The 2008 40-man roster prediction is based only players currently within the organization and will be updated when trades are consummated and free agents are signed.

On November 20th, all teams have to set their 40-man roster. At that time any player that has 4 years of experience (5 years if signed at 18 or under) must be protected on the 40-man roster or be made available for the upcoming rule 5 draft. Of the players not to be protected on the 40-man roster, they may still be added to the Durham Bulls roster in order to be protected from the AAA version of the rule 5 draft.

First, second and third year players will have their salaries determined by the team, but will fall close to the major league minimum which is 390,000 for first year players. Minor leaguers on the 40-man for the first time make $31,250 and second-year players make twice that amount. In addition, six players are arbitration eligible. The 2008 salaries for these players are estimates. We are not including signing bonuses or incentives. For example, Evan Longoria signed a standard minor league contract, but was given a $3 million signing bonus.


  • The Rays 40-man roster currently has 37 players. Three players that are currently on the 60-day DL (Rocco Baldelli, Shawn Riggans, Ben Zobrist) will need to be added to the roster by November 20, giving the Rays 40 players.
  • The Devil Rays have eight players that would be eligible for the rule 5 draft. At this point, we are predicting that three of these players will be added to the 40-man roster. This includes third baseman Evan Longoria, catcher John Jaso and relief pitcher Dale Thayer.
  • To make room for these players, the Rays will need to remove three players from the roster. The team has a 2008 option on Greg Norton that they are not expected to exercise. In addition, at this point we are predicting the Rays to designate for assignment Scott Dohmann and Grant Balfour. Balfour seems like an easy choice as he is arbitration eligible. Dohmann still has one year left until he is available for arbitration and the Rays may choose to keep him. The only other arbitration eligible player that could be subjected to release would be Gary Glover, but his major league experience gives him the edge.
  • This leaves 6 players that will be made available in the Rule 5 draft
    1. Jason Pridie: Could be a tough decision after a trong showing at AAA in 2007. A former rule 5 selection by the Twins.
    2. Fernando Perez: No experience above AA. Can’t see anybody taking a chance on the speedster in the draft. Will be added to Durham roster to protect from AAA version of draft.
    3. Greg Dupas: Will not be protected
    4. Nick DeBarr: Rule 5 pick by Red Sox in 2007. Has yet to show dominance in minor leagues. Not likely to be protected
    5. Chuck Tiffany: Injured in 2007. Will not be protected.
    6. Chris Nowak: No experience above AA. Similar to Wes Bankston in that he is a big first baseman that has yet to develop power that has been predicted. Likely added to Durham roster to protect from AAA version of draft.
  • Based on the current roster, the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays will include only 1 player (Al Reyes) with at least 6 years of major league experience.
  • On opening day, the Rays 40-man roster will feature only three players that will be 30 years old or older (Reyes, Glover, Wheeler).


  1. Robert Rittner says:

    I doubt that either Balfour or Dohmann will be removed from the roster. My guess is that Stokes will definitely go and that Ryu or even Orvella might also be released before those two. Perhaps Elliott Johnson or Switzer are also on the bubble.

  2. raysrule07 says:

    Perez needs to be protected because someone will take a chance on him. He draws walks, plays very good defense, showed some flashes of power, and he's got speed. Someone in the NL would take a chance on him as a switch-hitter/pinch-runner.

    Also, Longoria doesn't need to be protected, but he will probably be added anyway since he's probably going to be the opening day starter.

  3. Robert Rittner says:

    I don't think there is any question that Perez will be protected. After Desmond Jennings, he is probably the highest rated outfielder in the system. He had a .904 OPS at Montgomery, a terrible hitter's park in a terrible hitter's league, this year.

  4. The Professor says:

    RaysRule07...I am assuming Longoria is the third baseman on opening day

    Balfour and Dohmann are strictly guesses. You could be right about Orvella and Stokes. Our feeling was...
    1. Balfour will be 30 and is arbitration elig. Would the team rather have him at $800K or Orvella at the MLB minimum?
    2. The team took a flyer on Dohmann and I just never got the impression that Papa Joe or the team was impressed. He was only ever used in a mop up rolls and spent half the year in the minors.
    3. I also think that Orvella and Ryu would have the least chance of making it through waivers. I think some still look at Ryu as a potential starter and somebody would take a flyer on Orvella based on his minor league numbers.

    Perez is a tough call. Few hitters are taken in the Rule 5 and even fewer stick with their teams. It is easier to hide a young relief pitcher in the pen. But yes, there is a chance that Perez could be taken.

    So let's say Perez is the 4th player added to the roster (not including Longoria). Who else are you dropping from the roster. There are only so many relief pitchers we can drop.

    Remember the Rays are still looking to sign a veteran catcher. Do they drop Riggans? Not Likely. So that is another opening they need to make.

  5. Robert Rittner says:

    I think the trade for Balfour was a good one, and I think the Rays consider him a real find. As with most relievers, that remains a question, but I don't think the relatively small difference in salaries would dissuade them from keeping him.

    Dohmann is another story. I never understood why the Rays pursued him so doggedly, but he did do a reasonably good job once in TB, and I am guessing the Rays see him (and Balfour) as having stabilized the bullpen somewhat. He spent the first half in the minors, I think, to try to overcome his wildness, and at Durham he did that brilliantly (2.4BB/9) although the problem returned in TB (4.96/9) but he does not give up a lot of hits and does strike people out.

    I do not know all the rules about this, but I cannot imagine them taking even the slightest chance that Perez would get drafted.

    The easiest pieces to pick up are relievers, so I doubt the Rays are too worried about losing either Orvella or Ryu. There are teams that probably would select Ryu, but given the strength of our starter pool and his mediocre performance for us (we picked him up last off-season in a minor deal) I don't think they would consider it a big loss.

    I feel badly about Orvella who I expected might become an excellent reliever, but his failures are becoming frustrating enough that he just may need a new team. And even should both go, aside from the major league definites, and potential off-season signings, there are still Birkins, Medlock (who I think they like), Ridgway, Switzer and Thayer among others around.

  6. Brock Trader says:

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