Fringes of the 40-man Roster

By Jason Wojciechowski on February 27, 2015 at 11:58 PM

My prediction on the next players to go from the 40-man as space is needed, updated in quasi-real time:

  1. Evan Scribner: Right-handed relievers who can put up a 94 ERA+ with a 92 mph fastball are not exactly difficult to find. He's out of options, so he might well make the Opening Day bullpen, but he might also be discarded on the last day of spring training when some team tries to sneak a slightly better reliever (say, a right-hander who can put up an ERA+ of 96 with a 93 mph fastball) through waivers. There's no real reason to think Scribner is a diamond in the rough; he is what he is, and what he is doesn't add up to much.
  2. Chad Smith: Claimed by the A's from the Tigers, who designated him when they re-signed Joba Chamberlain early in the spring training. Eleven and two-thirds innings in the big leagues, all in 2014, and his minor-league track record is short as well, with just 164 innings to his name. His peripherals appear fine. He's nondescript, which is the word we used for him in Baseball Prospectus 2015. Choosing between him and Scribner for no. 1 on this list came down to Smith having options remaining and his sinker coming in around 94 mph compared to Scribner's 92 mph straight stuff.
  3. Eury De La Rosa: He's a tiny lefty, which is adorable, but he only throws 90 with his four-seamer, and he's paid the price for his lack of stuff, giving up seven homers in 51 major league innings. He gets some strikeouts, didn't walk the world in Arizona (though he did in Reno) and is hardly a bad player, but there's not enough here to distinguish him.
  4. Alex Hassan: The A's claimed him once this offseason, then did it again early in the spring when he became available because of Baltimore's decision to sign Everth Cabrera. (Cabrera, by the way, is someone I had contemplated doing a post on as possible help in the middle infield.) That they've already waived Hassan once is one indication of his standing in the organization. That he's been a minor-league on-base machine and has an option year remaining is the reason I think he might survive a little longer than the players listed above him.
  5. Mark Canha: Listed mainly because he's a Rule 5 player. Honestly, he should probably be first, not last, because all it takes is a mediocre spring and he'll be headed back to ... uh, wherever he came from. I'm not looking this up. I'd like to think he can do a normal-sized human's version of Nate Freiman, with more versatility, but I don't think the A's are going to have a lot of tolerance if he doesn't hit lefties. They can feel pretty confident that Freiman will do that, so Canha's leash ought not to be very long.

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