Over the next week or so, MLB teams will make a series of minor transactions to get their 40-man rosters in order prior to next month’s Rule 5 Draft. Dec. 2 (next Monday) is the non-tender deadline — that is the day teams have to make their pre-arbitration and arbitration-eligible players a contract offer for 2020 — and those players are most at risk of losing their roster spots.
As for the White Sox, they now have rookie Danny Mendick penciled in at second base. He had a solid season in Triple-A and did hit .308 in a 16-game cup of coffee with Chicago, though he would only be keeping the seat warm for second base prospect Nick Madrigal. Madrigal should get the call once his service time has been sufficiently manipulated next year.
Leone, 28, battled injuries and ineffectiveness in his two years with the Cardinals. He did have a strong 2017 season with the Blue Jays, throwing 70 1/3 innings with 81 strikeouts and a 2.56 ERA, plus his slider is a legitimately above-average pitch. There will undoubtedly be a team willing to roll the dice on him in 2020. Leone may have to take a minor-league contract though.

White Sox waive Sanchez

Teams non-tender players when their projected performance outweighs their projected salary. Last year Mike Fiers, Billy Hamilton, and Jonathan Schoop were among the notable players non-tendered. Sometimes these players are cut loose before the non-tender deadline because teams need the roster space and can’t wait. That’s good for the player. It gives him more time to find a new team.
Sampson, 27, is still in his pre-arbitration years and would’ve made something close to the league minimum in 2020. He has spent the last several years bouncing around Triple-A, however, and time on an MLB roster has been hard to come by. The 9,700 payday in Korea is the biggest of Sampson’s career and it also gives him the kind of security he hasn’t yet enjoyed. The White Sox have placed Yolmer Sanchez, the 2019 AL Gold Glove winner at second base, on outright waivers, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Sanchez was projected to make about million through arbitration in 2020 and the ChiSox deemed that too expensive for a well-below-average hitter, even if he saves so many runs defensively.

Red Sox waive Johnson

The Rangers have placed righty Adrian Sampson on unconditional release waivers so he could pursue could opportunity in Korea, the team announced. Dan Kurtz of My KBO passes along a report saying Sampson has a deal in place with the Lotte Giants. He will earn 0,000 in salary with a 9,700 signing bonus. That’s good money for a Triple-A journeyman.
Even though Bonifacio is a pre-arbitration player with a relatively low salary, it’s unlikely he will be claimed on waivers, and thus remain with the Royals as a non-40-man roster player. He can’t elect free agency because he has fewer than three full years of service time, so, if he clears waivers, Bonifacio has no choice but to remain with Kansas City.

Cardinals set to release Leone

Because he is left-handed and breathing, there’s a decent chance Johnson will be claimed on outright waivers, especially because he will make around the league minimum. The downside is Johnson had elbow problems this year, and he is out of minor-league options, meaning he can’t go to Triple-A without passing through waivers. That limits roster flexibility to some degree. Left-hander Brian Johnson has been placed on outright waivers by the Red Sox, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The soon-to-be 29-year-old is still in his pre-arbitration years, so his 2020 salary will be something close to the league minimum. Still, the Red Sox believe they can better use the 40-man roster on other players, so Johnson is on waivers.

Rangers waive Sampson

The Cardinals have placed righty Dominic Leone on release waivers, the team announced. Leone was projected to make close to million through arbitration next year. He was designated for assignment last week because St. Louis needed the 40-man roster spot to protect prospects prior to the Rule 5 Draft.
In the coming days several players, including some familiar names, will be placed on waivers and removed from the 40-man roster. These players were all non-tender candidates and, rather than wait until the Dec. 2 deadline, some teams got a head start on their roster cleanup. Here are the latest players to be dropped from their team’s 40-man roster.

Royals set to release Bonifacio

Given his projected salary, the 27-year-old Sanchez is very likely to clear waivers and elect free agency rather than remain with Chicago as a non-40-man roster player. There’s little chance he will match his projected million salary as a free agent, but he should be able to secure a big-league job next year, even as a utility guy. That’s better than being stashed in Triple-A Outfielder Jorge Bonifacio has been placed on relief waivers from the Royals, the team announced. Bonifacio was designated for assignment last week to clear 40-man roster space prior to the Rule 5 Draft protection deadline. It wasn’t too long ago that he was seen as part of Kansas City’s core going forward, though a PED suspension last year derailed his career.


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