By Jason Wojciechowski on April 12, 2015 at 5:18 PM
My prediction on the next players to go from the 40-man as space is needed, updated in quasi-real time.
This update is occasioned by the DFAing of Alex Hassan to make room for Cody Ross. Hassan ranked fourth on my last list, and even though the A's went position-for-position, I'm a little surprised Chad Smith didn't get the axe instead.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Cody Ross: He's making the league minimum, and apparently even that isn't guaranteed -- if the A's cut him, the Diamondbacks' obligation to pay him his guaranteed amount kicks back in. There's no obvious place for him once Coco Crisp returns, absent an intervening injury to another player, and between him and Mark Canha, the latter plays first base and thus fits with Ike Davis better than Ross does.
- Mark Canha: He's had a hot start, so it feels weird to have him listed here at all, but the fact remains that he's a Rule 5 player, so if the A's are in the race and feel they can't deal with him in the majors anymore, he'll be gone entirely, not just optioned.