Braves Make 40 Man Roster Moves


Braves second base Prospect Jose Peraza and 5 others were added to the Braves 40 man roster Credit: CB Wilkins

Today the Braves adjusted their 40 man roster in preparation for the upcoming rule 5 draft.

Most of you know this but for the new reader I hope to have soon, here’s a quick primer on major league rosters. Every team keeps a roster of players they may call upon during the season. The roster is divided into two parts commonly called the 25-man roster and the 40-man roster. If you know this stuff skip down to “Today’s 40 man roster moves.”

The 40 Man Roster and Rule 5 Draft

The 40-man consists of all the players on the  team who are signed to a major-league contract. The distinction is important because in addition to the benefits of a major league contract, being on the 40 man roster protects players from being claimed by other teams during the provides the minor league draft commonly called the rule 5 draft. All of the other players in a team’s minor league system are non-roster players.

The 25 Man Roster is a subset of the 40 man roster. It consists of players who are with the team on a day to day basis. Typically an NL Team carries 12 pitchers – 5 starters and 7 relievers – and 13 position players.  This roster changes throughout the season as a team requires to replace an injured player or someone on one of the lists – bereavement list, disqualified list, injured list etc. – that allow temporary replacement. The player used as replacement must be a part of the 40 man roster.

The Rule 5 Draft

Every year in December, at the annual Winter Meeting of general managers the last order of business is the rule 5 draft. It’s called the rule 5 draft because the requirement is ser forth in the fifth rule in Major League Rules.  By the same token the June draft is technically the rule 4 draft.

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  • Only non-roster players are eligible for the Rule 5 draft. In addition these players must been:

    • 18 or younger on the June 5 preceding their signing and this is the fifth time the Rule 5 draft has happened since their signing or
    • were 19 or older on the June 5 preceding their signing and this is fourth Rule 5 draft since their signing.

    To keep teams from claiming a group of players, claiming teams must:

    • Pay the losing team $50,000
    • Add the new player to their 40 man roster. If the claiming team no space on its 40 man roster it must make space by removing another player.
    • Add the claimed player to their 25 man roster and keep that player on the 25 man roster all season – he may not be optioned to the minors.
    • If the player isn’t kept on the 25 man roster he must be offered back to his original club for $25,000

    The rule 5 draft was designed to prevent hoarding good players without the chance of progressing. These players are not bad players, their team simply has no room for them. Johan Santana was a rule 5 draftee as was Jose Bautista, Shane Victorino and of course Dan Uggla.

    Teams often struggle to decide who to protect and who to let go. The trade of Jared Cosart to the Marlins last year was said to have been done in part to clear roster space so they could protect a player with a higher ceiling. The Marlins said thank you very much.

    Today’s 40 Man Roster Moves

    According to the Braves’ transactions page on Wednesday they designated Jonny Venters and Ramiro Pena for assignment and added Brandon Cunniff, Yean Carlos Gil, Kyle Kubitza, Williams Perez, Mauricio Cabrera and their number one prospect Jose Peraza to the 40-man roster.


    The designations of triple TJ surgery victim Venters wasn’t a surprise. The recovery successful return on third surgeries is small and keeping him would have been a luxury.

    In 201 Pena became a fan favorite slipping into the vacancy created when Martin Prado was traded to Arizona.  This season Pena returned to his career numbers and was largely ineffective allowing his spot to be claimed by Philip Gosselin.


    According to John Sickles latest list Peraza, Kubitza, Cabrera and Perez are among the Braves top 20 prospects for 2015;  Cunniff and Gil are not. Here’s how Sickles ranks them. The first number is Sickles rank the second their rank on MLB Prospect watch.

    "1)  1) Jose Peraza, INF, Grade B+: Age 20, slick defender took step forward offensively with .339/.364/.441 campaign in High-A/Double-A, with 60 steals. There are still questions about his power and his walk rate is quite low, but the complete package is worth buying into given youth, athleticism, and consistent improvement."

    "6)  12) Kyle Kubitza, 3B, Grade B-: Age 24, hit .295/.405/.470 in Double-A, nice swing from the left side, draws walks, strikes out a lot, high OBP type, not as much home run power as you’d expect given size/strength but not punchless. Has made progress on defense, not a gold glove but will field well enough to play regularly if the bat produces as expected."

    "11)   8) Mauricio Cabrera, RHP, Grade C+: Age 21, missed most of season with forearm injury and was ineffective in High-A due to command troubles when he did pitch. Throws very hard, up to 98 if not higher, but struggles with mechanics and control of secondary pitches. High-end closer if it all comes together or a number three starter, but big risk too."

    "13)  NR) Williams Perez, RHP, Grade C+: Age 23, doesn’t get as much attention as other Braves prospects but out-pitches most of them with sinker/change-up combination, posted 2.91 ERA with 94/39 K/BB in 133 innings in Double-A. 6-1, 230 body weighs against him with observers but the stuff is decent and he uses it well."

    Cunniff was originally drafted by the Marlins in 2010 but released in March of 2011. The Braves signed him away fro River City in the Southern Illinois (independent) league in June of 2013.  This year he appeared in 33 games in relief for the M Braves posting a 2.05 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP in 52 2/3 innings striking out 50 (8.54/9) and walking 20 (3.42/9). Easy to see why the Braves didn’t want him to slip away.

    Gil was signed as an international free agent in 2010 at 19 years old. The 6’2. 195 lb Venzuelan  started 22 of his 27 games for Rome this season finishing with a 3.35 ERA, 1.13 Whip while striking out 93 and walking 26 in 126 1/3 innings. Once again it’s easy to see what the Braves want to hang on to him.

    Here’s the 40 man roster as of today.

    That’s A Wrap

    You’ll note if you bother to count that the roster consists of 24 pitchers, 2 catchers, 8 infielder, and 6 outfielders; 40 in all.  Yeo full. You might think that would mean the Braves won’t be looking to pick up anyone; you’d be wrong. The Braves have been very aggressive in stocking up on pitchers since John Hart took over. If he sees someone he want she’ll go get him. Besides the you might have noticed that trades and signings are beginning to happen. More of those will happen and the roster will change again and when it does we’ll tell you about it here on the take.