October is a month full of roster moves, and we started ours yesterday. We added RHP Eulogio DeLaCruz to the 40-man roster and released RHP's Shawn Hill and Cha Seung Baek and OF Cliff Floyd.
We traded for DeLaCruz toward the end of spring training last year and because he was out of options, we were forced to outright him to the minor leagues when we needed a roster spot early in the season. Fortunately for us, he cleared waivers and had an excellent season in AAA, posting a 2.56 ERA as a reliever in 44 appearances in the PCL. Eulogio's fastball will run as high as 98mph which he complements with a plus changeup. If we had not added him back to the 40-man roster, he would have been eligible for minor league free agency after the World Series. Still just 25 years old, he has a lot of career in front him.
The three players we released all spent the bulk of the year on the 60-Day disabled list, meaning they did not count toward the 40-man limit on the Major League roster. However, shortly after the World Series we must reinstate those players to the active roster, at which time they DO count toward our limit. Furthermore, both pitchers would have been eligible for salary arbitration this winter, and Cliff Floyd was set to become a free agent. So, though we didn't necessarily need the roster spots today, we do anticipate needing them come November. Releasing these players does not prohibit us from re-signing them; however, should we re-sign them they would not be allowed to appear in a Major League game for us until the middle of May in 2010.
Like other teams, I'm sure we'll have more moves as the next month unfolds.