40-Man Shakeup

Quite a bit to get caught up on here, starting with the Giants’ recent roster moves. Teams had until midnight last night to protect players eligible for the upcoming Rule 5 draft. It’s kind of a complicated deal, and one I don’t entirely feel like researching or explaining. From what I understand, though, any player drafted out of college in 2010 or earlier, or an international player signed before 2009, are eligible for the Rule 5… I’m still not sure where players drafted out of high school fit in the mix, but oh well. So, how do you protect a player from being drafted by another team? You place him on your 40-man roster, that’s how. So that’s what was going on last night.

The Giants are pretty conservative with their 40-man spots. Once the roster is set, it usually doesn’t change much during the season. Other teams, (the Seattle Mariners are one I know of) are constantly adding and removing players from their 40-man.

On to last night’s roster changes…

Additions: Gary Brown, Adam Duvall, Kendry Flores, Hunter Strickland

Subtractions: Guillermo Moscoso

40-Man Roster Total: 40

Thoughts: Brown and Flores were pretty obvious candidates to be added. Despite Brown’s struggles this season, teams generally don’t just let a first round pick go unprotected unless he’s done absolutely nothing as a professional. Brown was still considered a top-5 prospect in the system by most people heading into last season. Now, he finds himself in the middle of a logjam of outfielders in Fresno, likely including Jarret Parker (who the Giants did not protect). Make no mistake though, Brown’s stock is way down, and this will easily be his most important season since he entered the organization. He really hasn’t been the same player since he was in San Jose two years ago, so he’s got a lot to prove in 2014.

Flores was a given because of his eligibility to be taken in the Rule 5, much like Edwin Escobar last season. Flores is about 5 months older than Escobar, but had a breakout season in Augusta. Now, we’re seeing scouting reports of his fastball touching 95 and his changeup looking like an above-average pitch. Watch out for Flores going forward, and don’t be surprised if he starts moving quickly now that he’s on the 40-man.

Duvall was likely battling Parker for one of the last spots on the roster. According to Baggs, the Giants had a scout at the AFL who wasn’t real impressed with Parker, the former second round pick. That scout does see a MLB future for Duvall, though, and that’s probably why Duvall was protected. Personally, I think the Giants made the right choice. Both players showed good power in Richmond this year, but Duvall totes some of the greatest raw power in the organization. His defense needs some shaping up. Parker, on the other hand, is a CF with good defense and an iffy bat. The Giants have a group of those players in their organization already. And honestly, I don’t think Parker will be taken in the Rule 5 anyway… definitely not in the major league portion of the draft, and maybe not even in the minor league portion.

The last pitching spot went to Strickland, who was signed as a minor league free agent last season and had Tommy John surgery about midway through 2013. This was probably the biggest surprise move, as Strickland’s in his 3rd organization since being drafted in 2007. He’s 25, and we don’t even know when he’ll pitch next season… but he’s also built in the mold of Heath Hembree and Cody Hall, with a mid to upper-90’s heater in his arsenal. The Giants love their relievers at 6-foot-4, 220, and they love that big fastball. Listening to Joe Ritzo’s podcast at SJGiants.com the other day, I was taken by surprise when Joe said Strickland could have been on his way to the Show before the elbow injury this season. Baggs repeated that sentiment in his roster recap last night. So, apparently the Giants see big things for Strickland, and the roster protection would definitely support that notion. We’ll see how much he pitches next year though…

One more thought here: The addition of Strickland was likely in front of Brett Bochy, who’s now eligible for the Rule 5. I’m sure the skipper’s kid is a little bummed out about that, and I don’t blame him. I also wouldn’t be shocked to see someone snag him in the MLB portion of the draft. He would have to spend the season on that team’s 25-man roster, but I could definitely see him helping a team’s bullpen… look at the contributions Dan Otero made in Oakland this year. Bochy has worked his butt off and had some pretty successful seasons. He deserves a chance to prove himself somewhere.

For now, the Giants’ 40-man is full… that will change very soon if a Javier Lopez deal is in place. In that case, Baggs thinks Jose Mijares will get the boot. We know that Mr. Sabean would still like to get his hands on another starting pitcher, a left fielder, and probably even a middle infielder, so there are certainly a few guys on the squad whose spots still aren’t safe. Tony Abreu? Brett Pill? Ehire Adrianza? The organization will have to sort out some of those infielders… and those outfield spots are starting to get a little crowded as well, so a trade or two wouldn’t surprise me a bit. Would a package of Adrianza and Francisco Peguero net Justin Ruggiano or Drew Stubbs? It should be interesting to see how things play out this winter.

Finally, here’s a look at the 40-man as it stands now:

Catchers (3) – Buster Posey, Hector Sanchez, Johnny Monell

Infielders (11) – Pablo Sandoval, Brandon Crawford, Marco Scutaro, Brandon Belt, Ehire Adrianza, Brett Pill, Tony Abreu, Joaquin Arias, Nick Noonan, Angel Villalona, Adam Duvall

Outfielders (7) – Hunter Pence, Angel Pagan, Gregor Blanco, Juan Perez, Francisco Peguero, Roger Kieschnick, Gary Brown

Starting Pitchers (9) – Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum, Tim Hudson, Yusmeiro Petit, Mike Kickham, Eric Surkamp, Edwin Escobar, Kendry Flores

Relief Pitchers (10) – Sergio Romo, Santiago Casilla, Jeremy Affeldt, Heath Hembree, Jean Machi, Jose Mijares, Sandy Rosario, George Kontos, Jake Dunning, Hunter Strickland

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4 thoughts on “40-Man Shakeup”

  1. Great wrap up ! You’ve your finger on the pulse, especially throwing around names like Stubbs and Ruggiano.

    Where did you hear that report on Kendry Flores touching 95? I was under the impression that he’s a control deception guy that tops out at 90, maybe 91.

    The thing I’m perplexed about protecting a guy like Flores this year and Escobar last year is the notion that a team would draft a young pitcher and try to keep him on the major league roster when he needs to continue his development at A+ or AA. On average, about 15 teams select in the rule 5 draft each year. It just seems like an extremely long shot Flores would get picked up. They must have little concern about the guys that are exposed.

    We’re all learning as we go along.

    1. Thanks for the compliment. I’ve got to give credit to DrB for Ruggiano, he’s been suggesting him as a fit for quite a while. I think you can throw Stubbs onto that list as well, and he’s got a longer track record in the bigs.

      With guys like Flores and Escobar, I don’t think the fear is that they’ll be taken in the MLB portion of the Rule 5, but definitely the minor league portion… players drafted there don’t have to be placed on the 25-man at all. Maybe Flores could sneak through, but those are some pretty impressive numbers. On the velocity, David Lee of the Augusta Chronicle wrote about him hitting 93-94 this summer, and there’s been some talk over at Minorleagueball.com recently about him dialing it up to 95, tossing in a cutter that sits high-80’s.
      Here’s a link to Lee’s article from July… http://chronicle.augusta.com/content/blog-post/david-lee/2013-07-30/greenjackets-wrap-flores-posts-impressive-outing-win.

      1. Thanks for the link. There’s always misinformation out there and it’s hard to get a gauge on a guy’s velocity from a stat sheet.

        If you can explain the minor league Rule 5 then I’m all eyes and ears. Someone said a player can be protected as long as he’s on a roster reserve list and does not have to be on the 40 man. The minor league portion is said to be for filling out minor league rosters. That was what I heard and that certainly does not mean it’s accurate.

        Much like what I heard about his velocity is not accurate.

        Keep up the good work over here. You built it. They will come 😉

      2. Thanks a lot, man. Honestly, I don’t know how the minor league portion of the Rule 5 works. I would think anyone that meets the criteria but is unprotected would be eligible for the MiLB portion, but I don’t know that for sure. I have heard that anyone selected in the MiLB portion doesn’t need to be placed at a specific level. That’s about all I know. My guess is that Kendry Flores could (and probably would) have been selected in the MiLB portion if he wasn’t protected.

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