(Because sometimes, puns can’t be helped.)
Following this morning’s announcement of three additions to the Brewers’ 40-man roster, there remained one open spot. I opined to one of my followers on Twitter that I was surprised David Goforth was not among those chosen.
@brewersblend Goforth, yeah. I think his stuff is intriguing and could entice somebody to hide his power arm in their ‘pen. I think.. (MORE)
— The Brewer Nation (@BrewerNation) November 20, 2014
Tom Haudricourt first told us that David Goforth was being considered for a the last remaining open slot on the 40-man roster, and the Rule 5 draft protection that comes along with it. Adam McCalvy then tweeted that Goforth was going to be added to the 40-man roster, according to a source. Naturally, I think it’s a wise move.
— The Brewer Nation (@BrewerNation) November 21, 2014
Goforth is a right-handed pitcher who seems to have found a home in the back of the bullpen after serving for the majority of 2014 as the closer as Double-A Huntsville. He recorded 27 saves in 44 games finished across 54 appearances. He posted a 3.78 ERA as he was prone to the occasional blow up outing (six games of multiple runs allowed), but far more often than not, Goforth was nails (39 scoreless outings of his 54). He struck out 46 in 64.2 innings, leading one to understand that his forte is generating ground balls. While not elite, Goforth posted a 1.76 ground-ball-to-fly-ball ratio. He throws a heavy ball though that stays in the park though, with a 2014 HR/9 of just 0.28 and a HR-to-fly ball ratio of 4.3%.
The other major calling card that brings Goforth attention as a prospect is that his heavy fastball also sits in the mid-90s and touches 98 MPH. But heat isn’t all he brings. Goforth features a strong cut fastball and is developing potentially above average offerings in a curveball and changeup. As is often cited on prospect reports, and backed up in the numbers, Goforth’s biggest obstacle to a full-time back-end bullpen job in Milwaukee is himself. He needs to improve his command. Many bullpen guys breakthrough “late” according to standard progression, but Goforth just having turned 26 shouldn’t worry anybody from projecting his possible ceiling, in my opinion.
Today is the deadline to add players to the 40-man roster in order to protect them from the annual Rule V Draft.
That draft takes place at the Winter Meetings and was originally implemented with the idea of getting players an opportunity that they might otherwise not receive. The basics that one needs to know are that if a player is selected by another club, that player must be rostered at the MLB level for the entirety of the next season and be “active” for at least 90 days. Otherwise the player must be offered back to his original organization.
From there, it gets a little more complicated including upfront cost, roster construction, option years, salary differential, etc. The point though is that eligible players who would be of interest to other clubs need to be protected from the draft. The only way to do that is to add the player to the 40-man roster.
Not every minor leaguer is eligible though. To be eligible for the Rule V Draft a player must have played in professional (affiliated) baseball for at least four full seasons if he was signed at age 19 or older, and five full seasons if signed at 18 or younger.
The Brewers have several eligible players this year who warranted consideration for protection, but at most four open roster spots with which to protect. Last year they protected more than that and possibly adding Corey Hart add a free agent would mean someone previously protected may eventually wind up back off the roster the end. Furthermore, the group of eligible players in full could make up their own 40-man roster still have two on the outside looking in.
But those most likely seriously considered include Hunter Morris, Jason Rogers, Brooks Hall, Kyle Heckathorn, Kevin Shackelford, and Tyler Cravy.
Any of those aren’t added today are certainly names to look for on December 15th as teams make selections in the Rule V Draft. Others could be lost as well, especially if they’re able to be taken in the minor league portions of the draft like Eric Farris last year.
I have learned that the Brewers officials have had their discussions and made their arguments as to why each player should be protected. The final decision is, as it should be, now in general manager Doug Melvin’s hands.
We’ll have coverage for you whenever official word comes down. Decisions are due to the league office before the end of the day, or 11pm CST.
***BREAKING: A source informed me that Jason Rogers will be added to the 40-man roster today.***
***BREAKING PART TWO: A source confirmed that Hunter Morris will also be added to the 40-man roster, as widely expected.***
The business of baseball has no off-season.
This was evidenced once again today when the Los Angeles Dodgers made a trade with, of all teams, the Boston Red Sox. Yes, the same Boston Red Sox who are about to take the field for Game 1 of the 2013 World Series.
The Brewers are keeping busy as well, outrighting three players off of the 40-man roster today. As with any outright assignment, the players were first designated for assignment, thereby being exposed to waivers. All three cleared waivers and were assigned outright to the Triple-A Nashville Sounds. It was the first DFA for Manzanillo and Ravin so there was no stickiness with regards to rights of refusal for them, but Jesus Sanchez has been outrighted once before (Phillies, 2010) so he could still declare himself a minor-league free agent.
The three players removed are all right-handed pitchers. Santo Manzanillo was added to the 40-man roster before the 2012 season but missed almost the entire year due to injuries suffered in a car crash in his native Dominican Republic. Jesus Sanchez, a converted catcher, was added to the 40-man before this past season. He pitched well at Nashville in 2013, though not as well as in 2012. Still, he has shown promise. The third player, Josh Ravin, was just acquired by the Brewers off waivers from the Cincinnati Reds organization earlier this month. Ravin was first added to the 40-man roster of the Reds following the 2012 season as well.
It’s basically a paperwork only move as all three pitchers, assuming health, will likely be pitching at Maryvale in Spring Training with the Brewers.
The biggest immediate impact these moves have is clearing space on the Brewers 40-man roster. The roster stands at 35 today with two spots spoken for already and the other three probably already earmarked as well.
Ryan Braun and Rickie Weeks will take two spots when they are respectively reinstated. Miguel De Los Santos might take one if he ever comes off of the restricted list. And, among many others to be considered, the Brewers’ last two Minor League Players of the Year — Hunter Morris and Jason Rogers — both require protection from the Rule V Draft for the first time this off-season.
The Brewers should get two more openings when free agents declare, by way of Michael Gonzalez and Yuniesky Betancourt, but Corey Hart may take a spot if he is resigned. In other words, there is still much flux to be unfluxed before the season begins.