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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Cardinals add second-most players to 40-man

The St. Louis Cardinals placed seven prospects on their 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 draft, more than 27 organizations. Does it mean anything?

David Kopp (Jim Donten photo)We know that over the last week, the St. Louis Cardinals made two waves of roster moves to prepare for the upcoming Rule 5 draft, to be held as part of Baseball’s Winter Meetings on December 9. The first action was to add five prospects with the other dropping four and adding two more.

The seven additions are starting pitcher David Kopp (pictured), relievers Adam Reifer, Eduardo Sanchez and reliever Blake King, catcher Tony Cruz, shortstop Pete Kozma and outfielder Adron Chambers. (To see the entire system-wide rosters, click here.)

Putting that into context with the Cardinals’ past was easy enough. It was one fewer than in 2009, but the second-highest number of additions by the organization since at least 2005. Of course, there is the question of staying power, as three of the eight added last year have since been removed – Tyler Norrick, Adam Ottavino and Daryl Jones.

What might the recent changes mean in the bigger picture today? As I only watch one of the 30 MLB organizations closely enough to fully understand, I was pleased to see Baseball America help answer that. They have compiled the entire list of players added to the various 40-man rosters across the game.

The Cardinals’ total of seven tied with San Diego for second-most new 40-man players, trailing only the Florida Marlins, who added ten prospects. The MLB average was just over 4.5.

Of course, some clubs may have placed players on the 40-man earlier in the year – in preparation for September call-ups, for example, so this may not be definitive. A handful of players were added after the season to prevent them from becoming minor league free agents. The latter group of 12 is included in the total of 137 broken out below.

Further, some organizations may have a more set compliment of players on their current roster, with less room for adding new players. Perhaps others just have more free agents or more prospects from the 2006 and 2007 drafts worthy of protection but not previously added.

No matter whether or not you see meaning here, the count is interesting to consider. To see all the names, head over to BA.

40-man roster additions

10 7 6 5 4 3 2
Florida St. Louis Colorado Atlanta Baltimore Boston Arizona
San Diego Detroit Cubs Cincinnati White Sox Florida
Tampa Bay Cleveland Houston Dodgers Angels
Mets Kansas City Washington
Oakland Milwaukee
Philadelphia Minnesota
Pittsburgh Yankees
San Francisco Texas
Toronto

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