In what can only be described as an act of trickery, the Pirates and Ben Cherington released two players-Phllip Evans and Tanner Anderson-from the 40-Man Roster over a month ago, but only permitted their names to be known by the watchful eye of a person who refreshes the transaction page religiously every five minutes without fail.
Up until this point everyone and their brother acted like the team was foolish to not trim the unwanted fat from the roster when they actually had; adding in Taylor Davis for good measure to cut the roster to 37 players; which some automatically assumed would open up the floodgates to add even more Rule 5 eligible players. As if for some reason these three guys being released hadn’t already been factored into pretty much everyone’s roster projections.
In all honesty release them a month ago, today or November 19th; it makes no difference. These three players, but more precisely what they represent, are remnants of faltered attempt to acquire talent on the cheap; although Davis was really an acquisition due to injury.
Either way, they were transactions that were bound to happen, and ones that were hypothesized as ways to create space for the incoming protected class; which in some ways they were. Although, truthfully they can’t expand the roster beyond its set limit. It’s an illusion that makes thing appear that way by having three open spots now rather than simply just making the moves simultaneously.
Regardless of the timing they have to move guys on to roster while other guys are moved off. Shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic as some fans choose to call it. Sure it is another story for beat writers to publish or bloggers to grasp onto, but if you are asking me it’s just another time when Cherington and Company had the opportunity to make a normal transaction into something more than it needed to be. Kind of like the Gregory Polanco situation.
Frankly, what would be so hard about announcing that you released whoever, but that it might not process right away? You made the transaction. It’s not your fault that Major League Baseball is so messed up with all its goofy rules that you can’t tell anyone exactly what you are trying to do. These players have been removed from your team. That’s legitimately the end of the story; except now it’s somehow more, and in the eyes of some there are additional spots on the roster.
So, what will Ben do with them? My immediate reaction is nothing. My perception after having time to contemplate the situation remains the about the same.
Cherington still has to protect players from the dreaded Rule 5 Draft that has somehow developed magical powers because until a couple of years ago no one really paid attention to it, he needs to prepare for the tender/non-tender deadline and he probably needs to get a free agent or two.
Those are the plans; with an extension for Bryan Reynolds hopefully mixed in.
And sincerely, if it’s the ultimate goal to over analyze-or maybe more accurately over react to every move by the Pirates-other than who they actually choose to add to the 40-Man or any legitimate addition to the roster-please count me out.
Unless it is discuss how poorly the Pirates address or announce even the most minor transactions. At that point I’m all ears.