than the team he played for in the prior season. A club receives compensation if their player either declines to accept their offer of salary arbitration and signs elsewhere or if the player signs elsewhere before December 2. Any player who signs as a free agent can not be traded until after June 15 of the following season.

Phillies players eligible for free agency:

Scott Eyre (LHP)
Pedro Martinez (RHP)
Brett Myers (RHP)
Chan Ho Park (RHP)
Matt Stairs (OF)

Minor League free agency - Yes, there is free agency for minor league players. A player is granted minor league free agency after playing six full seasons in the minor leagues with the club that drafted him. He is also declared a free agent after each minor league contract that he signs if he is released at any point in his minor league career. If a player plays during the season in which he was drafted, that season does not count toward service time. Time in the Dominican Summer League and/or short-season leagues does apply to service time. Minor league free agency begins on November 15.

Phillies minor leaguers eligible for free agency:

Position Players: Mike Cervenak (OF/IF), Ozzie Chavez (IF), Jason Ellison (OF), J.J. Furmaniak (IF), Tim Gradoville (C), Orlando Guevara (C), Brad Harman (IF), Carlos Leon (IF), Kevin Mahar (1B), Kevin Nelson (C), David Newhan (IF), Neil Sellers (3B), Mike Spidale (OF), Brian Stavisky (1B), Rich Thompson (OF), Terry Tiffee (3B), Jorge Velandia (IF)

Pitchers: Jason Anderson, Cedric Bowers, Francisco Butto, *Gustavo Chacin, Tristan Crawford, Jason Mackintosh, Gary Majewski, Scott Mathieson, Brian Mazone, Steven Register, Jake Woods

*Chacin reportedly signed a two-year minor league deal (which is extremely rare) that allows him to sign elsewhere during this offseason if he is offered a major league deal.

Rule 5 Draft - Held each season during the Winter Meetings, the Rule 5 Draft has allowed teams to search for that diamond in the rough on other clubs minor league rosters and provides a potential "new beginning" for players who have not yet reached their six years of necessary time in the minors to be considered a free agent.

  • Players who are eligible for minor league free agency are not eligible to be taken in the Rule 5 Draft. Teams must set their 40 man rosters by November 15 and must also submit reserve lists for their minor league clubs. A player placed on the reserve list for a minor league club will not automatically be assigned there the next season, but it is a form of protecting players.
  • There is a major league phase and a minor league phase to the Rule 5 Draft. Players who are not placed on the 40 man roster or who are not free agents are placed on reserve lists. In the minor league phase of the draft, teams can take players from a club's reserve list of any team below the level that they are drafting. In other words, in the Triple-A phase of the draft, teams can take any player on a Double-A or below reserve list. In the Double-A phase, teams can only draft players on reserve lists lower than Double-A. Teams may place 38 players on each of their Triple-A and Double-A reserve lists.
  • In the major league phase, players must be kept on the team's 25 man roster for the entire following season. If a player is injured and spends less than 90 days on the 25 man active roster, he must be kept on the 25 man roster the following season until he reaches 90 days of service time.
  • If a player is not kept on the 25 man roster, he must be offered back to his original team and if they decline to take him, he must clear waivers before he would be eligible to remain with the team that drafted him. If a team claims him on waivers, they must also keep him on their 25 man roster for the entire season, but if a team reclaims their player, they can assign him to any level.
  • Players taken in the minor league phase can play at any level for the team that drafted them and are not subject to being returned to their original club.
  • Players who were 18 or younger when drafted must be in an organization for five years before being eligible and players 19 and older when drafted must serve four years in the organization. The counting starts on the day the players signs their contract, not the day they start playing. Any player who is on the 40 man roster submitted by the team is not eligible for the draft.

Phillies eligible for the Rule 5 Draft:

Position players: Quintin Berry (OF), Javis Diaz (OF), Michael Durant (1B), Tuffy Gosewisch (C), Fidel Hernandez (2B), Tim Kennelly (OF,C,3B), Gus Milner (OF), Derrick Mitchell (OF), Joel Naughton (C)

Pitchers: Joe Bisenius, Dan Brauer, Darren Byrd, Alex Concepcion, Edgar Garcia, Carlos Monasterios, Patrick Overholt, Jesus Sanchez, Walt Tejeda

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