We need to take our mind off the clusterf*** that is the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays. It has been a while since we updated our 2009 roster projections so let’s take a look. First up is the 40-man roster projection, we will be back later today with the 25-man roster projection.
40-Man Roster Projection (notes and explanations on the projection can be found following the roster)…
- Ages are as of today
- Shaded players are projected to be on the 40-man roster, but not on the 25-man roster
- Italicized players are currently on the 40-man roster but are not projected to be on the roster in ’09
- Several players in the minors will be eligible for the Rule 5 draft for the first time this winter and either need to be added to the 40-man roster or risk being selected by another organization. This list includes Jake McGee, Wade Davis, Reid Brignac, Chris Mason, Eddie Morlan, Ryan Royster and Mike Wlodarczyk. McGee*, Davis, Brignac and Morlan appear to be locks. The others are subjective. Also, anybody the Rays sign as a major league free agent will need a spot on the 40-man roster. When that happens, it will mean Mason, Royster and/or Wlodarczyk will not be protected on the 40-man roster. Is there anybody in the minors that needs protecting that we are forgetting about? Let us know in the comments.
- The Rays have 6 players that will be arbitration eligible following this season. Salaries for 4 of those players are guestimations at this point. Anybody you think we are way off on? We are projecting that the other 2 arbitration-eligible players, Jonny Gomes and Gabe Gross will not be offered arbitration by the Rays.
- We are projecting that the Rays will resign Rocco Baldelli to an incentive-laden contract.
- The opening day payroll projects to be $56.2 million, but will certainly go up with free agent signings (right field) and any additional long-term contracts given to young players (Upton, Garza, Navarro). Look for the 2009 opening day payroll to be $60-65 million.
- In addition to Jonny Gomes and Gabe Gross, we project 4 other current members of the 40-man roster that will not be with the Rays in ’09. Eric Hinske is a free agent and unlikely to be resigned. Joel Guzman will be out of minor league options and we see no room for him on the 25-man roster. Jason Hammel is also out of minor league options and we do not see a spot for him on the 25-man roster. Andy Sonnanstine does have minor league options, but we feel that his value is high and will be traded (We will have more on this in the 25-man roster projection later today).
* The Rays may be eligible for an injury exception with McGee, giving the Rays an extra year before having to protect him on the 40-man roster.