Friday, July 29, 2005


Roster Space

This is my breakdown of the current players on the roster with respect to next season. Hopefully I got most of them right.

May Not Return - FA/Marginal:
Pitchers: Dreifort, Weaver, Erickson, Wunsch, Carrara
Catcher: Bako, Rose
IF: Valentin, Saenz, Edwards
OF: Ross
Total: 11, although Saenz or Wunsch may be retained.

Under Team's Control:
SPs: Penny, Lowe, O. Perez, Houlton
RPs: Gagne, Brazoban, Schmoll, Alvarez, Sanchez, Dessens maybe (mutual option 06)
Catcher: Phillips
IF: 1B Choi, 2B Kent, SS Izturis, 3B Robles, UT A. Perez
OF: Drew, Bradley, Werth, Repko, Ledee
Total: 21.
Remaining 4 Spots: 1 SP, 1 reliever, 1 backup catcher, 1 corner infielder to replace Saenz

The top high school prospects from Logan White's first draft in 02 (Loney, Miller, Broxton) have to be protected to the 40 man roster this offseason or risk losing them via the Rule 5 draft. Andy LaRoche, who was drafted as a 19 year old out of a community college in the 03 draft, also has to be protected. Wunderkind Joel Guzman was first signed in 2001. Hong-Chih Kuo, first signed in 1999, is striking out everyone by throwing 95+ again.

(Caveat: I am no expert on the farm system. Get a shovelful of salt ready...)

That's 6 likely additions to the 40 man roster. Also worthy of consideration is Mike Megrew, a 02 draftee who was looking good until TJ surgery this past offseason. Chin-Lung Hu has a good glove and was signed in 03 just after his 19th birthday. Who knows, maybe Brandon Weeden, drafted in 02 by the Yankees, will make the Kevin Brown trade even more lopsided by suddenly improving. There are plenty of other prospects, as the system is deep.

The prospects on the current 40 man roster are as follows.

Pitchers: Jackson, Ketchner, Hanrahan, Osoria, Thompson
Catcher: Martin, Navarro
IF: Young, Aybar
OF: None
Total: 9, but make that 8 as Thompson just had TJ surgery.

Add the aforementioned 6 probable newbies to the protected list and the mumber swells to 14. Granted, some of the prospects could conceivably jump to the 25 man roster next year, as there are 4 roles open: a starting pitcher, a reliever, a backup catcher, and a corner infielder. The extra starting pitcher spot could be filled in-house if Jackson or Billingsley step up. The bullpen might take care of itself if the flamethrowers such as Broxton or Kuo can hold their own. Navarro might take the extra catcher spot. Nothing's guaranteed, though. Not every hole will be filled by the minor leaguers.

(Edit: It looks as if Navarro will be called up today.)

(Edit 2: Jonathan Broxton also has been called up today. Thanks to 6-4-2 for the news. Let the roster-shuffling begin!)

The ETA for most of the blue chip prospects is supposedly 2007; incubating the younglings another year in the minors wil inconvenience roster flexibility. It's a tight fit for the 15 or so protected prospects on the roster next year. Add the 21 major leaguers to the prospects, and the 40 man roster is bursting at the seams. Someone probably needs to be bumped to make room. (Hanrahan? Osoria? Aybar?)

Last December, 6 Dodger prospects were plucked by other teams via the Rule 5 draft. One of them looks like a find. (That kid Carvajal taken by the Rockies would have been nice, eh DePo? ) It's likely that vultures will once again roam this December. It's the same story repeated every year - will someone claim Thurston? Chen? Prokopec? Clemente? It wouldn't be a bad idea to trade some of the prospects for long-term roster flexibility AND short term talent. If you can't protect 'em, trade 'em.

(Edit 3: Commenter #3 has listed Pilkington, Stults, Totten, Figueroa, Ojeda, B. Perez, A. Castillo, Juarez, Nixon, and A. Gonzalez as the second-tier prospects not mentioned who are eligible for the Rule 5 draft this winter. Thanks for the comprehensive list!)

LA's biggest depth in prospects is pitchers and middle infielders. For example, there was also a rumor of Edwin Jackson and A. Perez for Adam Dunn a few days ago. That's probably too little in talent to acquire Dunn, but the basic idea seems about right. I also have a nagging suspicion that the Dodgers offered 2 or 3 second tier prospects for Joe Randa but were outbid by the Padres, who wanted better production from 3B AND didn't want LA to improve.

Just a hunch.

Do not forget about the Four Lefty Relief Caballerros: Jose Diaz, Carlos Alvarez, Orlando Rodriguez and Luis Gonzalez.

Remember Etan Abreu 2b. Forget Weeden.
anon, i'm aware that weeden's a fringe prospect at this point. i was just using his name to show depth in the system. i guess i didn't do that very well.

anyway, i say again that i'm no expert on the minors. i couldn't find a comprehensive list of prospects that must be protected this offseason, so i listed some definites. the names you mention...are they eligible for the rule 5 this winter? are there any other notables? i'll gladly edit my post (with credit) so that it is more comprehensive.
You were pretty much on target with the best prospects eligable for the rule 5 (except for Abreu and the four lefty cabellerros).

Other non-prospects eligable would be Ketchner, Pilkington, Stults, Totten, Figueroa, Ojeda, B. Perez, A. Castillo, Hanrahan, Juarez, Nixon and A. Gonzalez.
that's the list i was looking for. post has been updated. thanks!
Gange wants to be traded, Boston will be looking for better relievers after the debacle that was their playoff series, and thus the question has to be asked...isn't it smarter to trade away a money eater for someone like Chad Bradford and Youkilis, both proven commodities that are worth what Gange is but cost probably $7 million less? We could even do a three way trade that DePo loves to do so much if we got some cheap proven commodities.

Weeden really is a fringe as you said, and the best one we have you didn't even mention. Hong-Chih Kuo might not be a safe addition to the bullpen, but he surely will be a prospect and probably should be listed as such.

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