PHOENIX -- The Phillies cut ties Tuesday with Michael Saunders and Jeanmar Gomez, but they will not be the only veterans removed from the 25-man roster this summer.
The July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline is a little more than five weeks away. The Phillies should be busy.
"I foresee some changes, obviously," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said before Saturday night's game against the D-backs at Chase Field. "But I can't be a fortune teller. I think we have some players that are pretty desirable, but it's too hard for me to kind of project that type of thing."
Pat Neshek and Howie Kendrick are the most desirable veterans of the group. Neshek is 2-1 with a 0.61 ERA in 32 appearances. He has walked four and struck out 28 in 29 2/3 innings. There are plenty of teams that could use bullpen help. Kendrick is hitting .355 (43-for-121) with eight doubles, one triple, two home runs, 12 RBIs and a .901 OPS.
It would be stunning if Neshek is on the Phillies come Aug. 1. Kendrick would be a surprise, too.
Others like right-handers Jeremy Hellickson and Joaquin Benoit and outfielder Daniel Nava could be traded. But then there are less discussed possibilities like shortstop Freddy Galvis, second baseman Cesar Hernandez and first baseman Tommy Joseph. Triple-A shortstop J.P. Crawford and first baseman Rhys Hoskins and Double-A second baseman Scott Kingery are three of the organization's better prospects, although Crawford's performance has been a major disappointment this season.
But if Crawford suddenly heats up and somebody comes calling for Galvis, who knows? The same could be said at first base and second base.
But really, there should not be any untouchables on this roster. The Phillies must be open to anybody, and they probably will be.
"I think we're certainly open-minded to other promotions or other changes as the season goes on," Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said Tuesday. "But they have to be done for the right reasons. You mentioned trades. If we make trades at the Trade Deadline, that would free up opportunities at the Major League level. Injuries can do the same thing, and so can lack of performance. We're open-minded to other callups. [Cameron Perkins and Hoby Milner] will not be last two Minor Leaguers called up this season. There will likely be more, but we will take it on a case-by-case basis."