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Looking at the 40 man roster for this off-season

Let the roster-shuffling begin.

Post-season baseball rolls on, but for many teams, the season is over. That means they can already begin preparation for the off-season, and many teams have already begun shuffling the 40-man roster in preparation for the off-season. The 40-man roster is used to protect eligible players from the Rule 5 draft to be conducted at the Winter Meetings on December 8. Here is the current 40-man roster.

Players Pitchers
OF Jorge Bonifacio LHP Scott Alexander
OF Billy Burns RHP Miguel Almonte
C Drew Butera RHP Wade Davis
OF Lorenzo Cain LHP Danny Duffy
IF Christian Colon LHP Brian Flynn
C Tony Cruz RHP Dillon Gee
IF Cheslor Cuthbert RHP Kelvin Herrera
IF Hunter Dozier RHP Ian Kennedy
OF Jarrod Dyson RHP Kevin McCarthy
SS Alcides Escobar RHP Alec Mills
OF Alex Gordon RHP Peter Moylan
1B Eric Hosmer RHP Brooks Pounders
OF Terrance Gore RHP Joakim Soria
IF Whit Merrifeld LHP Matt Strahm
IF Raul Mondesi LHP Jason Vargas
DH Kendrys Morales RHP Yordano Ventura
OF Daniel Nava RHP Edinson Volquez
OF Paulo Orlando RHP Chris Young
C Salvador Perez RHP Kyle Zimmer
OF Bubba Starling
IF Ramon Torres

On the 60 day disabled list (not on 40-man roster): P Tim Collins, P Luke Hochevar, P Kris Medlen, P Mike Minor, 3B Mike Moustakas,

Who gets put on the 40-man roster?

College players drafted in 2013 or earlier and high school and international players signed in 2012 or earlier are eligible to be drafted. The Royals have until late November, depending on the World Series dates, to finalize their roster. Here are some of the top names the Royals may want to consider protecting.

Jake Junis - He is the most likely player to get added after a strong season in Northwest Arkansas where he posted a 3.25 ERA and struck out nearly a hitter per inning before being promoted to Omaha at the end of the season. Junis just turned 24 and has a shot at being in the big leagues next year as a low-ceiling, back-of-the-rotation starter or possibly as a reliever.

Jonathan Dziedzic - Dziedzic may draw interest simply because he is left-handed. His numbers were underwhelming in Omaha this year and he struggled with command, but the 25-year old could improve his numbers by moving to the bullpen.

Andrew Edwards - Edwards also struggles with command, but he features a fastball that sits in the upper-90s and was having a nice season until he gave up 11 runs in his last six outings for Omaha. With his velocity, the 25-year old right-hander could be an intriguing pick for a team unless the Royals protect him.

Pedro Fernandez - The right-hander has held his own at each level despite being one of the younger pitchers in the league. The 22-year old reached AA Northwest Arkansas this year, and may find his stuff plays better in the bullpen, if a team takes a flyer on him.

Daniel Stumpf - Stumpf was selected last year by the Phillies but was returned after allowing six runs in five innings. He is left-handed which could make him a possibility to be selected again.

Luke Farrell - Farrell is a low-ceiling starter who has put up a good ERA in his career, but has underwhelming peripherals. The 25-year old is not a good bet to be selected, so expect him to be left off the 40-man roster this winter.

Zach Lovvorn - The 22-year old right-hander has progressed slowly, and has yet to pitch above A ball so far, making it unlikely he is chosen.

Elier Hernandez - First basemen are much less likely to be selected than pitchers. Duenez seemed like a promising prospect a few years ago, but was underwhelming until this year. Even then, his numbers aren't eye-popping and the 20-year old left-handed hitter is unlikely to be selected.

Other possibilities: P Christian Binford, P Bryan Brickhouse, P Andrew Ferguson, C Cam Gallagher, P Ashton Goudeau, P Glenn Sparkman

In addition to those players, the Royals will have to activate players from the 60-day disabled list to add them back to the 40-man roster, since there is no disabled list in the off-season. Those players include Mike Moustakas, Luke Hochevar, Mike Minor, Kris Medlen, and Tim Collins.

Who gets taken off the 40-man roster?

Some players will be taken off the 40-man roster as soon as their options are declined. Edinson Volquez, Kendrys Morales, Luke Hochevar, and Kris Medlen will all likely be free agents through that route. Others eligible for free agency will be off the 40-man roster as soon as they file - Peter Moylan and Drew Butera.

The Royals have several players eligible for arbitration, but they may elect to non-tender or outright some of those players on the 40-man roster, including Dillon Gee, Daniel Nava, Tony Cruz, and Tim Collins, effectively letting those players go.

Other players could be designated for assignment, which would expose those players to waivers before they are assigned off the 40-man roster. Any team could claim them and put them on their 40-man roster. The Royals may consider that for infielder Ramon Torres, and possibly even outfielder Bubba Starling, who had a disastrous 2016 campaign. If those players clear waivers, the Royals could still keep those players and assign them to a minor league roster.