How Many 40-Man Roster Spots Are There?

== And how many will be needed? ==

How long to sing this song? Apparently 5:19.

How many 40-man roster spots can the Mariners use to put non-roster guys on the roster?

1) As of this moment, the Mariners have 41 men on the 40-man roster.  Franklin Gutierrez is on the “restricted list” and thus does not count against the limit of 40.  They used that slot to add Fernando Rodney.

In other words, it’s full.  No vacancy.

2) But wait!  Danny Hultzen is on it, but he can and will be transferred to the 60-day disabled list as soon the season begins.  That won’t count against the limit.

So there actually is one vacancy.  It’s just being held in their back pocket.

Barring a change in expectations, they are very likely to use that slot for Scott Baker.

So getting Baker on the roster is not an issue.

3) Once we get beyond Baker, though, someone needs to be released or exposed to waivers to make room for additional non-roster players.

Just exposing someone to waivers, of course, does not mean they’ll get picked up.  The team picking up the player must make room on its 40-man roster.  Chance Ruffin cleared waivers over the winter and remains under club control in the minors.

And they will usually try to time the move late in spring training, when other teams are also trying to juggle roster moves — such that maybe they can “sneak a guy through.”

4) Players who are proverbially “out of options” must be placed on waivers if they do not make the 25-man roster out of spring training.  The “options” are based on years in which they are sent to the minors, not the number of times.

So, if I’m getting it right, you had to be on a 40-man roster in 2011, and sent to the minors in 2011, 2012 and 2013 (assuming a typical prospect).

  • Hector Noesi was on the Yankee 40-man in 2011 and sent down all three years.  So he’s out of options.
  • Blake Beavan was on the Mariner 40-man in 2011 and sent down all three years.  So him too?  But it looks like Beavan was not sent down after he was added to the 40-man.  He was not on the 40-man at the start of the year.  So I conclude 2011 doesn’t count as an option year, since he was never optioned off the 40-man to the minors.  I think.

Ruffin would have been, but he’s already cleared waivers.  Carlos Peguero would have been the same, but he was sent to Kansas City.

Tom Wilhelmsen was not optioned in 2012, and Charlie Furbush was not optioned in 2013, so they both have one left, I believe.

Unless I’m wrong, Carlos Triunfel was never on the 40-man in 2011, so he has one left.

Correct me if I’m wrong!  We need the wisdom of the crowd!


So … likely deletions:

1) Chances are good that they’ll need to put Noesi on waivers anyway, so he’s first up.

2) Beavan seems to have an option left, but he might be the next guy on the chopping block anyway.  He probably has a decent chance of clearing waivers.

3) Triunfel seems less likely since (a) they might need shortstop depth if they trade one of the young infielders, and (b) he might not clear since other teams might view him as a utility option with a good arm at short.

4) The loser of the pecking-order-battle between Lucas Luetge and Bobby LaFromboise.

5) If Endy Chavez is the non-roster guy they want to add, then Xavier Avery (also a LH-hitting OF) could be the one moved.


Possible additions:

1) Baker is almost certain, but would take Hultzen’s spot.

2) A late free-agent addition, such as Nelson Cruz or Ervin Santana (though that seems less likely).

3) Randy Wolf seems to be considered a likely add to the bullpen.

4) An outfielder: Chavez or RH-hitting Cole Gillespie.

5) Another bullpen guy, of which there are a host of options.  If you’ve been following our work at all, you know that we view Carson Smith, Dominic Leone and Stephen Kohlscheen as all having possible impact arms.  And we like our favorite West Pointer Nick Hill from the left side.  None of the above are on the 40-man.


2 thoughts on “How Many 40-Man Roster Spots Are There?

  1. I hadn’t been thinking about that.

    I figured Baker, a couple of the relief arms and possibly an OF add. Yeah, that’s then 2 or 3 more spots needed. Trading for an OF or SP isn’t likely to remove more than one or 2 from the 40 man, going in the trade package, while adding one back. This late it’s harder to imagine another team pulling the trigger on a reasonably even trade that would require them to open 2+ roster spots for incoming players. If it’s an overpay, maybe. How much is it worth overpaying to upgrade one spot while adding a couple openings?

    There have been discussions that listed 3 (maybe 4?) guys on the 40 man in a package. Those packages often seem too much for the return and many created other holes (trading Paxton, Walker or Seager-I strongly prefer those all stay). When considering trade packages it’s easy for us to forget the opportunity value of 40 man spots being opened up though. How hard is that to equate a value for?

    Unlike other recent 1st rounders, Peterson didn’t sign a major league contract. Not that that’s a discussion for now, but when he comes up he’ll have to be added. There’s some chance that’s later this summer, but next spring or later seems more likely. That he’s a RH power bat and considering how he’s been talking about it, it’s easy to hope that he earns his way up late this summer and eases right in. It just doesn’t seem rational.

    I could be wrong about any of that and wouldn’t mind anyone saying so. Just trying to add to the brainstorm.

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