I am going to attempt to do something exceedingly foolish and hazard a first shot at who will be on the 25-man roster for the beginning of the season. The worst case scenario for this is that we can all dredge it up at the beginning of April and laugh uproariously over it … whereby I will have provided the valuable service of fodder provision for humorous reflection and writer idiocy!
By doing this, I am also going to speculate that the issue of “options” is going to have a strong bearing on who is in Baltimore and who is in Norfolk in seven weeks. The entire “options” system of rules is a bit complicated. At some point in the past I downloaded it for reference, and rather than clutter the post at this point, will save it for the end if you want to be refreshed about it.
What I am speculating is that there are going to be players the Orioles do not want to lose – players who are “out of options” and therefore cannot be sent to AAA without clearing them through waivers … so, guys with an option remaining may well be sent down to make room for a guy who no longer has one.
The Orioles have the following 10 players who are “out of options” and would have to clear waivers if not kept on the roster: Robert Andino, Chris Davis, Dana Eveland, Jim Johnson, Jai Miller, Troy Patton, Nolan Reimold, Alfredo Simon, Pedro Strop, Taylor Teagarden.
Of those 10, five of them are “locks” to make the team: Andino, Davis, Johnson, Reimold, and Teagarden. And since I doubt the Orioles will want to lose any of the other five, their chances are also reasonably strong … yet I do not see how they can keep them all.
OK… high risk here, but this is my first shot (and I confess I have some hopes as well):
Pitchers (12) …
Tommy Hunter or Brian Matusz
- – -
Pedro Strop (loved his competitive spirit)
- Therefore –
Kevin Gregg – traded and some salary eaten by the Birds (here is where I have hope and change at work!)
Alfredo Simon – sent through waivers (or it will be Eveland or Strop)
Tillman, Matusz, Berken, Bergesen, O’Day, Philips, Drake go to AAA
Catchers (2) …
Infielders (5) …
Brian Roberts or Matt Antonelli
Outfielders (5) …
Jai Miller (I like his athleticism and am hoping he has a big spring)
Designated Hitter …
“Options” explanation ………
If a player is on the 40-man roster but not on the active major league roster, he is said to be on optional assignment—his organization may freely move him between the major league club and the minor league club. The rules for this are as follows. (In all cases, an assignment of a player on a major-league disabled list to the minors while on a rehabilitation assignment does not count as time spent in the minors.)
Once a player has been placed on a team’s 40-man roster, a team has 3 options on that player.
A player is considered to have used one of those three options when he spends at least 20 days in the minors in any of those 3 seasons. A team may have a fourth option on a player with less than five full seasons of professional experience, provided that both conditions are met below.
1. A player has not spent at least 90 days on an active professional roster in a season. Minor leagues that play below Class A Advanced have seasons that are shorter than 90 days, and as such, any player who spends a full season in a rookie or Class A (short-season) league will receive a fourth option year.
2. A player has not spent at least 60 days on an active professional roster AND then at least 30 days on a disabled list in a season. Only after 60 days have been spent on an active professional roster does time spent on the disabled list count towards the 90-day threshold. As with the prior example, this cannot occur with players who spend a full season in a rookie or Class A (short season) league.
Once all of the options have been used up on a player, a player is considered “out of options” and a player must be placed on and clear waivers prior to being sent down to the minor leagues.