Lots of interesting decisions are going to be made today with respect to the composition of Cincinnati’s 40-man roster:

The deadline to protect players on the 40-man roster is Friday. Those eligible for the Rule 5 Draft include anyone not on the 40-man roster who was signed as an 18-year-old in 2012, or at 19 years or older in ’13.

Currently, the Reds have 33 men on their 40-man roster, leaving seven openings. Moves were made over the past couple of weeks to clear space, which included designating for assignment and trading pitcher John Lamb to the Rays; losing reliever Josh Smith on waivers to the A’s; and outrighting infielders Ivan De Jesus Jr. and Hernan Iribarren, outfielder Yorman Rodriguez, starting pitcher Jon Moscot and relievers Caleb Cotham and Matt Magill. More moves are possible.

So the Reds have seven spots available on the 40-man; that number could increase, depending on whether the Reds make any more moves before today’s deadline. Either way, there are a bunch of spots available. So many, in fact, that I’m still hopeful that the Reds will give me one of the spots. Hey, it could happen.

If you need a quick primer on the Rule 5 draft, minor league guru Doug Gray has a pretty good one:

To protect a player simply means to add them to the 40-man roster. That gives them a bump up in salary from the minor league wage scale to $41,400 (pro-rated for the minor league season – they get MLB money if they spend time in the big leagues) for their first year and an additional bump in the following years ($81,200). It also means that you are starting their option clocks if they don’t make the team and are sent to the minor leagues at any point moving forward.

If a team were to select any player, that player must remain on their 25-man roster for the entire season. The player can be placed on the disabled list, but must have 90 days on the active 25-man roster in a season. If they don’t, they must complete that 90 days the following season before they can be sent back to the minor leagues without being offered back to the team in which they were drafted from. That also means that the team is making a serious financial commitment to the player. The league minimum salary is $507,000. With how contracts are set up, even if the player is sent to the minor leagues the next year, they must make at least 60% of what they were paid the year before, which is another $304,000 the next season.

Simple, right? What’s not quite so simple is this question: who will the Reds add to the 40-man roster and, thus, protect from selection in the Rule 5 draft?

The answer: Jesse Winker.

After that, who knows? There are guys like Aristides Aquino and Keury Mella and Phillip Ervin and Nick Travieso and Ismael Guillon who stand good chances of being protected. I’d be astounded if Travieso and Aquino, in particular, weren’t added to the 40-man. Actually, all those guys seem likely to me.

Doug has a pretty good run-down of those players that he’d protect, and those that he wouldn’t. I’d recommend checking out both of those pieces. And we’ll have the news for you here at Redleg Nation as soon as we find out what decisions the Reds have made.

17 Responses

    • docmike

      Phil Ervin absolutely should be protected.

      Ervin had a great year to anyone who is not hung-up on batting average. He got on base, hit for decent power, and stole some bases.

  1. cfd3000

    I think Doug will prove to be exactly right, or very close. I could see Nick Routt and Zack Vincej getting protected from his “no” list, but certainly no one else. I suspect at least one more spot will be available – I just don’t see Tony Renda as a critical piece on the 40 man roster – and there might be one or two more relievers dropped off in anticipation of a free agent signing (please, no) or simply to acknowledge that some of the potential young starters won’t prove ready for the rotation quite yet and spend some time in an improved bullpen learning to pitch at the major league level. So I expect at least 8 and no more than 10 will be protected and I’d say take Doug Gray’s 8 and then add in Routt and then Vincej if there is room.

    • ohiojimw

      Another easy spot to create would be to just go on and cut bait on Cozart by taking whatever is there, assuming the return guy is pre-rule 5 eligible. At this point I don’t seem them getting anything of real substance for him; and $4-5M is $4-5M. We’ve talked here before of how they nickelled and dimed away a couple of million here and there until the total came to enough to have made a difference. Sadly that;s where Cozart would seem to fit in now. Mesoraco and Phillips are sunken costs. Cozart doesn’t have to be.

  2. ohiojimw

    The ongoing possibility that MLB active rosters will be expanded to 26 in the new CBA looms large over this year’s Rule 5 draft. Particularly in the AL, due to the DH, the 26th spot is would likely encourage more Rule 5 selections as the player could be “hidden” in the 26th spot then optioned the following spring if need be.

    The expansion of the regular season roster to 26 appears to be paired with a move to limit existing September roster expansions. The September roster number being bandied about yesterday was 28. One guy across an entire season costs just over $500K. Each guy brought up for September gets paid about $84K for the month. So, a person can see how the owners might be willing to give the 26th spot to limit wholesale September call ups.

    • JoshG

      a deal for what?
      trading away Cozart and/or Phillips are about the only deals to be made,
      unless you mean free agent pick ups.. and the reds won’t be doing much on that front

      • Dave Silverwood


      • MrRed

        Caps off, please. It doesn’t make your point any better.

        If there were a deal to send Cozart to Seattle for a player on their current MLB roster, believe me, it would have already happened.

        And I know the D-Backs aren’t the sharpest knife in the drawer, but why would they trade Pollock for Duvall?

        Lots of things you can get upset or anxious about with the Reds so there’s really no need to make up things.

  3. ohiojimw

    From @redspr

    Reds add RH Barrett Astin, RH Keury Mella, RH Jackson Stephens, RH Nick Travieso, OF Aristides Aquino, OF Phillip Ervin, OF Jesse Winker.

    The cupboard is full unless they drop somebody. They have to 5PM Cincy time for other maneuvers

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Joining the Reds 40-man are righties Barrett Astin, Keury Mella, Jackson Stephens, and Nick Travieso along with outfielders Aristides Aquino, Phil Ervin, and Jesse Winker. That gives Cincinnati a full boat at this point in time.

  4. Carl Sayre

    I am unsure if Duvall is a part of the next competitive team as a LF, platoon situation or bench guy but that is by far the most production out of that position in years. I want any trade for him to be dang near a guarantee.

  5. Michael Mayne

    I sure hope they cut a player and take one in the draft. I can’t believe some of the yucky, no-upside pitchers on the 40 man roster still.

    • Michael Mayne

      Must have been looking at older roster. The ones I wanted cut are cut, except for HR boy (Jumbo Diaz). At least Jumbo has a few good outings sandwiching a dumpster fire. Still, I wouldn’t be against dropping him or some other no-upside player (Sampson maybe) and leaving a free spot to jump on a higher quality player in the Rule V draft. There is high chance something better than Jumbo will be there for the taking in the draft. A hard throwing young reliever or a very good OBP bat that maybe lacks a bit in power or something.

      Then again, I don’t want another non-player like Jake Cave, so maybe it’s best they don’t have any room to draft one?