Phillies sign Reid Brignac; decisions on 40-man roster due

Phillies catching prospect Tommy Joseph. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)

The Phillies signed veteran infielder Reid Brignac to a minor-league deal Tuesday, and they have more roster shuffling to do Wednesday.

Brignac, 27, provides depth at triple-A Lehigh Valley. He can play both shortstop and second base. He is a career .221 hitter known for his glove. He could fill the role Michael Martinez did for the previous two seasons.

All 30 teams must set their reserve lists by midnight Wednesday in advance of December's Rule 5 draft. Players eligible for protection must be added to the 40-man roster before then, or else they are subject to selection by another team.

Three players appear locks for protection. They are catcher Tommy Joseph and outfielders Kelly Dugan and Aaron Altherr.

Joseph, 22, was cleared for winter ball action after concussion issues derailed his 2013 season and has played in five games for Estrellas de Oriente in the Dominican Republic. 

Dugan, 23, was a second-round pick in 2009 and hit 20 homers for single-A Clearwater and double-A Reading in 2013. His power stroke is beginning to improve. He was slated for Arizona Fall League play but a minor injury — and the league's insistence he be replaced — cost him development time.

Altherr, 22, spent the entire season at Clearwater and also hit for more power. His 140 strikeouts in 466 at-bats are problematic. A wrist injury sidelined him during AFL. He hit .200 with three doubles in 12 games. Baseball America ranked him the organization's No. 9 prospect.

Rob Rasmussen, a 24-year-old lefthanded pitcher acquired last August from Los Angeles in the Michael Young trade, could be protected. He is the type of player typically taken in the Rule 5 draft. He was impressive in double-A Chattanooga with a 2.55 ERA and 76 strikeouts in 81 1/3 innings. A 12-game promotion to triple-A Albuquerque was dismal; he posted a 6.46 ERA with a sharp decline in strikeouts and increase in walks. His numbers against lefties were better than righties, and he projects as a lefthanded reliever.

Seth Rosin is another player eligible for Rule 5 selection. The 25-year-old righty was part of the package San Francisco dealt for Hunter Pence. He spent 2013 at Reading with a 4.33 ERA in 26 games (23 starts). He, too, could eventually be a reliever.

The Phillies have 35 players on their 40-man roster, counting Carlos Ruiz, who should officially sign his three-year, $26 million deal Thursday. It will be interesting to see if erstwhile prospects Tyson Gillies and Sebastian Valle survive this round of additions. Both players have fallen out of favor.

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