Today isn’t some official day when teams have to make major cuts, but today is the last day teams can option or reassign players when injuries occur without having to put them on MLB IL.
Why is this important? Well if a player like say Quinn Priester were to remain on the roster after today and he were to pull a hamstring, he’s have to go on MLB IL, using MLB service time, with MLB pay.
Point is, expect to read a rather large list of names today after the game. None of the names you see should shock you, we aren’t talking about decisions on Goodwin or Wolters here. Instead we’re talking young prospects like Nick Gonzales and the aforementioned Quinn.
So, this isn’t a true deadline where the club has to make cuts or decisions but it probably will look like it was by the time they’re done.
This also won’t answer too many questions about the roster. Nobody who is reassigned today had much of, if any shot at making it this year.
It does mark a pivot point in Spring training though. Now it becomes a bit tighter. Survive this date and you’ve got just as much a shot as anyone else in theory. At the very least the club is telling you, “hey, if you end up getting MLB service time and pay, we were kinda there on you anyway”.
I won’t go so far as to say this is a cut down to the 26-man and the alternate training roster, but it should be rather close.
I could give you a list of names here but honestly, you know who they are. There’s a reason Priester was allowed to go out there and get his 2/3 inning, strict pitch count outing yesterday. They wanted to give him that taste but any later than this and the risk would be too great. The nature of pitching means they won’t want him in camp even doing something as benign as long toss after today.
This doesn’t mean they’re jettisoned into the sun, they just aren’t in MLB camp anymore. I expect we’ll start seeing some split squad stuff soon and that will reintroduce many of the players we’ll see on the lists as being cut, but the paper transactions have to happen.
I know many are picturing Ricky Vaughn opening his locker and finding a red ticket to talk to skip. That’s not how this stuff goes down in real life, especially for this type of move. There won’t be many players who didn’t absolutely know and expect this was coming.
After today, we kick into a different gear. Preparing for April 1st and the Chicago Cubs.