40-Man Roster Projection (notes and explanations on the projection can be found following the roster). We will be back later today with the 25-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, Chris Mason, Eddie Morlan, Ryan Royster and Mike Wlodarczyk. McGee, Davis, and Morlan appear to be locks. We can’t see the Rays protecting the others although there are spots available. Most likely, those spots will go to free agents and/or players obtained via trades. Is there anybody in the minors that needs protecting that we are forgetting about? Let us know in the comments.
- The Rays have 7 players that will be arbitration-eligible following this season. Salaries for 6 of those players are guestimations at this point. Anybody you think we are way off on? We are projecting that the other arbitration-eligible player, Dan Johnson, will not be offered arbitration by the Rays. It also would not surprise us if the Rays decline to offer arbitration to Gomes. The latter is more likely if the Rays resign Rocco Baldelli to an incentive-laden contract.
- The opening day payroll projects to be $54.5 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). Of course, there are places where the Rays can save money, if they choose to trade a player like Carl Crawford or Scott Kazmir. Keep in mind, it is the Rays M.O. to trade a player a year too early, rather than a year too late.
- Jason Hammel and Jae Kuk Ryu are also out of minor league options and we do not see a spot for them on the 25-man roster.