Previewing The 40-Man Roster Deadline

Image credit: Jesus Sanchez (Photo by Cliff Welch)

One of the key dates of the offseason arrives Tuesday, as prospects all around baseball find out where they stand. Every team must have its 40-man roster set by 8 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Nov. 20. Any player who meets Rule 5 eligibility requirements who is not on the 40-man roster by that deadline will be available in the Rule 5 draft.

The decision is a big one for minor league players. Being added to the 40-man roster not only includes an automatic invitation to big league spring training, but also a significant salary bump for players whether they play in the majors or not.

Here’s a look at how every team stands as of 12 pm ET on Monday. This list will continue to be updated as rosters get tweaked over the next day and a half.

Before diving into every team, here’s a look at who has roster space and who faces a crunch at the roster deadline.

Top Five Teams Up Against The Limit

The Rays have already traded RHP Chih-Wei Hu to the Indians to clear a roster spot, and they dealt LHP Genesis Cabrera and OF Justin Williams at the July trade deadline in preparation for this roster crunch, but they still have to make additional moves to clear needed spots.

1. Tampa Bay Rays
2. San Diego Padres
3. St. Louis Cardinals
4. Colorado Rockies
5. Los Angeles Angels

Top Five Teams With Room To Add

The Mariners are considering slipping into a full rebuild. With 40-man roster space to spare, they have picked up a pair of priority minor league free agents by offering the inducement of a 40-man roster spot, which brings the aforementioned larger base salary. They could add a couple more players by trading with teams who need to clear roster spots.

1. Seattle Mariners
2. Texas Rangers
3. Arizona Diamondbacks
4. Kansas City Royals
5. Philadelphia Phillies


National League East

Atlanta Braves
Current 40-man roster number: 40 (after update)

Update:  The Braves announced Tuesday they have added the contracts of C Alex Jackson, RHP Jacob Webb, RHP Patrick Weigel and RHP Huascar Ynoa to the 40-man roster. 

The Braves already added RHP Touki Toussaint during the season. RHP Huascar Ynoa has not pitched above high Class A, but he has good enough stuff that a rebuilding team could take a chance stashing him in their bullpen. RHP Patrick Weigel is working back from Tommy John surgery, but he was a promising enough prospect pre-surgery that it would be risky to leave him unprotected. C Alex Jackson is a tougher decision. He has power potential and some promise behind the plate, but he’s struggled to hit and still needs a lot of work defensively, making him a tough player to carry on a major league roster all season. RHP Josh Graham has shown some flashes of promise as a reliever.

Miami Marlins
Current 40-man roster number: 40 (after update)

Update: Miami made a host of moves Tuesday. 

The Brewers traded four players who were one year away from needing to be added to the 40-man roster to acquire MVP Christian Yelich. As such, it will be hard for the Marlins to leave any of the four unprotected — they were, after all, the prospects worthy of being swapped for an MVP. OF Monte Harrison needs to cut his strikeouts, but he has as much upside potential as any position player in the Marlins system, so he’s an easy decision. RHP Jorge Guzman’s control took a big step backwards in 2018, but he is still one of the hardest-throwers in baseball and an easy add to the 40-man roster. 2B Isan Diaz gets on base and has more power potential than most middle infielders. RHP Jordan Yamamoto has a quality curveball, but his lack of consistent fastball velocity (he can touch 93-94 mph but also dips to 87-88) may make him a tougher decision.

New York Mets
Current 40-man roster number: 38 

Update: The Mets released Jenrry Mejia Tuesday afternoon. Mejia was reinstated from a lifetime PED suspension in July. 

The Mets have no tough choices when it comes to adding players to the 40-man roster. C Ali Sanchez has improved his swing and is a plus defender behind the plate, but he’s a catcher who has yet to play above high Class A, which is a very tough profile. No one else really makes a case to be protected.

Philadelphia Phillies
Current 40-man roster number: 38

Update: The Phillies made several adds Tuesday evening:

The Phillies have plenty of roster space and few players who have to be added to the 40-man roster. RHP Adonis Medina will be added, but after him, the other eligible top prospects all are far enough away where there are cases for leaving them unprotected. SS Arquimedes Gamboa posted a sub-.600 OPS in high Class A. 2B Daniel Brito doesn’t have much position versatility and has little experience above low Class A. RHP Tom Eshelman was a key part of the Ken Giles trade, but his below-average stuff has caught up to him in Triple-A. RHP Luke Leftwich has a solid season in Double-A, but lacks the plus-plus stuff teams normally look for in Rule 5 relievers.

Washington Nationals

Update: Borque has been added to the 40-man roster

Current 40-man roster number: 36 (after update)

3B Drew Ward hasn’t put everything together offensively in the high minors since making it to Double-A Harrisburg in 2017, but he’s still only 23 despite being in the Nationals system since 2013. He was left unprotected and unpicked last year. He did show improvement in a return to Harrisburg and has power potential. The Nationals have three catchers on their 40-man and C Jakson Reetz has never seemed to figure things out offensively. But Reetz has solid defensive skills that could allow him to serve in a backup role on a rebuilding team that hopes he can re-discover an offensive skillset that got him drafted in the third round. With just five outfielders on the 40-man, protecting OF Rafael Bautista makes some sense even though his carrying tool (speed) could be impacted by a season-ending knee injury. Bautista hit well in a brief stint in Triple-A before tearing his ACL, LCL and meniscus in May. When healthy, his speed can be game-changing with 239 stolen bases through seven minor league seasons at an 83 percent success rate. RHP James Bourque took off this season after being moved into a bullpen role and has two plus pitches with control issues (6.4 BB/9 in Double-A). He would entice teams trying to find a potential power reliever if the Nats don’t protect him.

National League Central

Chicago Cubs

Current 40-man roster number: 39 (update)

Update:  The Cubs added LHP Justin Steele to their 40-man roster. Additionally, they claimed LHP Ian Clarkin (White Sox) off Waivers and traded for RHP Rowan Wick (Padres) in exchange for Justin Vosler. IF Jack Reinheimer was claimed off waivers by the Texas Rangers. Johnny Field and Jerry Vasto were outrighted to Triple-A. 

The Cubs have a nearly stocked 40-man roster, but may need to do a little bit of shuffling to find spots for a few of their more intriguing prospects. LHP Justin Steele, who pitched in the Arizona Fall League after recovering from Tommy John surgery, has enough stuff to be a protection consideration. RHP Erick Leal had a breakout season at high Class A after returning from Tommy John surgery and followed up with an excellent showing in the Fall League. INF Jason Vosler put up solid numbers at the upper levels of the system, but is behind several 40-man roster players on the depth chart. RHP Trevor Clifton was unprotected and unpicked last year. He projects to go unprotected again this year, although he did make it to Triple-A.

Cincinnati Reds
Current 40-man roster number: 39 (after update)

Update: The Reds announced one move Tuesday afternoon, adding RHP Jimmy Herget to the 40-man roster. 

Cincinnati already added 2B Shed Long, OF Jose Siri and RHP Tanner Rainey to the 40-man roster. The most likely player to be protected among those currently off the 40-man roster is RHP Jimmy Herget. Herget wasn’t as dominating in 2018 as he was in 2017, but he is still one of the team’s best relief prospects and will be valuable to the Reds as an inexpensive bullpen arm who can go up and down as needed. Other than him, the Reds don’t have any players who they must protect. OF Michael Beltre is athletic and gets on base, but he’s yet to reach Double-A. 1B Gavin LaValley has shown promise in the past, but first basemen who hit .209/.291/.344 in Double-A don’t get taken in the Rule 5 draft. 1B Nick Longhi’s lack of power makes him a safe bet to be left unprotected.

Milwaukee Brewers
Current 40-man roster number: 37

Update: Milwaukee added two more to its 40-man Tuesday night. 

The Brewers switch from rebuilding club to consistent playoff contender has shifted the calculus of who gets protected and who doesn’t. There’s no one currently off the 40-man roster who is a sure bet to be added. 1B Jake Gatewood has plenty of power, but his lack of selectivity (career .297 on-base percentage) to go with that power makes affects his value. RHP Cody Ponce is a strike-thrower who lacks plus stuff, which makes him a tough Rule 5 pick as well. LHP Nathan Kirby, the club’s supplemental first-round pick in 2015 returned to the mound in 2018 after Tommy John surgery and nerve transposition surgery and showed the rust of having missed more than two seasons. RHP Trey Supak has a solid fastball/curveball combination, but there are plenty of pitchers with similar stuff who will be Rule 5 eligible.

Pittsburgh Pirates
Current 40-man roster number: 40

Update: The Pirates filled up their 40-man right before Tuesday’s deadline. 

RHP Mitch Keller is one of the easiest roster addition decisions any team faces this week. Similarly, SS Cole Tucker is an easy call. Beyond that, the Pirates have a few tougher decisions. OF Jason Martin went unprotected and unpicked last year, but he hit .325/.392/.522 at Double-A last season before struggling a promotion to Triple-A. The trade of OF Jordan Luplow opens up a path for Martin to be a fourth outfielder with the Pirates in 2019. If he’s not protected, he could fill a similar role for a rebuilding club elsewhere as a Rule 5 pick. RHP Gage Hinsz has shown promise, but he’s just getting back onto the mound after missing all season recovering from heart surgery and struggled the last time he pitched in 2017 at high Class A.

St. Louis Cardinals
Current 40-man roster number: 40 (after update)

Update: The Cardinals added LHP Genesis Cabrera, OF Lane Thomas, INF Ramon Urias and RHP Ryan Helsley to their 40-man roster and DFA”s RHPs Conner Greene & Derian Gonzalez Tuesday afternoon. Their 40-man roster is full as of 2:15 p.m. ET. 

The Cardinals have two open spots and three obvious players to protect in LHP Genesis Cabrera, OF Lane Thomas and RHP Ryan Helsley. 2B Max Schrock had a rough season at Triple-A, but his track record of hitting while playing the middle infield gives him a strong case to be protected as well. RHPs Roel Ramirez and Junior Fernandez can both reach the upper 90s out of the bullpen, while C Dennis Ortega is one of the best defensive catchers in the system. The Cardinals already waived INF Greg Garcia to open up one 40-man spot. Short of unloading disappointing LHP Brett Cecil and the $22.5 million he’s owed through 2020, it’s a challenge to find more spots with few obvious candidates to be let go.

National League West

Arizona Diamondbacks
Current 40-man roster number: 38 (after update)

Update: Arizona outrighted two pitchers — Artie Lewicki and Braden Shipley — Tuesday afternoon, freeing up two more spots on its 40-man roster, then announced they additions of RHP Taylor Clarke, 1B Kevin Cron, RHP Joel Payamps, RHP Bo Takahashi and RHP Emilio Vargas to the 40-man roster.

The Diamondbacks don’t have any sure bets, but they have a number of candidates who could at least make a case for a 40-man spot. RHP Emilio Vargas had a breakout season this year and his high-spin fastball and mystifying curveball make for a nice combination, but he’s not big league ready. You can find evaluators who are intrigued by RHP Taylor Clarke, and they all note how hard it is to evaluate a pitcher who is trying to survive in Triple-A Reno. Clarke has a 93-94 mph fastball and a willingness to beat hitters up in the zone, even though he was pitching at a place where mistakes travel 450+ feet. 1B Kevin Cron also gets dinged by Reno. He hit .309 with 22 home runs, but that’s seen as a pretty routine year at Reno for a soon-to-be 26-year-old without position versatility. OF Marcus Wilson still has promising tools, but center fielders who hit .235/.309/.369 in the California League are not likely candidates to get picked in the Rule 5 draft.

Colorado Rockies
Current 40-man roster number: 40 (after update)

Update: The Rockies filled out their 40-man roster late Tuesday afternoon. 


The Rockies also dealt RHP Jefry Valdez to the Yankees in exchange for RHP Jordan Foley. 

The good news is for the Rockies is they have three open roster spots and three obvious players to add. The bad news is they have a host of other players who need to be added, or they risk being raided in the Rule 5 draft. OF Sam Hilliard and RHP Ryan Castellani are two of organization’s Top 10 prospects and RHP Justin Lawrence is their closer of the future, making them easy calls to be added. Beyond them are a host of players who would be appealing in the Rule 5 draft if they aren’t protected. 3B Josh Fuentes just won the Triple-A Pacific Coast League’s MVP award and mixes power, speed and occasional flashy defense at third base. 1B Roberto Ramos packs 70-grade raw power from the left side, a solid eye and elite makeup. 1B Brian Mundell expertly manages the strike zone and makes consistent contact while exhibiting hard-to-find leadership qualities. LHP Breiling Eusebio sits in the mid-90s and flashes both a swing-and-miss curveball and changeup, although he’s coming off Tommy John surgery and is yet to pitch above low Class A. C Dom Nunez doesn’t project to hit but has some reputable catch-and-throw skills and Double-A experience. The Rockies do have a few candidates on their 40-man for removal—namely RHP Rayan Gonzalez, OF Mike Tauchman and 1B Jordan Patterson—but they all have compelling cases to be kept as well, further muddying Colorado’s decisions to come.

Los Angeles Dodgers
Current 40-man roster number: 40 (after update)


The Dodgers have a fairly clear 40-man roster picture with two open spots and C Keibert Ruiz—arguably the top catching prospect in baseball—the only obvious player they have to protect. The final spot is interesting. RHP Yadier Alvarez pitches in the upper 90s and flashes two plus breaking balls, but horrid control renders his raw stuff moot. Still, the flashes he shows—plus the $16 million investment the Dodgers made in him—makes him a potential 40-man addition. 3B/1B Edwin Rios boasts a potent lefthanded bat with plus power and improving defense and would already be in the majors on a second-division team, but he’s blocked in L.A. by Justin TurnerCody BellingerMax Muncy and David Freese on the corners. 3B Cristian Santana is a frustrating mix of youth, plus power, plus defense and terrible breaking ball recognition, while 1B/3B Matt Beaty is an excellent pure hitter but is also 25 without a sure position. Another corner bat, 1B/3B Connor Joe, experienced a rebirth with a swing change at the upper levels and could contribute as soon as next year. RHP Josh Sborz started touching 97 mph with his move to the bullpen this season while 2B/SS Drew Jackson brings plus speed, a plus arm and improving power from a middle infield spot. Rios has the strongest case after Ruiz and Alvarez to be protected (with C Rocky Gale a candidate to be removed from the 40-man to make room) but beyond him, the Dodgers have some tough decisions to make.

San Diego Padres
Current 40-man roster number: 40 (after update)

Update: San Diego has spent most of Tuesday wheeling and dealing. They traded Colten Brewer to the Red Sox in exchange for Esteban Quiroz; then dealt RHP Rowan Wick to the Cubs for 3B Jason Vosler; then finally dealt RHP Walker Lockett to the Indians in exchange for RHP Ignacio Feliz. The club DFA’d RHP Colin Rea, IF Allen Cordoba and Cory Spangenberg. The team also DFA’d 3B Christian Villanueva, who will reportedly be purchased by a Japanese team.

This cleared space to add C Austin Allen, IF Ty France, OF Edward Olivares, RHP Pedro Avila, RHP Anderson Espinoza, RHP Chris Paddack and RHP Gerardo Reyes(^) to the 40-man. 

The Padres have a full 40-man roster and a number of players they need to add, headlined by RHPs Chris Paddack and Anderson Espinoza and C Austin Allen. RHP Pedro Avila, 3B Ty France and OF Edward Olivares are the best prospects among the other candidates who have a case, with France in particular leading the charge after leading the Padres system in total bases and tying for the lead in home runs while at Double-A and Triple-A in 2018. The good news is the Padres have very obvious candidates to remove from their 40-man. RHPs Colten Brewer and Rowan Wick are replaceable relievers, while SS Allen Cordoba has shown little—offensively or defensively—to merit holding onto after the Padres made him a Rule 5 pick out of Rookie ball. Those are the obvious three to be removed for Paddack, Espinoza and Allen, but it gets complicated from there. RHP Brett Kennedy and SS Javier Guerra are fringe big leaguers at best, but the Padres need both in the short-term with Kennedy providing needed rotation depth and Guerra their only real shortstop option with Freddy Galvis a free agent. C Luis Torrens and RHP Walker Lockett are two other candidates for 40-man removal, but both have shown enough to warrant holding onto. In the end, trading from their depth of versatile natural second basemen (Cory SpangenbergCarlos Asuaje and Jose Pirela) might be the Padres best option to clear additional 40-man space.

San Francisco Giants
Current 40-man roster number: 37 (after update)

Update: Giants RHP Julian Fernandez was claimed off waivers by the Marlins. San Francisco also added RHP Melvin Adon, RHP Sam Coonrod and RHP Logan Webb. 

We’ve yet to see any sign of whether the Giants are going to tear down and rebuild under new boss Farhan Zaidi, but assuming the club is looking to the future, they have the roster room to add more players than a team that’s all-in for 2019. RHP Melvin Adon is still far away, but he has an exceptional fastball that’s been clocked at 102 mph as a starter. RHP Logan Webb has touched 97 mph and was one of the California’s League’s Top 20 prospects, but he has just six starts above A-ball and has been handled delicately since returning from Tommy John. Part of the reason the Yankees were willing to trade RHP Juan De Paula was because he would be Rule 5 eligible this offseason if not added to the 40-man roster. De Paula has all of five innings in full-season ball, so the Giants likely could keep him even if they don’t add him to their 40-man roster. OF Sandro Fabian has physical promise but hasn’t hit enough to justify a roster spot.


American League East

Baltimore Orioles
Current 40-man roster: 40 (after update)

Update: The Orioles added Dillon Tate to the 40-man Tuesday evening and DFA’d Engelb Vielma. 

When a team slides into a full rebuild at midseason, it makes sense to bring up prospects who will need to be added to the 40-man roster in the offseason anyway. So the Orioles promoted OF D.J. Stewart and OF Cedric Mullins, both of whom would have needed to be protected this offseason. RHP Dillon Tate, a pickup from the Yankees in the Zach Britton trade, is the only player they need to add.

Boston Red Sox
Current 40-man roster number: 39 (after update)

Update: The Red Sox announced a handful of roster moves late Tuesday afternoon. 

The Red Sox have a pair of easy decisions in adding 1B/3B Michael Chavis, the club’s No. 2 prospect, and LHP Darwinzon Hernandez, the club’s No. 3 prospect. RHP Travis Lakins also makes sense to add as a nearly MLB-ready reliever with Triple-A experience. 1B Josh Ockimey has power, but he is behind several players (including Chavis) on the club’s first base depth chart.

New York Yankees
Current 40-man roster number: 39 (after update)

Update: The Yankees added RHP Joe Harvey to their 40-man roster Tuesday night. The Rockies also dealt RHP Jefry Valdez to the Yankees in exchange for RHP Jordan Foley. 

The Yankees figure to make several additions this winter via free agency or trade, so the group of minor leaguers they protect is likely to be small. RHP Erik Swanson, a product of the 2016 trade that sent Carlos Beltran to the Rangers, is about the only certainty to land a spot. Powerful INF Dermis Garcia, who is beginning to dabble as a pitcher, is eligible as well but still crude enough that teams won’t try to stash him on their big league roster all season long. OF Isiah Gilliam has intriguing power but not enough to warrant protecting.

Tampa Bay Rays
Current 40-man roster: 40 (after update)






The Rays knew this reckoning was coming and have made numerous moves to try to avert their 40-man roster crunch. LHP Genesis Cabrera and OF Justin Williams were traded to the Cardinals in July in part to help clear 40-man roster space, but the Rays are still going to have to jettison some players to make room even after trading RHP Chih-Wei Hu on Monday. OF Jesus Sanchez is one of the team’s best prospects and will be added. LHP Brock Burke was impressive this season between high Class A and Double-A and also appears to be an easy decision. RHP Ian Gibaut is ready to pitch in a big league bullpen in 2019, so the Rays will likely make sure he’s added. OF Joe McCarthy is a tougher call with such a tight 40-man roster. He has some versatility in the outfield and a solid swing, but he projects most likely as a fourth outfielder. On a thinner team he’d be an easy addition, but with the Rays his situation is murkier.

Toronto Blue Jays
Current 40-man roster number: 40 (after update)

Update: The Blue Jays added several righties to their 40-man. 

Recently acquired RHP Hector Perez is an easy decision to add to the 40-man roster. After him, there are a few tougher calls. RHP Jordan Romano has a 92-95 mph fastball and a promising slider, but he’s been more solid than spectacular at Double-A. RHP Patrick Murphy has bounced back well from thoracic outlet syndrome surgery. He has a big fastball and was extremely productive at high Class A Dunedin (10-5, 2.64). OF Forrest Wall was a 2014 supplemental first round pick, but a position switch and his lack of power (.111 isolated power in 2018) hurt his attractiveness to other teams.

American League Central

Chicago White Sox
Current 40-man roster number: 39 (after update)


As the White Sox continue to rebuild, they have plenty of spots on their 40-man roster to protect players who might be of interest to other clubs. RHP Dylan Cease, who ranks as their No. 3 prospect and was acquired in the Jose Quintana trade of 2017, is certain to land a spot. C Seby Zavala, who dealt with injuries this year but nonetheless made it to Triple-A, is a solid addition candidate as well as a close-to-the-big-leagues catcher who hit in Double-A. LHP Kodi Medeiros, acquired from the Brewers in 2018, fits on the 40-man roster as a reliever who could be a low-cost addition to the bullpen. RHP Spencer Adams has had plenty of success throughout the minors, but it’s going to be hard for an analytics department to be be comfortable selecting a player in the Rule 5 draft who struck out four batters per nine innings in Triple-A. RHP Jordan Stephens might get some interest as a low-cost back-end option, but the White Sox may take that chance and leave him exposed.

Cleveland Indians
Current 40-man roster number: 40 (after update). 

Update: The Indians rounded out their 40-man Tuesday night by adding 1B Bobby Bradley, LHP Sam Hentges, RHP Jean Carlos Mejia and acquiring RHP Walker Lockett via the Padres. 

Because they have so many free agents, the Indians do not face a 40-man roster crunch. 1B Bobby Bradley and LHP Sam Hentges are easy additions. Both rank among Cleveland’s top 10 prospects and Bradley figures to make his major league debut in 2019 after this season finishing at Triple-A Columbus. Hentges came back strong from Tommy John surgery and pitched well at high Class A Lynchburg. They have a few other intriguing eligible players, such as LHP Rob Kaminsky, who worked out of the bullpen this season after missing almost all of 2017 due to injury. The Indians have already been a popular trade partner for teams looking to make room on their own 40-man rosters, acquiring OF Jordan Luplow and INF Max Moroff from Pittsburgh last week and RHP Chih-Wei Hu from Tampa Bay on Monday.

Detroit Tigers
Current 40-man roster number: 39

The Tigers made the easy decision on Monday to add RHP Franklin Perez. Injuries derailed his season, but their No. 4 prospect is still young and too talented to be left unprotected. The Tigers also added LHP Gregory Soto, who has a fastball that touches 96 mph but struggled with walks (5.6 BB/9) at high Class A Lakeland. LHP Tyler Alexander doesn’t figure to be protected, but could get a look by teams searching for pitching depth. OF Jose Azocar is likely to be left unprotected, with not enough power for a corner outfielder. OF Derek Hill has some tools, but a scattered injury history and rough 2018 season make him likely to be passed over. One interesting call could be RHP Anthony Castro, who worked his way back from Tommy John surgery in 2015. A good changeup and three-pitch mix make him a possible low leverage relief option in the near future.

Kansas City Royals
Current 40-man roster number: 40 (after update)

Update: The Royals made several moves Tuesday afternoon. 

RHP Josh Staumont has never thrown strikes consistently as a pro with a his 7.1 BB/9 rate for his pro career. But with a fastball that reaches 100 mph and the Royals rebuilding, they made add him and hope he can learn to throw enough strikes to be a power reliever one day. Beyond him, there’s not another protection candidate who is an obvious risk to be lost in the Rule 5 draft. RHP Scott Blewett showed promise at times, but durable innings eaters are rarely taken in the Rule 5 draft. LHP Foster Griffin competes with below-average stuff. C Chase Vallot’s 43 percent strikeout rate makes him unappealing even with his considerable raw power.

Minnesota Twins
Current 40-man roster number: 39


The Twins have middle infield prospects who fit more in their long-term plans than 2B/SS Nick Gordon, but he’s an easy addition as a middle infielder with plenty of experience in the upper minors. The club’s 2015 first-round pick LHP Tyler Jay is a much tougher decision. While he has pedigree, he also has struggled to stay healthy and his stuff is not as sharp as when he was drafted. After a mediocre season in Double-A this year, it’s hard to see him sticking on a big league roster all of next season. OF Lamonte Wade has a long track record of hitting for average and getting on-base (.391 career OBP). He’s stretched in center field, but could be a fourth outfielder candidate if he isn’t added to the 40-man roster. 1B Lewin Diaz was left off the 40-man last year because the Twins felt like it was a reasonable risk that a productive low Class A first baseman wouldn’t be picked. It’s an even more reasonable risk that Diaz will go unprotected and unpicked this year after he hit .223/.254/.344 for high Class A Fort Myers. It’s hard to carry a true 2B as a big league backup, so it may be worthwhile for the Twins to leave 2B Luis Arraez unprotected, but he has outstanding bat-to-ball skills and has reached Double-A.

American League West

Houston Astros
Current 40-man roster number: 37 (after update)

Update: The Astros added three players late Tuesday: RHP Bryan Abreu, RHP Rogelio Armenteros and C Garrett Stubbs.

The Astros have one easy decision. With only two catchers on the 40-man roster, it makes plenty of sense to add Triple-A catcher Garrett Stubbs. But the Astros also face a number of tougher calls. RHP Rogelio Armenteros make sense for teams looking for back-of-the-rotation starting pitching depth. RHP Bryan Abreu is far away, having just reached low Class A in 2018, but he struck out 15 per nine innings and has one of the best curveballs in the Astros system, giving him a fastball/curveball combination that could entice a rebuilding team. RHP Riley Ferrell has shown his fastball has recovered after Tommy John surgery shoulder surgery and he misses a lot of bats, but his wildness (5.9 BB/9 in 2018) makes him a player who may either skate through the Rule 5 draft unpicked or someone who is offered back if he shows that kind of wildness in spring training.

Los Angeles Angels
Current 40-man roster number: 40 (after update)

Update: The Angels added LHP Jose Suarez, INF Luis Rengifo and RHP Luis Madero to the 40-man. They DFA’d INF Jose Fernandez and RHP Parker Bridwell.

3B Taylor Ward was promoted to the big leagues late in August, so he’s already been added. LHP Jose Suarez has turned himself into one of the Angels best pitching prospects and will undoubtedly be protected. 2B/SS Luis Rengifo had a breakout season in 2018 and could fit in the club’s big league plans in 2019, so he’s also an easy addition. After him, the Angels have a few players who are too far away to need to be added. SS Leonardo Rivas is one of the club’s better middle infield prospects, but he hit .233 in low Class A in 2018.

Oakland Athletics
Current 40-man roster number: 40 (after update)



The A’s have a few players who are relatively easy decisions to add. SS Richie Martin had the best year of his career at Double-A this season. As a shortstop showing flashes with the bat, he’s a worthwhile addition. While RHPs James Kaprielian and Grant Holmes have both battled significant injury issues, both have enough promise that they would be at significant risk of being taken in the Rule 5 if left unprotected, and the ability to stow them on the disabled list at some point in the season would make it easier to fulfill Rule 5 roster requirements. OFs Skye Bolt and Luis Barrera could also draw some Rule 5 interest if unprotected. Barrera was unprotected and unpicked last season, but he hit .328/.378/.450 in Double-A with 70-grade speed in center field, making him a potentially attractive option. Bolt fits a the fourth outfield profile that often gets picked in the Rule 5 draft. Well-traveled C Jonah Heim is likely to be left unprotected after batting .182 in Double-A.

Seattle Mariners
Current 40-man roster number: 35

Update:  The Mariners added Erik Swanson to their 40-man roster Tuesday afternoon, one day after acquiring him in the James Paxton trade from New York. Justus Sheffield was also added to the 40-man. 

The byproduct of having one of the worst farm systems in baseball is you have plenty of 40-man roster spots. While some teams are trying to figure out how to fit everyone onto their 40-man roster, the Mariners have been able to sign minor league free agents (RHP Ruben Alaniz and INF Dylan Moore) to major leagues deals. The Mariners also added OF Braden Bishop to the roster this weekend. After him, there are a lot of candidates but no sure-fire additions. RHP Art Warren throws hard and has reached Double-A, but he spent most of the season on the DL with a shoulder injury and struggled to throw strikes. He’s unlikely to be picked and to stick on a roster all next year, but with this many available roster spots, they could add him as well.

Texas Rangers
Current 40-man roster number: 37 (after update)

Update: Texas added four players: RHP Edinson Volquez, OF Scott Heineman, RHP Wei-Chieh Huang and LHP Taylor Hearn. 

The rebuilding Rangers have roster space and not a lot of prospects who have to be added. LHP Taylor Hearn is a slam dunk addition as a lefty with big stuff and Double-A experience. RHP Michael Matuella, the club’s 2015 third-round pick who signed for first-round money, has seen his pro career ruined by injuries so far. The amount of free roster space could help OF Scott Heineman find a spot as a productive outfielder with Triple-A experience.

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