I think, and correct me if I'm wrong, the biggest 40-man roster snafu for the Giants over the last several years was when they let Matt Downs go to keep Alex Hinshaw on the roster. There was the time they accidentally designated Sergio Romo for assignment, but that probably doesn't count. As far as losing someone to waivers, or the Rule 5 draft, I think Downs is the big loss.
Matt Downs last year: .215/.282/.359 in Triple-A.
So there will probably be some handwringing over the moves the Giants make prior to midnight tonight to set the roster before the Rule 5 draft. There probably should not be handwringing. But, if you must know, handwringing is expressly encouraged. It makes for funnier posts when you reread them years later.
With a ton of help from Roger (who did
most all of the research), here are the players the Giants are at risk of losing in the Rule 5 draft if they don't put them on the 40-man roster:
Players drafted out of college in 2010
Players drafted out of high school in 2009
International free agents who are likely eligible
Roger was unclear if Joan Gregorio and his nasty sink were eligible because he doesn't have the exact signing date, but he suspects Gregorio is not eligible. All of the players left unprotected last year (Chris Dominguez, for example) are still eligible.
There are a lot of players up there who have no chance of making the 40-man roster. Joe Staley doesn't even play baseball, for one. Fernando Pujadas is 21 and just finished his fourth season of Rookie Ball, for two. Don't think like this is a Sophie's choice. It is most certainly not.
The Giants currently have 37 players on the 40-man roster. They would probably like to keep one or two of those spots open for free-agent possibilities, but there are players who could be removed. The Giants could decide quickly who will win the Tony Abreu/Joaquin Arias wars, as both are eligible for arbitration, and they probably aren't keen on paying both. Nick Noonan is an interesting case, even if he's likely to stay. Sandy Rosario might not be safe. Guillermo Moscoso's spot is almost certainly in jeopardy.
With that in mind, here are the players Roger expects to stick around:
Roger also says he's never right about this, but he's just being modest, I'm sure. Or he's damaging the credibility of this site. One or the other.
I would be a little surprised if the Giants left Brett Bochy exposed, if only because of the Triple-A success and family connections. Even if he throws in the high-80s, he seems like a player another team would take just to get a better look in the spring.
Adam Duvall is a funny case, as he's kind of positionless, but he's also the closest thing the Giants have to light-tower power in the upper minors. I could see an AL team, maybe, taking a shot on him.
Oh. And now Prince Fielder is being traded for Ian Kinsler, so you don't care about any of this.
Well, I still do.
My guess: Brown, Parker, Flores, Bochy on. Moscoso, Abreu, and Rosario off.
Now let's all freak about about Prince Fielder getting traded to the Rangers.
(Thanks be to Roger! Couldn't have, wouldn't have without him.)