White Sox clear four 40-man roster spots

The second World Series travel day once again hosted an onslaught of news. The Red Sox formally introduced Chaim Bloom as their new general manager, while the Phillies and Cubs held media conferences for their new managers, Joe Girardi and David Ross, respectively.

On the other side, the Pirates completed their slow rollout of a purge, firing general manager Neal Huntington after previously canning team president Frank Coonelly and manager Clint Hurdle. Also, the Yankees fired pitching coach Larry Rothschild, which is symbolic of greater structural change.

Although Rothschild is the only announced change to the major league pitching staff, his dismissal comes as the organization is turning over nearly their entire pitching development infrastructure. In a radical overhauling of their minor league coaching system, the Yankees fired the pitching coaches at nearly all of their affiliate levels.

The changes throughout the organization have been taking place over the course of the season. Danny Borrell, who spent 11 seasons working in the Yankees minor league system and the last five as their lead pitching coordinator, left to become the pitching coach at Georgia Tech. The Yankees then hired Sam Briend as their new director of pitching, a role that would have overseen Borrell. He was previously the director of player development at Driveline Baseball.

The White Sox brought a more modest offering to the table, outrighting one-tenth of their 40-man roster this afternoon. Manny Bañuelos is gone from the pitching side, as is Ryan Cordell, Ryan Goins and Matt Skole from the position player side.

None of them are any surprise. Goins was the only one with a positive presence on the roster, and his 0.2 WAR was frontloaded. As for the other three, the White Sox are trying to put more life into their 40-man roster, because they’ve considerably slashed the bottom of the bWAR leaderboard.

Palka, Covey and Fulmer seem like marked men, especially since Covey is the only one with an option remaining. Four does a lot of the lifting for the time being, especially since impending free agents like Ross Detwiler, Iván Nova, Hector Santiago and Welington Castillo should add four more vacancies to the roster shortly after the World Series, outnumbering the players on the 60-day DL (Michael Kopech, Carlos Rodón, Ryan Burr) who will have to be reinstated, which I didn’t initially acknowledge. That’ll reduce the 40-man roster to 34 (and 33 for as long as Jose Abreu is unsigned), which is plenty of room for now.

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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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that gang of negative WAR guys – yeesh. Nice roster construction by Rick.


I don’t want to put the effort in to get an accurate number but that group of 14 players at the bottom cost ~$25M.

I wouldn’t mind them being cheap if they were at least somewhat shrewd about it. Instead they decide to spend the little money they allow themselves on players that are actively making the team worse.

Trooper Galactus

Two of their biggest offseason acquisitions were cut from the roster before the season ended, and a third would have been if he hadn’t had another season left on his contract. While I was happy to see important players make necessary and impressive improvements, it was galling to watch the GM fail to add anything to the franchise’s advancement toward contention. If anything, he set them back a year.

As Cirensica

White Sox (Hahn or Reinsdorf) like to cheap out when hiring players that are actually good, but they go crazy pouring money to buy negative WAR. Players that make the team worse. Those are the most expensive players money can buy. It’s like planning on how much money to spend to make this team worse than having average players.

Trooper Galactus

It’s not that signing mid-market players is a bad idea necessarily, it’s just that the White Sox (particularly Hahn) are REALLY, REALLY bad at it. I think Jim put it best when he said they have a tendency to sign players with limited skill sets and nothing to fall back on when that skill declines or disappears.

Trooper Galactus

I thought Jay was already off the 40-man roster.


He went on the 60-day IL so he was off the 40-man roster during the season. This is actually just rearranging deck chairs since Jay has to be reinstated on the day after the World Series ends while the others on the 60-day IL get a few extra days.


It still says free agency creates 4 vacancies

Trooper Galactus

I’ll be really interested to see the Sox Machine article on the 40-man roster crunch when it comes about. Looks like the team will have some decisions to make on several players, particularly Carson Fulmer and Seby Zavala. If I’m not mistaken, several pretty intriguing players are going to be Rule-5 eligible soon.


How many players that aren’t on the 40-man will they want to protect by adding them to the 40-man? Assuming they resign Abreu and add 4 more players either by trade or free agency, that would leave the 40-man at 35, meaning that 5 players can be protected. I too would be very interested in seeing who you guys think will need to be added to the 40-man to protect them from the Rule 5 draft.

Trooper Galactus

It’s at 35 before non-tenders and several other possible waiver candidates. Looking at the current 40-man, I see maybe 25 likely locks to stick and the rest are either question marks or absolutely getting chucked. I think locks are:

1) Giolito
2) Lopez
3) Cease
4) Kopech
5) Moncada 6) Anderson 7) Jimenez 8) McCann 9) Engel
10) Collins
11) Garcia
12) Medeiros
13) Adolfo
14) Fry
15) Hamilton
16) Herrera
17) Cordero
18) Vieira
19) Bummer
20) Ruiz
21) Abreu (barring a totally unforeseen event)
22) Mendick
23) Basabe
24) Bummer

Assuming they bring back Colome, Marshall, and Rodon at a minimum, I’m guessing they have about a dozen spots to play with to sign free agents and protect minor leaguers now eligible for the Rule 5 draft as well as players out of options. Aside from Fulmer being out of options (I believe), they’ll have to decide if Zavala is worth protecting still along with guys like Frare and Burr. Additionally, I think Burdi, Hansen, Lambert, Booker, and Mercedes are some of the more notable names who will be Rule-5 eligible (somebody will need to check my work on that, though). For all the consternation over the possibility of losing fringy guys like Stephens, Guerrero, Adams, and Peter to the Rule-5, at least three of the above names are highly likely to be grabbed by a team willing to take a gamble on their considerable upside.


I definitely don’t consider Vieira a lock. 26yo’s who can’t get the ball over the plate don’t really count for me as prospects.

Trooper Galactus

I’ll admit I considered him a bit fringy, and he’d be the first guy off if they actually sign enough better players, but I don’t know that they’d just part ways with a guy who consistently deals triple-digit heat. I certainly think they’d take his upside over some of their other options.

lil jimmy

Vieira won’t be around here next year for us to talk about.
“All hat, no cattle” comes to mind.

Trooper Galactus

Fair enough. I’d like to see enough credible signings to bump him and Ruiz off the 40-man.


All things being equal, I see 8 players I might protect.

1. OF Rutherford
2. SP Dunning
3. RP Foster
4. C Mercedes
5. SP Flores
6. SP Lambert
7. RP Burdi
8. RP Thompson

I’m sure not all of those will actually be added, but with 34 real or semi-real players already on the roster and (Hahn-willing) free agents coming we probably have a few more cut-down days like this in our future. Hopefully Covey is gone, probably Palka, too. And I’m very curious to see what the org does with Fulmer.


You have to play the game here, guys like rutherford have absolutely 0 chance of being on an mlb team for 162 games, ZERO, he has no shot at being claimed for the year so he certainly isnt a lock and I doubt he should be considered bubble. Mercedes mashed AA and AAA pitching and a team might be able to sneak him on a roster as a 3rd catcher DH type with the expansion to 26 man teams.The arms you list are all better shots to be in the bigs next season and stick as well. All of there protection should come before rutherfords.


Last season’s fretting over an impending 2020 roster crunch was wishful thinking.
Getz and Co. took care of that for us.


Yeah, I guess that’s one advantage of incompetence!

Trooper Galactus

The White Sox, I’m pretty sure, have several very prominent prospects who will be Rule-5 eligible. Guys who would be far bigger losses than the likes of Stephens or Adams.


They had what we’d all hoped would become prominent prospects who other teams might want. Didn’t happen.

Trooper Galactus

Just a guess, but if they don’t protect Burdi and Hansen, despite their injuries and failures to develop to this point, I’d be willing to bet somebody would pick them up.


Zero chance a team is putting either of those guys on a 26 man. Ditto Basabe, Lambert, Booker, Adolfo or Medieros.
And who cares if Engel or Zavala get picked? They stink.


I would definitely protect Burdi. Way too much upside to risk losing. And I think several teams would be willing to stash him on their 26-man. I’m not sure about Hansen, though I think someone like the Orioles or Tigers may take a chance on him.

Trooper Galactus

Wouldn’t you think a rebuilding team would take a shot at Hansen, regardless of how bad he’s been the last couple seasons? Guy completely lost the strike zone, but looked like an ace when he had it.

Trooper Galactus

You’re probably right. I just can’t forget how dominant he was his first full season; guy looked like he was on a fast track to the majors.


But Mercedes isn’t yet on, is he?

Trooper Galactus

No, but he will be exposed to the Rule 5 if he isn’t, and while he might not get picked up, it’s not out of the realm of reason to think somebody would take a flyer on his power production.


If he is exposed to the Rule 5 draft 99% chance a bottom feeder like the Orioles, Blue Jays or Tigers pick him up to DH

karkovice squad

What’s even going on in Arizona?
Make offers to 2 pitching coaches and both decline. https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2019/10/diamondbacks-rumors-bryan-price-declines-offer-pitching-coach.html

Trooper Galactus

Does Lovullo have a reputation for being difficult to work with?


Probably the harsh Arizona winters