The Phillies' underwhelming bench competition makes them a prime candidate to shop the waiver wire for help once the end of Spring Training approaches and teams make their final cuts for a 25 man roster.
A player typically has three option years (certain international signings may have four, i.e. Cesar Hernandez) in which they may be on the team's 40 man roster, but spend time in the minor leagues. After those three years, a player can not be optioned to the minors until he is placed on waivers allowing for other teams to acquire if desired. For perspective on the type of players this usually applies to, the Phillies out-of-options players are John Mayberry, Kevin Frandsen, and Brad Lincoln.
A quick glance around the league will find a handful of names that could hit the waiver wire and could be upgrades over the names the Phillies currently have in camp. In no particular order:
Mike Carp: Probably the longest shot of the entire list to actually be waived, but if the Red Sox wanted to call up Jackie Bradley then there is a chance Carp would be the odd man out. He would be the best LHB option on the Phillies bench. There have been trade whispers surrounding Carp for some time now.
Donnie Murphy: There are rumors that Mike Olt may make the Cubs Opening Day roster, which would make it very hard for Murphy to stay on the roster. Murphy is comparable to Kevin Frandsen, with more power/upside in his bat.
Justin Ruggiano: The Cubs could also shed Ruggiano. I would give the nod to Ruggiano over Mayberry in terms of a player vs player comparison, although his upside to the Phillies might not be as clear.
Carlos Peguero: I will include Peguero strictly because he is left handed, and that seems to be a concern for the Phillies. He's been playing in hitter parks and leagues throughout the minors as well as being a few years old at each level, but his offensive numbers are at least noteworthy and he seems to be a certain cut from the Royals. Speaking of the Royals, their entire projected bench along with Peguero is Out Of Options.
Andrew Romine: The Angels are likely to cut utility man Romine. He can handle SS as well as the other INF positions, has good speed, and bats from both sides of the plate. Compares to Frandsen in terms of relying on lots of contact with low K% and power.
Chris Parmelee: Another candidate purely for his lefty bat, Parmelee is a former top 100 prospect who has came up short in terms of potential, yet will only be 26 this year.
Brandon Guyer: The Rays are trying to make a spot for Guyer on the roster, but is an unproven AAA bat. Guyer is not rated as a typically strong defender, but is a better athlete than someone like Darin Ruf. Could be an interesting pick up if Ruf is kept in the minors while someone like Guyer is given a shot. Both are of the same 'older prospects' ilk, the difference being Guyer has had a longer track record and therefore burned his option years out already.
Engel Beltre: Like the Rays with Guyer, the Rangers are trying to make room for the lefty CF Beltre, but is far from a lock. Beltre was rated among the Rangers top 10 prospects multiple years in the past, but has almost no MLB success to show for it. If he did hit waivers, I believe he would be one of the hotter commodities based on his potential as a strong defender and good enough pop to pair along with speed to survive on offense.
Moises Sierra - MLBTraderumors recently had an article referencing the Blue Jays' desire to keep Sierra on the roster, but their bench is crowded. Sierra, a strong armed RF, is well regarded for raw power and had a impressive short stint last season in the majors. He would be another hot commodity on the waiver wire, turning just 25 this season.
A lot of these names are less than impressive, but either have more future potential than the Phillies current options or have specific attributes that this team is seemingly targeting for their bench this season. In all cases, whether these players make their respective teams or not, their ability to be acquired via trade are likely very reasonable. I would take just about anyone on the aforementioned list over Gwynn Jr., Frandsen, and Mayberry; and could possibly be persuaded to sending Ruf down to start in the minors for a couple of the higher potential candidates. Feel free to add any others in the comment section, there are a few I considered not mentioning.