Update on the 40-Man Roster

As seen in a "Cardinal Nation" entry this February, the downside of having an excellent farm is having a crowded 40-man roster. I wanted to provide an update and look at the present state of the 40-man, as we consider the trade deadline. If you are unfamiliar with the intricacies of Rule V, wikipedia has a great article on the Rule.

40-Man Roster















K. Greene*




B. Ryan



D. Reyes







M. Boggs

J. Todd







J. Garcia





T. Greene


* Indicates Free Agent After 2009 Season

** Indicates Potential for Removal from 40-Man Roster


Candidates for Eligible for Rule V Seizure







Ottavino* (MEM)

Samuel (SPRF)*

A. Craig* (MEM)

B. Anderson* (MEM)

E. MacLane (MEM)

Furnish (PBCH)

J. Martinez (VSL)

D. Jones* (SPRF)

Garceau (PBCH)

Degerman (SPRF)

Hamilton* (MEM)

J. Jay* (MEM)

Norrick* (SPRF)

Daley (QC)

Rowlett (MEM)

I. Castro (BAT)

Mura (SPRF)

D. Carpenter (QC)

D. Bolivar (PBCH)

Marti (Cazana) (MXC)

Parisi (MEM)

Maiques (SPRF)

Solano (MEM)

Shorey  (MEM)

Hearne (SPRF)

Ring (MEM)

Rapoport (SPRF)

Leach (BAT)

Parise (MEM)

J. Martinez (BAT)

O. Javier (GCL)

Ostlund (MEM)

Yarbrough (MEM)

Dickson (SPRF)

M. Gonzalez (SPRF)

Pagnozzi (MEM)*

E. Hernandez (PBCH)

Maekawa (MEM)

E. Gomez (GCL)

A. Rosales (BAT)

Manning (MEM)

J. Rada (JCTY)

O. Perez (MEM)


Prospects Likely to Land on the 40-Man Roster This Fall

1. Matt Pagnozzi: I will say it myself: huh? I put Pagnozzi first, not because he deserves it or because he needs protection, but because it is a practical certainty, in the absence of a trade, that he will be promoted to fill the fortieth spot on the roster for September. A third catcher is a common add in the September call-ups. Why the club has hung its hat on Pagnozzi as the next backup catcher is totally unclear. OTOH, Anderson hasn't helped his advocates make the case for him with his terrible 2009.

2. Daryl Jones: Sanity restored. Jones is our top prospect eligible for the Rule V draft this fall. Whether he makes an appearance at the big club in 2010 is an open question, and probably depends on his performance at ST next year. There's no doubt though that he would be gone by December if left unprotected.

3. Jon Jay: Coming back to earth after a heady 2008, Jay now gets more Skip Schumaker comps than Colby Rasmus-lites. Jay is a ++ defender in center. His transition to the majors will depend on his bat. But there's plenty of room for him as a fifth outfielder. Free career advice, Jon: learn to hit from the right side this winter.

4. Allen Craig: Also suffered from whatever offensive malaise afflicted the Redbirds in 2009. Didn't even get a chance at third this year; if not this year, likely never will. Could be in the LF mix next year; makes sense as a platoon partner with a healthy, effective Duncan. Wild card: does the management (with whom he seemed unpopular/invisible in admittedly a down year) see a role for him? If not, trade him soon, Moz.

5. Francisco Samuel: Fireballing reliever. Definite plus relief prospect. Could easily be taken without protection. Wild card: ptbnl in Derosa trade?

6. Adam Ottavino: His stock fell hard as he suffered at Memphis. A first-round 2006 draftee, the clock is ticking down for him. Still, deserves one more crack at the Memphis rotation before relegation to the bullpen. A struggling former first-round pick is too easily stashed at the back of a roster as a seventh reliever not to expect him to depart in the Rule V draft, especially after his WBC performance.

7. Bryan Anderson: How far the mighty have fallen! A top ten prospect last year, he fell off the high offensive mark he had set, though his defense continues to improve. Finally, he fell off the active roster entirely. At this point, is he even at risk of being taken in Rule V? While the taking team could stash him on the DL for a while, he still has to stay actively on the 25-man roster if taken under Rule V for much of the year. Few teams are going to carry three catchers, and no team is going to rely on a dicey-shouldered backup. Even though Anderson is far less attractive as a Rule V take than he was last year, he'll probably get protection this year.

8. Tyler Norrick: Some suggest he makes sense as a home-grown LH-reliever for 2010 or 2011. Combines poor command with a lot of strikeouts. Has a potential future as a role-player. Probably a reach to say he needs 40-man protection; an alternative would be to protect him on the Memphis roster, to prevent another team from placing him on their AAA roster.

9. Mark Hamilton: Dogged by injuries, Hamilton has finally put together a nice season, rising to Memphis in the last month. A bat guy, he doesn't figure highly in the ML club's plans, given that 1B is taken. Hamilton's upside is trade chip. If he can't be moved, he's at some minor risk of being taken, though all-bat-and-no-cattle types are pretty common in baseball. Can he play LF?

Worth a mention: Royce Ring - the only leftie reliever to impress at Memphis among the second-tier loogies (also includes: Manning, Ostlund, Maekawa) taken this past winter. Simply too low a ceiling to merit a spot. Ring's current and former teammate (in 2006 in the Mets system) starter Evan Maclane had a fine season at Memphis, but is on the "depth" not the "prospect" track. Donovan Solano is a SS at Memphis; good defense but has plate discipline like Tyler Greene without the power. Not going to translate to the majors without huge changes. Trey Hearne has had a decent year at Springfield; he should merit a promotion to the Memphis roster before the end of the year where he could only be taken by Rule V onto an ML roster (remember that Rule V requires only that AAA players be kept on the 25-man roster of the taking team; players on a AA roster or lower can be put in a higher level of the the taking team's minor league system). That should be enough protection for him. Shaun Garceau, while ranked on 2009 prospect charts, had a muscle tear/burst artery in his leg, has undergone several surgeries, and is out for the season. He should survive the Rule V draft unprotected for medical reasons. Amaury Cazana (nee Marti), while winning the hearts of HPG everywhere, has gone several drafts unprotected and should survive this one as well. Matt Parisi, coming back from TJ surgery, has fallen so far on the starting pitching depth chart that I can't see him attracting Rule V attention. Props to Eddie Degerman, Brad Furnish, Gary Daley, and many others for having such a terrible 2009 that no one will take them.

Free Agents (in order of likelihood of resigning)

1. Ryan Franklin: Barring tragic injury, the ink is already wet on this nine-lived pitcher's cheap 2010 option.

2. Joel Pineiro: The Cards could do much worse than sign Joel to a short extension.

3. Mark Derosa: A flexible 2B/3B/COF. Hey, those are all the positions where we are weak! And he's right-handed. If he comes back later this season with a healthy wrist, he's more likely to sign than Pineiro and could be a very good signing.

4. Trever Miller: Has been a fine loogy, as loogies go. Cheap to retain, but easily replaced.

5. Troy Glaus: Health is a big question mark. Outside chance of returning on a one-year for a discount or taking an arbitration offer.

6. Jason LaRue: Has done very well as a backup catcher. Probably time to move on.

7. Rick Ankiel: Probably done as a Cardinal.

8. Todd Wellemeyer: His terrible 2009 is probably unsalvageable. He will be lucky to still be starting this September, much less next April.

9. Khalil Greene: It's an open question whether he'll ever play again. We all wish you the best, Khalil. Get healthy.

Clearing Roster Space (in order of prefered demotion).

Note that any of these players can be removed from the 40-man in one of two ways. A player promoted to the 40-man the first time can be removed once by outrighting him to a minor league club. If the player has previously done a stint on a 40-man roster, he must pass through waivers to return to the minor league club. During that waiver process, any of the 29 other clubs may take him without giving anything in return.

1. Nick Stavinoha: Not even sure he ranks as replacement value.

2. Shane Robinson: Optimistically, a role-player; pessimistically, no major league role.

3. Brad Thompson: Despite a few nice starts, shows no real sign of becoming more than replacement level. Has fans in management, but makes little sense for a team developing numerous higher potential back-end starters.

4. Joe Thurston
5. Brian Barden
6. Jarrett Hoffpauir
Probably at least one infielder on this list is superfluous. Much will depend on their showings over the rest of the season. Uncertainty at 2B and 3B play in their favor, as does the right-handedness of two of the above candidates.

7. PTBNL: the second piece of the Derosa trade may be on the 40-man. Let's hope his initials aren't "JT".

8. Max Scherer: Consistent performer in Memphis, but has limited upside. Has such a low ceiling that if we had to make cuts, he'd be a candidate.

9. Blake Hawksworth: I would like to see him succeed, and I feel he could be a late bloomer. After many years in the minors, though, his "prospect" expiration date is looming. Any setbacks could jeopardize his roster spot.

Well, that was a lot of discussion. My best guess is that we have about six free agents who don't return, we cut about three names off the 40-man, and protect seven or eight guys, holding open two or three slots for free agents, our own rule V pick, or other promotions to the 40-man roster of players not at risk of rule V selection, like Wallace or Descalso or Henley.

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