If space is needed on the Astros 40-man roster, who are some potential players who could be designated for assignment?
Welcome to the 2016 MLB Winter Meetings, where all the best minds get together to try to out-smart the other guy. The Astros are at 40 players on their 40-man roster after signing Carlos Beltran and claiming Ashur Tolliver off waivers yesterday. With Jeff Luhnow saying that he is still looking for pitching and the upcoming Rule 5 draft, someone may have to be removed.
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The Astros are much more likely to trade for starting pitching then to pursue FAs. Not in on Ivan Nova bidding; probably too expensive.
The offseason goal was to add some more proven left-handed bats to this lineup. By doing so, it has caused a clog of blocked players in the minor leagues. Players like Preston Tucker, Andrew Aplin, Max Stassi, and Kevin Chapman have not been given the opportunity to stick or play in the MLB. Which one of these players would likely be designated for assignment?
We have already seen two players removed from the Astros 40-man roster in Jon Singleton and Nolan Fontana. Singleton was unclaimed on waivers and has been outrighted to the Triple-A roster. Part of the reason that any other team did not claim him was the money he is owed. I’m really disappointed about Singleton because he was a glimmer of hope during the process. Maybe he should work with Program 15.
Why could we need space on the 40-man roster?
It is highly unlikely that the Astros make all these moves to claim a player in the Rule 5 draft. The Astros are a legit team with a solid rotation, bullpen depth, and a stacked lineup. Why would they want to carry a player on the 25-roster all year who may not be ready? Unless the Astros can claim a near MLB ready catcher in the Rule 5 draft, I don’t see them selecting a player.
As was stated earlier, claiming a player from the Rule 5 draft is not likely. Tolliver is not guaranteed to stay on the 40-man roster. However, I will make a strong prediction that the Stros will make a trade. This trade could be one for a starting pitcher with several prospects going out. Luhnow might need a roster spot, so a player will need to be removed from the 40-man roster.
Potential DFA candidates (Not meaning they should go.)
Kevin Chapman – A left-handed reliever who has not impressed in his stints in the big leagues. Being a left-handed pitcher helps his chances, but it depends on what player they are adding.
Andrew Aplin – Was added to the 40-man roster late last season before the deadline. He is seen more as depth option nowadays and has fallen off the Astros top 30 prospect list.
Stassi – This would be risky, but if the Stros selected a Rule 5 catcher, Stassi is expendable. Because Garrett Stubbs and Jake Rogers are better prospects, they may not need Stassi unless Evan Gattis is traded.
Outside chance: Tucker – I’m not ready to give up Tucker, but there doesn’t seem to be a role on the team with the recent adds. I still believe he will be good, but will it be with the Astros.
These are just a few of possible DFA candidates unless they do something silly like DFA Mike Fiers or something. This roster is stacked with many good players. Sometimes, players just don’t have a place on the team at the moment. Look at what happened with J.D. Martinez. He went on to have a great career.
If the Stros are not done, then they will need some roster space for more players to be added. The lost out on Chris Sale today, but Chris Archer, Jake Odorizzi, and Danny Duffy are still out there. Maybe we see a trade soon. They could also put Tolliver back on waivers, food for thought.