JY posted his 40 man preview extravaganza over at USSM. I have written about this before, kinda looking at what it might mean for the active roster next season as well as team control. This time around, my thoughts are less about cost and control, and more about the opening day roster.
Currently, the 40 man has 34 names on it, 19 of which are pitchers and 15 position players. Let's start with the pitching side of things.
You can quibble about names or pecking order if you like, but if the M's had to go into next season without adding any pitching, it wouldn't be a disaster. They've been rumored to be looking for a veteran starter, which is probably a good idea, and I wouldn't be opposed to adding to the bullpen either. I'm sure there'll be a Pile(tm), maybe that's enough. It would save them on 40 man spots if they're all minor league invites, but you're getting that kind of quality so... maybe the kids are better? There's also Bawcom, Moran and Snow as arms JY identified as possible additions to the 40 that might be in the mix as well. So there's at least some actual depth here, Maurer and Beavan become your 6/7 (or long man if that's your thing), with the potential for one of Ramirez/Walker/Paxton to be displaced from the rotation by a veteran/Pile starter, or traded. Fun fact, Noesi is now out of options, so unless they want to use him as the long man or make him a full time reliever he's either toast or traded. Hopefully they can get something of value for him, even if it's only a bag of balls but I for one will not be holding my breath.
The position player side of things on the other hand, is much more meh.
Welp. At best, nine guys which is almost certainly generous. Given the state of catching depth in the system plus the experience of the "starters", I would guess that there's at least one ML addition and one or two minor league deals with Sucre starting in AAA. Triunfel is out of options (I'm pretty sure) and could potentially fill the utility IF role, backing up short, second and third but it's not like he offers much with bat or glove, even if he's still young and has some theoretical upside. Ty Kelly needs to be added to the 40 and could be your backup 2B/3B/LF although his glove is poor and while the walks are great, there's not a whole lot else he brings to the table. Montero could be your DH/backup 1B, Ji-man Choi is due to be added and could fit into that mix as well but I doubt it, ditto Peguero as an outfielder (also out of options I think) but I certainly hope not. Romero is a near-lock to be added and could be the starting LF/backup 2B/3B, but he didn't have a great year and may well start in AAA.
Looking at the current state of the 40 man, this team as needs a backup SS, at least one, probably two outfielders... Maybe three if Ackley ends up as the starting second baseman. A catcher, I suspect they'll want Zunino to start and go for a veteran backup type (Hanigan anyone?) plus high minors depth. They also need a DH, but I'm sure we'll sign several of those. So it's looking like the M's need to add at least another four or five position players, leaving only a spot or two free. They could use Sucre, Triunfel and one of the crap outfielders as backups, but with the exception of Sucre, they're all out of options anyway. So if they don't make the team they're not exactly blocking someone we might lose in the rule 5 regardless. It'll be interesting to me to see who they decide to add, and if they DFA any of the fringe guys in order to add anyone. They've got until December 5 to request outright waivers, and until the 9th to outright a player prior to the rule 5 on December 12. So one way or another, we'll have a better idea of what direction they're going in in about three weeks. The winter meetings are 9-12 December, which might see a FA signing/trade or two, but apart from that I don't imagine there's going to a lot of change to the roster before the rule 5, although last year Russell Martin and BJ Upton both signed in the end of November, so maybe not. I just sure hope there are some changes that we can get excited about over the offseason.