You keep me in doubt, I can't live without your protection
UPDATE: Here’s a full rundown of the 40-man situation and who might get protected Friday.
Friday is the last day teams can protect eligible players from the Rule 5 Draft by adding them to the 40-man roster.
The Indians, at the moment, have 33 players on their 40-man. Free agents Jamey Carroll and Tomo Ohka will officially come off that list at week’s end, and Jake Westbrook and Anthony Reyes (both on the 60-day DL) would have to be added, so the number of open spots could remain at seven.
It’s possible the Indians could designate Reyes for assignment, given that his recovery from Tommy John surgery won’t make him a rotation option until midseason, at the earliest, in 2010. If that’s the case, that would free up an eighth spot.
In any event, the following is the list of Rule 5 eligibles who will have to be added to the 40-man or else exposed.
Kelvin De La Cruz
As is the case most years, the Indians are going to have some tough choices in here. Brown, a subject of controversy when he wasn’t promoted in September, figures to be protected. Same with Weglarz (who had surgery to repair a stress fracture in his left leg earlier this month but should be ready for Spring Training), Donald and Hodges. McBride was stellar at Kinston and made the transition to Akron in May. He therefore might get protected.
On the pitching side, the left-handed De La Cruz is one of the best arms in the system, but he missed most of the year because of injury. Gomez is a lock. The left-handed Lofgren’s improvement this season gave the Indians something to think about this time of year. Pino was an intriguing addition in the Carl Pavano trade, Edell is left-handed and Wright made the transition to the bullpen at Akron this year.
Those are the names that jump out to me, though one can never be exactly sure what a Major League team (the Indians included) will value in the Rule 5, which, for the record, takes place Dec. 10 in Indianapolis.