On Wednesday Feb 23rd the Texas Rangers traded cash to the Cleveland Indians for LHP Kelvin De La Cruz, who will be signed to a minor league contract and placed on the 40 man roster. With his placement on the 40 man roster, it finally lives up to its name, since most of the offseason it has had less than 40 players on it. Some newer fans as well as veteran fans may not completely understand what the 40 man is so I will be breaking down the current Rangers roster and try to explain.
Every team is allowed to have 25 men on the roster, with the exception of scheduled day and night double headers, where one more player is allowed to be on the bench. Also, in September the rosters are expanded to the full 40 man roster. The additional 15 players on the 40 man roster are minor league players who are usually a higher grade prospect and players who are on the cusp of being in the majors. Most of the players on the 40 man roster will see major league time during the season.
The 40 man roster for the Rangers is broken down this way:
Major League Pitchers: Mike Adams, Yu Darvish, Scott Feldman, Neftali Feliz, Matt Harrison, Derek Holland, Colby Lewis, Mark Lowe, Joe Nathan, Alexi Ogando, Yoshinori Tateyama, and Koji Uehara for a total of 12 players
Major League Position Players: Elvis Andrus, Adrian Beltre, Nelson Cruz, Craig Gentry, Josh Hamilton, Ian Kinsler, Mitch Moreland, David Murphy, Mike Napoli, Yorvit Torrealba, and Michael Young for a total of 11 players.
Minor League Pitchers: Jacob Brigham, Kelvin De La Cruz, Miguel De Los Santos, Cody Eppley, Wilmer Font, Mark Hamburger, Michael Kirkman, Roman Mendez, Justin Miller, Martin Perez, Neil Ramirez, and Matthew West for a total of 12 players.
The one glaring issue that this breakdown may highlight is that the 25 man roster currently only has 23 players on it. With the lack of left handed pitchers in the bullpen it will be likely that one, if not both, of the open positions will be filled by southpaws out of Spring Training.
Although the 40 man roster is critical to the success of a team, by no means is it set in stone. Players can be removed from the 40 man roster through being placed on the 60 day disabled list, however, shorter stints on the DL will not result in being removed. This is the reason why some injuries are put onto the longer DL so that they can be replaced.
Each player is also allowed three options by the team to move them from the majors to the minors. After the three options the team must put the player on waivers before they are allowed to go to the minors. Placing a player on waivers may allow another team to pluck a player that said team would like to keep.
The other way to be removed from the expanded roster is by being designated for assignment. This action gives the team 10 days to trade the player, release them or send them to the minors.
This Spring Training keep your eyes on the how the 40 man roster guys compare to the non-roster invitees and you may see some interesting match ups.
As always, Go Rangers.