September 26, 2021

On 40-Man Decision Day and the Prospects Who Moved (FanGraphs)

Every year on 40-Man Decision Day, there are a few typically minor trades as teams with crowded situations seek to move viable big league depth for which they lack roster space. Teams have foresight when it comes to this because they don’t want to end up losing players via DFA or the Rule 5 Draft that they might otherwise be able to trade for something, like an international bonus slot or a prospect. Teams have increasingly addressed this proactively during the trade deadline portion of the summer, consolidating 40-man space by packaging prospects in bigger deals for contributors. Others seek to flip their fringe 40-man candidates for younger players who won’t have to be put on the 40-man for a while, a transaction we call a “40-man churn.” Does your contending team with an aging pitching staff need a spot-starter for next season, just in case you suffer a rash of injuries? Trade me that interesting rookie-level player who’s going to take a few years to develop. This day is about roster equilibrium.

This is one of those unsexy areas where a team’s scouts and analysts get to shine, looking for a developmental project who has some ceiling or someone who has a…

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