40 Man Roster Decisions Due Soon

16 Nov

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net

I expect that the Twins will announce their 40 man roster additions on Friday afternoon, but just in case they announce them a little early, I’m going to make my 40 man roster decisions. I wrote an article for the TwinsCentric Offseason GM Handbook on this decision that the organization needs to make every year.  This will be some of the content from the handbook, but it will be updated, and since I expect the decision to be made in the next two days, I will give my final thoughts on who I think would be added. I will break it into The Givens, the Strongly Considered, the Have To Think Abouts, and the others who are eligible.

Who Must be Added? Players who signed when they were less than 19 in 2007 must be protected or potentially lost. Players that were signed when they were 19 or older in 2008 also have to be added. Typically, this means that high school players drafted in 2007 are eligible, and college players drafted in 2007.

So here are my predictions, for your consideration. I will also put a number after the name for where I would rank their likelihood of being added, relative to the other options.

The Givens

  • Oswaldo Arcia (1) – He has the kind of bat that someone is willing to put on a big league bench even if he isn’t ready.
  • Carlos Gutierrez (2) – The former first-rounder had a tough 2011 season, but if healthy, his sinking fastball and ground ball rate make him a given.

Strongly Considered

  • Tom Stuifbergen (3) – Improved velocity, has three pitches, knows how to pitch, comes up big in big situations, incredible in international play, made one start in Rochester after spending the season in Ft. Myers.
  • Angel Morales (4) – missed most of 2011 with an elbow injury. Came back six weeks after arthroscopic elbow surgery. Although the power hasn’t shown as much, no one doubts he has it. Good speed and defense. Works counts. Can he stick on a big league roster? He is younger than Aaron Hicks.
  • Manuel Soliman (5) – Pitched in Beloit in 2011, so the question is whether or not he would be able to remain on a big league roster. He’s only pitched for 3 years. He throws hard. He could be a bullpen arm if he can develop a second pitch. He could be an impact starter if he develops a third pitch.
  • Tyler Robertson (6) – Lefty came on strong as the New Britain closer in the 2nd half of the 2011 season. 15 saves, 10 wins, and pitched well. He was the 3rd round pick out of high school in 2006 (after Parmelee and Benson were taken in the first two rounds). He’s young and left-handed and smart, but the velocity is low.
  • Andrew Albers (7) – Because he was a free agent when the Twins signed him last spring, he is eligible for the Rule 5 draft. Like Robertson, he doesn’t throw hard, but he is very aggressive on the mound. Already 26 years old, he was my choice as the Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year this year when he pitched well in Ft. Myers and New Britain, in the bullpen and making a few starts.

Have to be Considered

  • Cole DeVries (8) – Sometimes last impressions matter, and DeVries was tremendous in the Arizona Fall League.
  • Bruce Pugh (9) – Sometimes last impressions matter, and Pugh falls down to this level from the Strongly considered due to a rough AFL.

Others Who Are Eligible

The Twins took Anthony Slama off of the 40 man roster last month. He could not become a free agent, but he is eligible for the Rule 5 draft. If I’m a GM, I absolutely would take Slama with a Rule 5 pick. He’s ready for the big leagues, and he can actually pitch out of a bullpen. I can’t imagine that the Twins would add him back to the 40 man roster after taking him off last month, but maybe the change at GM will give a different thought.

Phil Dumatrait and Brian Dinkelman were also taken off the 40 man roster. Dinkelman elected to become a free agent because he had been outrighted for the second time. He resigned with the Twins on a minor league deal last week. Dumatrait is a veteran and became a free agent, but yesterday, he returned to the Twins on a minor league deal. Both of these guys are eligible.

Others: Jairo Perez, James Beresford, Anderson Hidalgo, Steve Hirschfeld, Edgar Ibarra, Danny Lehmann, Brett Jacobson, Nelvin Fuentes, Jhon Garcia, Evan Bigley, Bobby Lanigan (10), Danny Rams, Mark Dolenc, Chris Cates, Jonathan Goncalves, Josmil Pinto, Spencer Steedley, Michael Tarsi, Jairo Rodriguez, Miguel Munoz, Wang-Wei Lin, Reggie Williams, Pedro Guerra, Rory Rhodes, Shooter Hunt, Nate Hanson, Deibinson Romero, Michael Hollimon, Ray Chang.

What Will Happen?

With the signing of Jamey Carroll, the Twins now have 35 players on their 40 man roster. They could add as many as five players, assuming they don’t sign any other big league free agents before the announcement. I would think that the Twins would prefer to leave one spot open on their 40 man roster which means they would likely add four players from above. (The Twins added four players last year – David Bromberg, Joe Benson, Chris Parmelee and Rene Tosoni) Those players are required to remain on the 40 man roster until after spring training next year. So what happens if the Twins want to sign another free agent, but they are already at 40 on the roster? I think many would agree that there are several of the 35 players currently on the 40 man roster that they could take off without missing too much.

Current 40 Man Roster

Here is the 40 man roster as it sits right now:

  • Pitchers: Scott Baker, Nick Blackburn, David Bromberg, Alex Burnett, Scott Diamond, Brian Duensing, Jeff Gray (out of options), Deolis Guerra, Liam Hendriks, Jim Hoey, Francisco Liriano, Matt Maloney (out of options), Jeff Manship, Jose Mijares, Lester Oliveros, Carl Pavano, Glen Perkins, Kevin Slowey, Anthony Swarzak (out of options), Esmerling Vasquez (out of options), Kyle Waldrop.
  • Catchers: Drew Butera, Joe Mauer
  • Infielders: Jamey Carroll, Alexi Casilla, Luke Hughes (out of options), Justin Morneau, Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Chris Parmelee, Trevor Plouffe (out of options), Danny Valencia.
  • Outfielders: Joe Benson, Ben Revere, Denard Span, Rene Tosoni

Feel free to comment, ask questions and make your predictions.


20 Responses to “40 Man Roster Decisions Due Soon”

  1. joelthing November 17, 2011 at 12:04 am #

    Seems the Twins also lose a couple of bodies in the minor league portion of the draft. Any likely losses here?

    • Seth November 17, 2011 at 1:14 am #

      No one provides access to the AAA and AA rosters. But the Twins have added and lost players in the minor league portions.

  2. joelthing November 17, 2011 at 12:06 am #

    Also, the reason you don’t get rid of everyone (Butera, Manship and such) is that you need to have someone to drop if you sign a free agent, since you can’t drop any of the four guys you are likely to add to the roster this fall. You can also cut loose Gray, Mahoney and Vasquez, just to name a few in that arena.And because msot teams are in the same boat, not a bad time to deepsix some guys. Picture Manship being the first casuality.

    Plus, bu signing Dinkelman And Phil D., the Twins can still get $50,000 and not have to pay their 6-year free agent higher salaries if someone else grabs them. If they get them back in the end, theya ctually made money on the deal.

  3. Shane Wahl November 17, 2011 at 1:03 am #

    Manship, Hoey, Butera, and Burnett are easy choices for me. Mijares is next. I would like to see the Twins add a bunch of actual prospects to the 40-man.

    • Seth November 17, 2011 at 1:17 am #

      I don’t understand why so many seem to think it makes sense to think that Manship should be dropped. He’s got a good fastball, great curveball, good mound presense and such. He missed most of 2011 with injury, so I don’t get why people would give up on him.

      And Burnett has serious stuff and talent. No, we haven’t seen it often enough with the Twins, but he’s 23. He just never really got any AAA time, and he’s got an option year left.

      Hoey still has an option left. I agree on Maloney and Gray. I think they’re the types that could go through waivers if the Twins did take them off.

  4. Bill in Sarasota November 17, 2011 at 7:34 am #

    If a player is taken off the 40 then another team can claim him by putting him on their 40.

    If a player is taken in Rule V then another needs to keep him on their 25 roster.

    I think the Twins will leave two spots open – one Rule V pick and one for another FA.

  5. roger November 17, 2011 at 9:14 am #

    Good morning Seth, I also see the Twins adding three or four players. I agree that Gutierrez and Arcia are must adds. I think that the decision between Morales and Stuifbergen goes to Morales although could go either way. Hopefully, they will keep both.

    Not that it matters, but Is Rhodes eligible? He was signed in July, 2008 shortly before his 17th birthday. That would make him eligible next December.

  6. roger November 17, 2011 at 9:56 am #

    I also think that both Morales and Stuifbergen have a good chance of being taken if they aren’t added. Do both/either stick with the club drafting them or another club, risky!

    As for the others, there are some interesting names that could get picked. DeVries, Robertson, Anders, Soliman, Perez, HIrschfeld, Munoz all could have interest with some teams.

  7. Ian November 17, 2011 at 10:39 am #

    If it’s four, I’d latch onto Arcia, Gutierez, Morales and Robertson (he had a better year at AA than I thought. Seems like he can be a legit bullpen arm and soon). Stuifbergen is nice but he’s 23 and hasn’t really dominated A+. I don’t think anyone would grab him. Soliman’s a tough decision but I don’t think he would stick with another team and have to be offered back.

  8. TT November 17, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

    Teams don’t generally grab right-handers who are 23 years old and pitching in A ball. No matter how successful they are. And Stuifbergen wasn’t all that successful. His international success might change that some, but not all that much. Solimon is the kind of raw hard thrower someone might gamble on .

    Unless Arcia’s defense is a lot better than I think, he is also probably safe. Morales is the kind of player who can be kept on the roster as a late inning defensive replacement and pinch runner. I think both will likely be added to the roster, but Morales is a lot more likely Rule 5 pick for a team.

    As for Slama, he had to pass through waivers. Why would someone pass on paying $25,000 to have him unconditionally and then pay $50,000 to get him conditionally?

    • Seth November 17, 2011 at 12:48 pm #

      I completely agree on Slama. But that’s why I brought it up. He’s a guy who is big league ready, the kind of guy who does/should be taken in the Rule 5. Not sure why someone didn’t claim him which means he likely won’t be taken, but I would (depending on my roster).

      So, you think the only guy the “have to” protect might be Morales.

      • TT November 17, 2011 at 3:42 pm #

        I think Gutierrez is clearly in the “have to protect” category. I just don’t know enough about the others to be sure one way or another.

        The issue of who needs to be protected is different than who the better prospects are. Its a lot easier to find a spot on the active roster for left handed pitchers, slick fielding infielders and rangy outfielders even if they aren’t really ready to play in the major leagues.

        Players like Robertson, Devries and Pugh are more a question of whether they are ready. None of them look like players you are going to carry for a year because of their upside. So you are betting they will be as good or better than the other options.

      • John Gregory November 17, 2011 at 7:13 pm #

        I don’t know what the rules are for a Rule 5 player if he gets injured during the season – does he just take up an ordinary DL slot. (If so, then I would think there’d be all kinds of temptation for hanky-panky.) Considering that Slama ended the season rehabbing an elbow for which the alternative seemed to be TJ surgery, does that make him too much of a risk for some other team to claim?

  9. Dennis Nelson November 17, 2011 at 3:23 pm #

    I like Trevor.

  10. Dennis Nelson November 17, 2011 at 3:25 pm #

    Trevor didn’t do much for a number of years but last year he really came on. I’d keep him. We need decent infielders and Trevor is a good one.

    • Seth November 17, 2011 at 3:30 pm #

      Terry Ryan says that Plouffe is now an outfielder…

  11. FishingMN November 17, 2011 at 5:18 pm #

    If I’m the GM I drop Nishi from the 40 man.

    Assuming you view him as starting in AAA next year any team that grabs him in the Rule V is now liable for his huge salary – they’d be doing us a huge favor (which no one will do).

    • John Gregory November 17, 2011 at 7:09 pm #

      Isn’t it required to keep a player on the 40-man roster if he has a major league contract?

  12. TT November 17, 2011 at 8:00 pm #

    1) There are rules to prevent stashing rule 5 picks on the DL. Essentially, they have to be kept on the major league roster the following year.

    2) Team’s aren’t required to keep players with major league contracts on the 40 player roster. Brendan Harris, for instance, had a major league contract when he was demoted to Rochester in 2010. At least in some cases, the player can refuse assignment. But they give up the guaranteed money.

  13. TT November 17, 2011 at 11:13 pm #

    One player that has been left out of this discussion is Danny Rams. If he is close to being ready defensively to play in the big leagues, I think he warrants protection. A young backup catcher with future power may be worth a roster spot for the right team.

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