Phillies unlikely to participate in Rule 5 Draft

Phillies unlikely to participate in Rule 5 Draft

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The Phillies have a full complement of players on their 40-man roster, so they are not expected to select anybody in Thursday's Rule 5 Draft.

It would be the first time that has happened since 2011.

But the Phillies could lose a couple of players in the annual event, which begins at 9 a.m. ET. The top two candidates are outfielder Andrew Pullin and left-hander Hoby Milner. Others like right-hander Seranthony Dominguez could be taken, although he has not played above Class A Lakewood, so it is unlikely he would stick on a big league roster for the entire 2017 season.

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Pullin, 23, hit a combined .322 with 21 doubles, two triples, 14 home runs, 51 RBIs and an .885 OPS in 359 plate appearances with Class A Advanced Clearwater and Double-A Reading in 2016. Pullin retired from baseball early last season, but he decided to return to the game in May. Milner, 25, posted a 2.49 ERA in 49 appearances with Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Other notable Phillies prospects eligible for the Rule 5 Draft are right-hander Miguel Nunez, shortstop Malquin Canelo and outfielders Carlos Tocci and Jose Pujols.

Boras talks Hellickson
Agent Scott Boras met with reporters on Wednesday, and he briefly discussed right-hander Jeremy Hellickson's decision to accept the Phillies' one-year, $17.2 million qualifying offer.

Hellickson's value dipped because any team that had signed him would have forfeited its top unprotected Draft pick.

"It might be fair to say that there's a benefit and a detriment in Jeremy's case," Boras said. "He was able to secure a one-year contract, but without the qualifying offer, I obviously think he would have done a lot better and certainly gotten a four- or five-year contract. So the qualifying offer, it's pretty clear you don't want to give away No. 1 picks, particularly if you're a developmental team. So the market for the player is reduced from 30 teams really to almost three or four."

Ellis signs with Marlins
Catcher A.J. Ellis signed a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Marlins. The Phillies had expressed some interest in bringing back Ellis, but they always preferred to get a look at Andrew Knapp, who spent 2016 at Triple-A. Knapp is expected to open the season as Cameron Rupp's backup with top catching prospect Jorge Alfaro expected to open with Lehigh Valley.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.