With the Rule 5 draft looming next month, the Rays could -- any day -- add some players to their 40-man roster and shield them from other teams.
The college draft picks from 2008 and high schoolers from 2007 are eligible for the Rule 5 for the first time. Also, Tampa Bay currently has five open spots on its 40-man, according to the roster at mlb.com.
Who will they protect? (And they don't have to fill every spot.)
I say two.
Pitcher Nick Barnese is eligible for the Rule 5 for the first time. Stephen Vogt, a catcher/first baseman/outfielder/hitter, is eligible for a second time.
I only looked at those players Tampa Bay originally drafted, so this list isn't conclusive, but the others I pondered were: Shane Dyer, Neil Schenk, Marquis Fleming and Shawn O'Malley.