When the Dodgers signed Todd Coffey earlier this month, they had to DFA Russ Mitchell in order to make room for him, since the 40-man roster was already full. While it was something of a surprise to me that it was Mitchell who got the axe and not Ramon Troncoso or Trent Oeltjen, it did raise a question that I was unable to answer at the time: when can you start putting people on the 60-day DL (and thus, off the 40-man?) The Dodgers have an obvious choicefor the 60-day in Rubby De La Rosa, who is reportedly making good progress but who won’t get into rehab games until June at the earliest.
Via River Ave Blues, we’ve now learned that yesterday was the first day the 60-man DL is available, as the Red Sox took advantage of shifting John Lackey and Bobby Jenks there in order to make room for Rich Hill and Chris Carpenter. The Dodgers aren’t expected to sign anyone else to a major-league contract this spring, so it’s not an immediate concern, but we should know by now that every year, at least one non-roster guy (or more) is going to find his way onto the team. (Last year, there were three: Aaron Miles, Lance Cormier, and Mike MacDougal. Completely off-topic, how is it that Miles hasn’t even picked up an NRI from someone yet? He’s awful, but I can’t quite reconcile how Adam Kennedy can get a guaranteed deal in November, while Miles can’t even get a no-strings-attached pity date in February.)
Now that we know Blake Hawksworth isn’t going to be ready for Opening Day, the last spot in the bullpen is available, and if Jamey Wright (or John Grabow or someone else who isn’t Josh Lindblom) makes the cut, they’ll need to be added to the 40-man roster. That’s the obvious time to shift De La Rosa, though don’t forget as well that Troncoso is out of options, and will need to be DFA’d (or traded) when he doesn’t make the club. So while it may seem that only one 40-man spot is going to be needed in order to get that last reliever on the club, mark my words, something else is going to happen that will require both De La Rosa and someone else to be removed from the 40-man.
Back later today with something a lot more uplifting than rosterbation procedural news.