Al's Ramblings

Friday, November 25, 2016

(11/25/2016 09:00:00 AM) - Al


EDIT:  Just to make myself clear, this original post ran a month ago, and I updated it to show players no longer on the 40.

Update at bottom of post, along with players added to the 40 since 11/1

I see some teams are already starting to clear the 40 man roster by outrighting players to the minors. Might as well look at the Brewers situation and put them in 4 groups...will remain on 40, probably will stay, will be removed, and "I don't knows."

Will certainly stay on 40 man (19)


Very likely to stay on 40 man (6)

On the fence, or perhaps, "I just don't know." (13)

Likely to be removed, or will be a free agent (6)

Added to 40 man roster since 11/1
Parker (waiver claim)
Walker (waiver claim

A few more thoughts on players in the last two groups, and perhaps a thought or two on a few others:

I would assume most of those who are not kept on the 40, or who will elect free agency, will be invited back on minor league contracts. Looking at the final six, it is likely 4-6 of them will spend time in the majors next season; Boyer, Rowen, and Elmore especially.

All of the players "on the fence" are, as one would expect, tough decisions, both for me and the Crew. Barrios, Houser, Nolin, and Liriano are all injured at present; and all but Houser missed the entire 2016 campaign...Houser is all but certain to miss all of 2017. They know far more about their injuries, recover time, and odds of returning than I do. I will say this...none of them would clear waivers, except possibly Houser, as it would only take a 40 man spot for a team to steal them away. Adrian might, only because he'll be out all of next season, and while certainly a solid prospect, profiles best as a reliever or a bottom of the rotation SP.

Goforth has been mediocre to below average in his stints in the majors, but the fact is, he throws 93-95 mph, along with a 88-89 mph slider,  makes it very unlikely he'd pass through waivers unclaimed. On the negative side, he'll be 28 soon, meaning his days as anything but a middle reliever are probably gone.

Scahill and Marinez were both claimed off waivers after being DFA'd. Both performed admirably. Both are probably "what you see is what you get" types. Jhan is 28, and averaged 94.7 with his fastball, and maybe for the first time in his career, was able to control a plus breaking ball, often freezing hitters with it. Scahill will be 30, is a little more of a generic middle relief guy, but was effective, showed the ability to go multiple innings, and pitched every bit as well as Marinez.

Reed was mentioned as part of the team's OF depth a week or so ago by Stearns, so he was close to going on the "likely" list. But, the club's strength is OF's, and while he has always got on base, walked a lot, and is capable of playing all the OF spots, his ceiling has lowered the past two seasons.

Maldy and Pina? I don't know. Both are probably solid reserves and weak starters. I do not know how the braintrust looks at them. I would say Maldy is probably a bit more productive, but will also be pricey as he gets into arby.

Rivera? Equally as puzzled. I discussed it here. Yadi is a good field/no hit type, but he does "look" like he could hit successfully...he just rarely does. He is still relatively young at 24, and as good a fielder as he is, given his ability to play SS, he'd never get through waivers.

Nieuwenhuis is a quality 4th OF or the strong half of a platoon, especially in CF. He has been DFA'd before, but has never cleared waivers. He won't now either. Assuming his sports hernia is minor, he's certainly a quality MLB option. However, does his age and ceiling make him 40 man worthy?

Finally, Wilkins was up a while and hit a couple HR's. He was on the 40 all season, and like Nieuwenhuis, has been DFA'd but never cleared. He has pop. He's close to being on the "no" list, but I'm not positive how the Crew feels about him.

UPDATE: I would expect to see 2-4 more removed before the roster is "settled" before the Rule 5 and free agency. My guesses? A catcher, a reliever, and Houser/Rivera would be the ones on the cusp, in my opinion. 

11/25/2016 09:00:00 AM

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