It's that time of year when teams get to showcase the remainder of their 40-man talent. It is also the time of year when speculation surrounding the upcoming 40-man moves necessary to set the team for the next season starts to get a bit wild and crazy. There has been some speculation that such 40-man considerations might be responsible for the Diamondbacks not calling up certain players for a look in September.
Where do the Diamondbacks stand with 40-man considerations? Who might be dropped? More importantly, who might be added? Here's a quick look at some 40-man roster considerations, starting with players that could wind up off the roster.
Free Agent Departures
These players come off the moment the World Series ends. The only reason to make room for them is if the team brings them back under a new contract. One of them might, but for right now, let us assume that they let him walk, preferring to go with other internal candidates.
- Jarrod Saltalamacchia
- David Hernandez
If the team comes to the decision that it is not going to tender a player a contract, they can be dropped just as if they were a free agent. There are two names here as well, though I have a hunch one will still be around for at least a bit longer (more on that in a bit).
- Jhoulys Chacin
- Jeremy Hellickson
These players, by virtue of their performances (or lack thereof) are all potential cuts from the 40-man roster.
- A.J. Schugel
- Will Locante
- Dominic Leone (probably retained)
- Jamie Romak
- Keith Hessler
These candidates' futures on the 40-man roster are based largely on how the front office treats the rest of this list and the free agent market.
- Aaron Hill - still owed $12 million in 2016, but has no place on the team. I expect him to be traded or outrighted.
- Josh Collmenter - I expect the team to pick up his $1.82 million option for 2016. If they don't though, he would join those on the free agent list.
- Oscar Hernandez - All but certain Hernandez is demoted to Mobile next season. His presence on the 40-man could largely be dictated by what the team does about their catching situation in 2016.)
- Tuffy Gosewisch - As he will not be ready for the beginning of the season, it is entirely likely they let Gosewisch fly through the process and send him back to Reno under DFA.
That makes 13 potential candidates to be excised from the 40-man roster. However, there are some big wild cards in there. The team needs to be willing to eat a ton of cash to unload Aaron Hill (even via trade). While non-tendering Chacin makes perfect sense, non-tendering Hellickson is less likely, even though he is set to make a fairly hefty pile of cash. While I would not be shocked to see him moved between October and April, I would be fairly surprised if they cut ties with him before the 40-man roster needs to be finalized.
Considering some of these factors, it looks like the Diamondbacks could still cut nine players from the 40-man roster, retaining Hellickson, Leone, Hill, and Collmenter.
What about players that need to be added to the 40-man to be protected from the Rule V draft?
While the list of potential Rule V targets is fairly long, very few of the names on it inspire immediate reactions to protect them. In alphabetical order, the following names will all be subject to Rule V acquisition. Those most likely to actually be protected have been marked.
- Gabriel Arias
- Jake Barrett
- Zach Borenstein*
- J.R. Bradley
- Miller Diaz*
- Kaleb Fleck*
- Todd Glaesmann
- Alex Glenn*
- Gabriel Guerrero*
- Sean Jamieson
- Matt Koch*
- Evan Marzilli*
- Kevin Munson
- Peter O'Brien*
- John Omahen*
- Blayne Weller
Given that the team went out of their way to trade for Guerrero, Diaz, and Koch this season, it is hard to imagine Dave Stewart exposing them to Rule V considerations, especially the toolsy but raw Guerrero. That's nine names most likely to be protected if the team wants to cut only nine from above. More cuts would allow more protection. However, given organizational attitudes towards some of the players left on the list, it would not be at all surprising to see them exposed.
Of course, things will change again once Spring Training is underway. It is not entirely unlikely that room will be made for Aaron Blair at some point, so that he can join the 25-man list by the time the team breaks camp. There will undoubtedly be a free agent acquisition or two during the season as well. Given that teams are showing interest in Jake Lamb, Brandon Drury, and Chris Owings, among other players, it is also possible (and perhaps even likely) that some players not listed here, but on the 25 and 40-man rosters will be moved. This offseason is shaping up to be one to watch carefully for the Diamondbacks.