A couple days ago, the Dodgers removed Chin-Hui Tsao from to 40 man roster after previously removing Zach Hammes. This seemed a bit odd, both these guys were talented, albeit flawed pitchers that could easily find a home on someone's roster. Why then was Ned clearing room, just to make space for the new guys, or something far more sinister?
The easiest way to figure this out is to just construct a hypothetical 40 man roster. For the sake of argument, let's assume that the Dodgers won't non tender any of their pitchers this year, even though that's rather unlikely. After you add the players that need to be added to the 40 man, you come up with this.
There are a couple things that might be incorrect about this. The first is that Scott Elbert and Blake DeWitt could be eligible for the rule five draft. I don't believe this is true since they were drafted out of high school, but the fact that they were 19 at the time could cause some problems. Second, there are a couple guys that are on the bubble that I left off that could get such as Anthony Raglani who hit .248/.369/.461 for the Suns this year. He doesn't seem like the type of guy Ned would protect, but a team like the A's or the Rangers may want to take a flier on him, since he has similar isolated numbers and strikeout rates as Ryan Goleski, who the A's made a special effort to acquire last year. Finally, there's a small chance Ned might add guys like Lucas May and Russell Mitchell. They could help the Dodgers in the future but they're far too raw to last all season on anyone's roster.
If Ned keeps this exact 40 man, then there will probably be nothing exciting about this offseason. The three free spaces gives Ned room to add a backup catcher, a bat off the bench, and a middle reliever. This simply fills some holes that the Dodgers lost to free agency and pretty much what I want this offseason. However, if the more likely scenario that one or two of Hendrickson, Brazoban, Kuo, Beimel and Valdez disappear, suddenly we've got lots of roster space to play with.
Quite honestly, I started this post miscounting the 40 man roster and thought that we had only 36 players on it, not 38. This made my point a lot more convincing, and me not wanting to discard most of a post left me without as nice of a conclusion. Still, with the likely scenario that Ned bumps one or two more guys off of the roster, the Dodgers will have room for five to six new players this offseason. Ned doesn't seem like the type to have his eye on the Rule V draft, so he's obviously got something up his sleeve. The Dodgers wouldn't outright semi talented players like Hammes and Tsao unless there was something in line to replace them. "Do nothing" has been my dream this offseason, and moving guys off the 40 man roster does not look all that encouraging. I'll never say this again, but hopefully Ned is really committed to Mark Hendrickson.