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)…

Notes on the 40-man roster projection

  • 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.



  1. Sean G says:

    i would be shocked if Mason and Wlodarczyk are protected but not sure who you would put in those spots

  2. The Professor says:


  3. Anonymous says:

    nicely done...always love these posts and have been wondering when you would do another.

  4. kyle says:

    is Chris Nowak not Rule 5 eligible?

  5. The Professor says:

    Nowak is eligible, and he might be a better option than Mason, Wlodarczyk or Royster. But pitchers are more likely to be picked in the draft since teams can hide them in the bullpen and especially lefties. So that gives Wlodarczyk a little edge. But i have no problem with thinking Nowak should be on the list.

  6. Sean says:

    The Rays could always add McGee to the 40-Man then place him on the 60 Day DL.

  7. The Professor says:

    the only problem with that scenario is they would have to pay him as a major leaguer (~$400K) instead of the minor league salary of ~35K. But definitely possible if they need an extra spot.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Is Sergio Pedroza not eligible for the Rule-5 this season? Thought so!

    And also Matt Walker ... but I would not protect him even if I would have a place left!

    By the way: I would let go Ryu and Orvella first ... but I don't think anybody would claim Wlodarczyk and Pedroza!

    And Nowak should be Rule-5 eligible, too ... drafted in '04!

  9. The Professor says:

    one thing to keep in mind. batters only get picked in the rule 5 if they are a VERY GOOD prospect or a GREAT prospect with a history of injuries or DECENT prospect with lots of speed.

    Pitchers are easier to draft in the rule 5 because teams don't have to worry about finding playing time for them. They can just hide them in the bullpen until they develop.

    Therefore, lesser pitching prospects often get protected over better hitting prospects. It is not that we think Wlodarczyk is a better prospect than Nowak. But Wlodo is a BIG (6'5") lefty and those are rare. If there is ANY chance he could be even an average major leaguer, than somebody will take a flier on him in the draft. On the other hand, somebody like Nowak or Pedroza only gets selected if a team thinks they will be ready to play everyday in the majors in '09. I don't think they are. But maybe somebody else does.

  10. Sky says:

    good stuff, i'll definitely use this at a resource. a few quibbles:

    I think Gross will be back before Baldelli, as he'll earn peanuts in arbitration and is a better fielder. I doubt either will start next year, as a trade for young, talent right fielder seems likely (by trading away some pitching talent).

    Jackson will be traded before Sonnanstine. Sonny's the better pitcher and Jackson currently has more trade value.

  11. The Professor says:


    my position on Jackson/Sonny has changed drastically since I last updated this list in early September. We will have an update after the World Series and Sonny is one piece that will definitely be included in the update

  12. Austin says:

    Who do you think the rays will pick up in the 2009 free agency.

  13. Austin says:

    do you think they will pick up Jake Peavy or maybe CC Sabathia?
    IDK because Peavy is in the National Leauge. So is CC so IDK


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