Friday, April 30, 2004
TIMBERWOLVES GAME 5
25 and 40 Man Rosters
First let me apologize for the brevity of this posting. I am not even in town. I am actually on my way to the Twins game tonight (Friday night) by the time you read this. I am looking forward to seeing the Twins up close. I can't wait to see how the turf looks in person. I'm hoping to maybe have some good stories, and maybe some good pictures, when I get back. Anyway, to today's brief posting...
Last week, I received an e-mail from a reader who asked a very good question of me. I thought it was such a good question that I decided to dedicate a posting to it. To paraphrase his question, he asked, "We frequently hear talk about the 25 and 40 man rosters, and players moving up and down and being designated and more. What does it all mean? Can you please explain it?"
Fact is, it is fairly complex. I really didn't understand it all, or more honestly, take the time to understand it, until the last couple of years. I will try to explain it and make it make sense, using examples from the Twins rosters the last couple of seasons.
25 Man Roster
Let's start with the most easy to explain, the 25 man roster. Simply put, it is the 25 players on the major league roster; those who are eligible to play in a big league game. These are the players actually in uniform at a Twins game. Players on the Disabled List are not counted against the 25. The roster must stay at 25 players until September 1st when rosters can expand to 40.
40 Man Roster
Each player on the 25 man roster has to be on the 40 man roster.
Players who have played in 3 minor league seasons must be added to the major league roster. For example, JD Durbin was drafted by the Twins in the 2nd Round of the 2000 draft. Jason Kubel was drafted in the 12th Round in the 2000 draft. Because they played in the minor leagues in 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2003, they needed to be added to the Twins 40 Man Roster, or they could have been drafted in the Rule V draft. So, for obvious reasons, the Twins added them to their 40 man roster. Now, Joe Mauer was drafted 1st in the 2001 draft. He played pro ball for half of 2001, then 2002 and 2003. He had played 2 1/2 years, so he did not have to be put on the 40 Man Roster. However, when the Twins decided that he made the major league team out of Spring Training, he had to be added to the 40 man roster and someone from the 40 man roster had to be removed. Players who are on the 40 Man Roster can be called up and sent down throughout the season.
Other players of note - Jason Bartlett was added to the 40 Man Roster this winter. (I'm really not sure why because he was drafted by the Padres in 2001.) When he was sent down to AAA, this was his first option year. Jesse Crain was drafted in 2001, so he did not yet need to be put on the 40 Man Roster. When the Twins call him up, probably in a month or two, he will need to be added to the 40 Man Roster and someone will need to be removed from it.
A player who is put on the 60 Day Disabled List does not count against the 40 Man Roster. For the Twins, Joe Mays was put on the 60 Day DL, so there are 40 others on the 40 Man Roster right now. However, whenever the Twins decide that Mays is ready to return to action, he will be taken off the Disabled List and someone will need to be removed from the 40 man roster.
Once a player has been placed on the 40 Man Roster, he has three "Option Years." The team can send a player between the majors and the minors for three seasons. Michael Cuddyer was put on the 40 man roster in 2001. He started the season in the minors. In 2002, he started the season in the minors before coming up in August. He started the 2003 season with the Twins before being sent down to the minors. He came back to the Twins at the end of the season, but that was his third year of options. That is why he (and Grant Balfour and Brad Thomas) were Out of Options and had to be on the Twins 25 Man Roster or else they could be lost.
Designated for Assignment
In the last couple weeks, we learned what happens when a team designates a player for assignment who is out of options. The Twins decided that they had seen enough of Brad Thomas. Thomas was called up by the Twins at the end of the 2001 season. He spent all of 2002 in AAA. He made a few appearances with the Twins last year. So, as Spring Training was winding down, the team had a decision to make. Do they put him on the 25 man roster, or do they designate him for assignment and hope that no one would claim him? Well, Thomas is left-handed and can throw 93-94 mph, so of course he would have been claimed, so the Twins brought him to Minnesota to start the season. He struggled so much that they gave up on him and designated him for assignment. Because he was out of options, the Twins had 10 days to trade him, or else he would be put on waivers and every major league team would have the right to claim him. The Twins were able to trade him to the Boston Red Sox for a player to be named later, or cash considerations. Sean Douglass came to the Twins organization in the offseason, but he was also out of options. When the Twins sent him down, the team was unable to trade him, and the Toronto Blue Jays claimed him.
Removed from 40 Man Roster
Michael Nakamura was called up to the Twins last year and pitched in 12 games. He had just a 7.82 ERA and struggled with his control, but as he had done in almost every minor league season previously, he struck out more than a batter an inning. He struggled at the beginning of Spring Training and was sent to minor league camp early. When the Twins were adding players to their 40 man roster before the season started, the Twins decided to remove Nakamura from the 40 man roster. When that happened, he would have had to clear waivers in order to stay in the Twins organization. But obviously there are other organizations that appreciate what Nakamura could be, and the Toronto Blue Jays claimed him. He went down to AAA for them, and was just called up to Toronto last week. In his lone appearance so far, he went one inning, and struck out the side.
I think I've answered some of the common roster management questions that I have had in recent years. To the person who e-mailed me this question, I accidentally deleted the e-mail, so be sure to let me know if I missed something! If I am missing something or there is another scenario you would like me to explain, please e-mail me.
I am actually in the cities today. I will be in attendance at the Twins game tonight. I am really excited to see them play. If you happen to see me, be sure to say hi!! Make a sign with www.SethSpeaks.net on it and if I see it, I will be sure to say hi!
TIMBERWOLVES GAME 5
Tonight, just a few blocks from the Metrodome, the Minnesota Timberwolves will be trying to advance to the second round of the playoffs for the first time in the Target Center. After such an emotional, physical and psychological game on Tuesday night, I hope the Wolves are able to get off to a fast start. I think that will be the key to the game. If the Wolves can get ahead early, I think they could really blow out the Nuggets. Of course, I also think the Wolves can win a close game too. Carmelo Anthony is listed as Questionable with the bum knee. I really, really don't think any of the Wolves want to go back to the Pepsi Center. And, if you do go to the game at the Target Center tonight, please show a lot more class than the Nuggets fans did! Bring on the Kings!
Welp, this is short. Like I said, I'm not even in town. Hopefully I'll have lots of good news to report on the Twins and Timberwolves on Monday! As always, please be sure to e-mail me any questions or comments you may have. I should be able to answer them at times throughout the weekend. And, have yourself a great weekend!
Back to Archives Home