Baseball transactions either occur in fast-moving blurs or they seem to be long, drawn-out yawns that raise questions on why exactly it took forever for them to occur and cause mass paranoia and headaches to fans and bloggers who are trying to figure out who they pick in the 17th round of their fantasy drafts. So when Andrew Friedman, who is very calculated and methodical in his ways, is taking forever to adjust his 40-Man roster to accommodate the 3 signings that are pending….something has to be up and/or cooking.
Many questions arise: Is there a trade being worked on? Are players that are being DFA’d going through the waiver process right now? Are there DL shenanigans going on?
While I may not have any insider information to base my thoughts off of, I have my own theories on what is going on.
First, Reid Brignac will be traded. If the acqusition of Hak Ju Lee didn’t spell the end of the Reid Brignac “Rays Shortstop of the Future” Era, the acquisition of Yunel Escobar and drafting of Jake Hager and Brandon Martin(among others) did. Brignac still has some upside in him, mainly due to his glove, however there’s no real reason to keep him around and deteriorate what little value is left with him. Package him with another player(perhaps a reliever or SP) and possibly find a prospect that fits the Rays temporary or future needs. This may clear 1 or 2 spots from the 40-Man, depending on who is traded and what is received in return.
Next, Juan Carlos Oviedo will be added to the 40-Man roster(temporarily) and then he will be transferred to the Rays 60-Day DL. Not going to surprise anyone when and if this happens. The transaction was interesting in the first place, who has ever heard of a player signed to a 2-year minor league deal? While this still means that 3 players would have to be removed off the Rays’ 40-Man roster, it’s a procedural move that is going to have to occur anyways and should just be done sooner rather than later. Get a head-start on rehabbing a player that will likely be a integral cog in the 2014 bullpen.
Lastly, the DFAs of Elliot Johnson and Stephen Vogt. I realize that these 2 players may be fan favorites of some, however neither player really should be playing a role in the 2013 Rays plans and more than likely would pass through waivers finding their way onto the Durham Bulls roster. This move would open up 2 spots on the 40-Man, possibly add depth to the farm at the AAA level and maybe even improve teams like the Pittsburgh Pirates, Colorado Rockies, Chicago Cubs, Kansas City Royals or Miami Marlins if they are claimed on waivers by any of the aforementioned teams.
Now we must wait to see what happens and hope for the best…