Phillies pitchers and catchers must report to Clearwater, Fla., by Feb. 12. If it feels a bit early, that's because it is, thanks to the third iteration of the World Baseball Classic this spring.
Three years ago, the Phillies lost three everyday position players to WBC play during spring training. This time, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. is anticipating a drastically smaller loss of talent. Players who leave teams to play for their country could be absent for up to four weeks.
"I don't really view us as losing many players," Amaro said.
Phillippe Aumont will be one. He is expected to pitch for Team Canada just as he did in 2009. Aumont is a top candidate to earn a Phillies bullpen job. Outfielder and fellow countryman Tyson Gillies could also leave camp; he was on Canada's roster during qualification.
The United States will reveal its preliminary roster next week and no Phillies are expected to be on it. Jimmy Rollins is a possibility -- he played in 2009 -- but USA may go with Troy Tulowitzki, so long as he is medically cleared.
Panama did not qualify for the tournament. That means Carlos Ruiz, who is allowed to participate fully in spring training despite his 25-game suspension, will be in camp.
"We may lose a couple of guys but I don't think there is all that many," Amaro said. "We'll know in the middle of the month; they have to come out with a preliminary list."
ADAMS' COMPLEX OPTION. Here are some details on the two most recent contracts the Phillies signed:
Mike Adams: 2 years, $12 million -- $5 million in 2013, $7 million in 2014; club option for 2015 at $6 million. Option vests at $6 million if 65 games pitched in 2014; at $6.5 million if 120 games pitched in 2013-2014 with 60 games pitched in 2014. Vesting provisions voided if deemed unable to pitch on opening day of 2015 due to injury to pitching arm's elbow or shoulder sustained prior to conclusion of the 2014 season.
John Lannan: 1 year, $2.5 million -- Bonuses: $200,000 for 150 ip; $200,000 for 160 ip; $200,000 for 170 ip; $200,000 for 180 ip; $200,000 for 190 ip; $250,000 for 200 ip; $250,000 for 210 ip; $250,000 each for 31gs-34gs.
That means Lannan could earn as much as $5 million, if he makes 34 starts with at least 210 innings pitched. (His career highs are 33 games started and 206 1/3 innings.)
HEALTH CHECK. Amaro said there are no outstanding injury issues to his knowledge, including reliever Mike Stutes, who had shoulder surgery last June.
"Knock on wood, I don't see anybody being behind right now," Amaro said. "Everybody is going to be on time. Stutes has been throwing so he should absolutely be fine unless there is a setback. Right now we view everybody on our roster as ready to go."
The one caveat, of course, is Chase Utley. No one will know if he is ready to go until he steps on the field for a Grapefruit League game.
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