Just about every baseball team has a full 40-man roster now, with the Astros the only team with an open spot at the moment. That means that just about every transaction, be it a free agent signing or a waiver claim, requires a corresponding move.
However, that could soon change as the injured list is coming back soon. There’s no IL from the end of a season until pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training for the next campaign, which they will do next week. That means some clubs could potentially gain a bit of extra roster flexibility at that time, since players on the 60-day IL don’t count against a team’s roster total. However, it’s worth pointing out that the “60 days” don’t start until Opening Day, which is March 30 this year. That means, though a team can transfer a player to the 60-day IL next week, they will likely only do so if they aren’t expecting the player back until end of May or later.
With some notable free agents still unsigned like Jurickson Profar, Andrew Chafin, Michael Wacha, Elvis Andrus and many others, it’s possible that teams interested in their services might try to hold off on getting a deal done until next week. Or perhaps clubs that have players they would like to sneak through waivers will try to do so now, before rival clubs gain that extra roster flexibility with the IL opening up. Then again, some clubs will need to keep in mind non-roster players they are planning to promote by Opening Day and might hold off on making a move until that time.
Here are some players who are expected to miss some significant time and could find themselves transferred soon, sorted by division.
The Blue Jays have a pair of pitchers on their 40-man roster who are returning from Tommy John surgery. They should be on a similar timeline, as they each underwent the procedure in June of last year, though Green will most likely return first since relievers generally require less time to build up arm strength compared to starters. Regardless, the recovery time period for TJS is about 12-18 months, meaning neither pitcher is likely to return until midseason at the earliest. Ryu recently said he was targeting a July return.
The Red Sox shortstop recently underwent an internal brace procedure on his throwing elbow, a similar operation to Tommy John. Though he’s confident he’ll return at some point, he’s slated to miss most of the upcoming season and is certainly headed for the injured list.
The Orioles lefty underwent Tommy John surgery in late of April of 2022. With the 12-18 month recovery window for TJS, he could theoretically return in the first couple of months of the season, so the O’s may not want to transfer him to the injured list until they have some clarity about his timeline.
Scott Effross/Luis Gil/Frankie Montas
Effross is a lock for the Yankees’ injured list as he underwent Tommy John in October and will likely miss the entire 2023 campaign. Gil had the same surgery but in May, which means he’ll likely be out until midseason. The situation with Montas is a bit less clear, as he’s dealing with shoulder inflammation that is expected to keep him out for the first month of the season. Unless he suffers some sort of setback, he probably won’t be placed on the 60-day IL right away.
The Rays have a couple of hurlers bound for the IL as Baz underwent Tommy John in September while Kittredge had the same surgery in June. They’re both going to miss the first half of the year, with Baz potentially missing the entire season.
Mize underwent Tommy John surgery in June and should be placed on the Tigers’ IL at some point. Skubal’s case is a bit less certain after he underwent flexor tendon surgery in August. The club hasn’t provided a timeline for his recovery but some recent comparables can give us some idea. Danny Duffy underwent the procedure in October of 2021 and was hoping to return by June of 2022, though a setback prevented him from pitching at all on the year. Matthew Boyd went under the knife for flexor tendon surgery in September of 2021 and didn’t return to a big league mound until September of 2022.
Crochet of the White Sox underwent Tommy John surgery in April of last year but was already stretched out to throwing from 120 feet in November. Whether he’s able to return in the early parts of 2023 or not will depend on his continued progression in that recovery process. In a less conventional situation, Liam Hendriks announced last month that he’s beginning treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It’s unknown how long his treatment will take but general manager Rick Hahn said they don’t expect updates “prior to Opening Day at the very earliest.”
Paddack was recently extended by the Twins though he underwent Tommy John in May of last year and likely won’t be ready to return until the middle of the upcoming campaign. Lewis tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in June of last year, the second year in a row that he suffered that unfortunate injury. At the time, his recovery timeline was estimated at 12 months, which likely puts him on the shelf until midseason as well.
It was reported last month that the Rangers lefty will require shoulder surgery. It was said that the timeline will become more clear in the aftermath of the procedure but he’s likely to miss the entirety of the upcoming season.
The Phillies superstar underwent Tommy John surgery in November and the club has announced they expect him to be out of action until around the All-Star break in July.
Both these Braves pitchers underwent Tommy John last year, with Ynoa going under the knife in September and Matzek in October. That makes them both long shots for appearing at all this year, but especially not in the first half.
Max Meyer/Anthony Bender/Sixto Sanchez
The Marlins have a couple of arms that will certainly miss time this year and one more that’s a wild card. Meyer and Bender both underwent Tommy John in August and will miss most of the upcoming campaign. Sanchez underwent arthroscopic shoulder surgery in October with the club announcing at that time they expected him back by spring. It was reported last month that Sanchez is already throwing bullpens, which perhaps points against an IL stint. However, after the shoulder issues completely wiped out his 2021 and 2022 seasons, it’s hard to know how much to rely on his health going forward.
The Mets signed Mendick after he was non-tendered by the White Sox. The infielder/outfielder tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in June of last year and missed the second half of the season. There haven’t been any updates on his status recently, but further clarity will likely come when camp gets rolling.
Tanner Rainey/Stephen Strasburg
The Nationals have one fairly straightforward case in Tanner Rainey, who underwent Tommy John in August and will likely miss most of the upcoming season. What’s less clear is the situation surrounding Strasburg, who’s hardly pitched at all over the past three years due to thoracic outlet syndrome and various issues seemingly related to that. He made one appearance in the big leagues last year, pitching 4 2/3 in one start in June but went on the IL right after and never returned. He spoke about the issue in September, saying he hadn’t thrown in months and that he is “not really sure what the future holds.”
Ethan Roberts/Codi Heuer/Kyle Hendricks
Roberts underwent Tommy John in June and likely won’t be available for the Cubs until midseason. Heuer had TJS in March but the latest reporting suggests he won’t return until June or July. The status of Hendricks is less clear, with the righty trying to recover from a capsular tear in his shoulder. The club is hoping to have him back by Opening Day but also said they won’t rush him. He recently said that he’s expecting to be on a mound by March 1.
Vladimir Gutierrez/Tejay Antone
Gutierrez, a Reds righty, underwent Tommy John in July and should miss the first few months of the upcoming season at least. Antone was rehabbing from a Tommy John of his own when he suffered a flexor strain in his forearm. He announced today he’s received a platelet-rich plasma injection to treat the issue and suggested he might miss the first half of the season.
The Pirates right-hander required Tommy John in June and will miss the first half of the upcoming campaign.
Antonio Senzatela/Tyler Kinley
The Rockies have a couple of murky situations on their hands with these hurlers. Senzatela tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee last year and required surgery in August. The timeline at that point was given at 6-8 months, which would place his return somewhere in the February-April window. Whether he’ll require a lengthy IL stint will depend on if his recovery is still on that track. Kinley was diagnosed with an elbow strain and a flexor tear in his forearm in June of last year. He underwent surgery in July with the club announcing they expected him to miss one calendar year, which should prevent him from pitching early in the campaign.
Walker Buehler/Blake Treinen/J.P. Feyereisen
The Dodgers have a trio of pitchers that are likely to miss most or perhaps all of the upcoming season. Buehler required Tommy John in August and could potentially return very late in the year. Treinen underwent shoulder surgery in November with an estimated recovery time of 10 months. Feyereisen underwent shoulder surgery in December and won’t be able to begin throwing until four months after that procedure, or around April. His eventual return to game shape will depend on how long it takes him to progress from simply throwing to getting up to full game speed.
The Giants signed the right-hander in free agency, despite Jackson undergoing Tommy John in April. President of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi told reporters last month that there was a chance Jackson begins the year on the 60-day IL, though that doesn’t seem to indicate any kind of setback. “He’s doing great in his rehab, so we’re going to wait and see how he’s doing in spring training,” Zaidi said.
Strasburg needs to be on the 600 day IL
60 year IL
600 year DL
The DL be gone.
Larry Brown's crank
600 decades,I’d say…..
It’s sad how injuries have derailed his career. He was a special player. I wonder if he would consider a move to the bullpen to reduce the work load/wear and tear. Yes, that would be one VERY overpaid reliever/closer, but it would be better than not playing at all.
They should change it from the IL to the Strasburg List.
Yes but every pitching expert who saw him as a rookie thought this was going to happen. Very bad form, a classic inverted W. Nats are very lucky they got what they got (and a ring) from him before it hit the fan.
So to get this straight, They knew he was going to get hurt but still gave him around 35 million a year for all those years? Huh. If they wanted to throw money away they could of tossed some my way. If you’re right it make the Nats sound dumber than they do already.
He was around for 10 years before he lost it, and led the league in IPs before he signed the contract. If he was hurt, he covered it up pretty well.
It’s amazing how many people can predict the future after it’s happened.
deGrom Texas Ranger
I hope this clears room for an elite lefty in the bullpen to come (or return, but ideally come) to Texas. I don’t like Moore since he walks too many, and Texas needs to cut down on those, but I’d take a fluke who hasn’t been good in a while over nobody.
I’d be willing to bet that most of the guys who are left in FA have already worked out deals with whoever they want to play with in most cases. And teams are waiting for the openings to announce the signings because they don’t have much left to DFA. Once the 60 day spots open up they’ll fall pretty quickly.
It’s not just the opening of camps, IIRC. I believe players can only be transferred back to or onto the 60-Day IL when the first infra-squad games happen, which is around the 20th or 21st.
While I understand why they don’t have the 60-day IL during the offseason, they should figure out a process where it can still exist.
Yeah, and one obvious qualifier would be TJS after the trade deadline or All-Star break of the season prior. There’s no way those guys are coming back that next season (at least a large majority of it). I wonder if the union would agree to that too because that prevents the perpetual shifting of more Rule V guys that could be protected (albeit only one or two).
The union probably has a right to be concerned as teams would absolutely manipulate it, yet the two sides really should figure out a compromise.
“While I understand why they don’t have the 60-day IL during the offseason.”
Please explain it to me.
This rule is archaic and nonsensical.
Players with serious long term injuries do not magically heal after the World Series and have those same injuries mysteriously reappear when the first infra-squad games take place in the next calendar year’s Spring Training.
Jacksson13- The obvious reason they don’t have the IL in the off season is because it would allow teams to stash guys on it and add guys to the 40 man to subvert things like the rule 5 draft and keeping prospects around for depth pieces who find opportunities elsewhere. There are rules about when a prospect has to be added to the 40 man or not to keep teams from basically keeping guys locked in, and not having to make decisions on trading them or not. By Spring you have already made those decisions so then you can carry on accordingly. It’s to benefit the fringe players who are blocked to get an opportunity somewhere else.
Maybe Tim Dierkes or Anthony Franco could toss in a quick explanation of exactly when or how a prospect has to be added to a clubs 40 man roster and what the exact rules are. I’m not sure. Like the Cubs have Dansby Swanson and Nico Hoerner who look like they’re going to be around for awhile so most of the Cubs SS prospects will have to find a new position or be dealt at some point. Plus they just signed 3 more in the International signing period.
There are enough medical resources to prevent teams from dreamin up “Phantom” injuries to create 40 man roster space during the period from the end of the World Series and the beginning of the next season’s infra-squad games such that seriously injured players at the end of the World Series could REMAIN on the 60 Day IL during the entire off season. Due to the impactful and serious nature of their injuries, it can be argued that they may never recapture their prior level of performance or advance beyond the level of performance they had attained at the time their injury was sustained. Players are being treated like meat with all this frequent 40 man roster DFA movement.
I also feel that with the frequency and severity of injuries in today’s MLB that the 40 man roster and the 26 man roster are both well past their prime and are in need of revision upwards. Both a 45 man organizational roster and a 28-30 MLB roster are much more realistic. These revisions would be of benefit to the fringe, AAAA, AAA players in that the expansion would permit: less personal life disruption and more consistent coaching, resulting in an enhanced opportunity for advancement to the majors.
During the season, prospects get “selected” to the 40 man roster in order to be added to the active 26 man roster. This happened with Adley Rutschman in the past season. During the offseason, prospects are selected ahead of a November deadline to protect them from the Rule 5 draft. The general rule for when a player needs to be protected from the Rule 5 draft is: 4 years after being drafted for players out of high school, and 3 years for players out of college. Adley was drafted out of college in 2019 so he was exempt from the 2019, 2020, and 2021 Rule 5 draft. He would have been added to the 40 man in November 2022 to protect him from the 2022 Rule 5 draft, but of course he was added midseason.
Some older minor leaguers may also be selected in early November to prevent them from attaining minor league free agency. For most drafted players, it is 6 years after they were drafted. So players drafted in 2016 who spend the last 7 years never being on a 40 man roster reached minor league free agency in November 2022.
How about if you are on the 60 day IL during the off-season you can not return to the major league roster until after the all star break
Or maybe if you’re on the IL during the off-season the player you add in his place has to be on the opening day roster
deGrom Texas Ranger
Players on the 60 day IL should be unpaid, as long as a player doctor and a team doctor conclude it is necessary for healing. It would reallocate money to guys who actually play.
Player salaries should not be counted against the CBT number for games they spend on the IL.
So degrom if you’re sick or hurt at work and get paid you give the money back right? Yeah , Sure you do.
deGrom Texas Ranger
Yes. Of course. I work for myself.
If it’s a baseball related injury, no chance at all the players’ union accepts that. If it’s something stupid, like a 4-wheeling accident, then maybe, but even then, I doubt the union would be on board.
Best you might get is what OhioDodger suggests: the money doesn’t count toward the CBT.
You Can Put It In The Books .
Harper’s getting closer and closer to getting the Old Yeller treatment with these mounting injuries. When he comes back, throw him inside ala Snell and he won’t be so comfortable anymore diving into the zone.
So far Harper seems to be the exception to the rule for giving a big hitting, weak defensive player a massive contract based on a couple monster years. I figured at this point he’d have an ops in the mid to high 700’s with clear signs of being overmatched by the better pitchers.
I found the Padres fan
Yeah Harper is awful
Yeah because Harper getting drilled in the head with a fastball really changed his batting approach didn’t it?
Yeah, Harper only had a .516 SLG, a higher SLG than Freddie Freeman, Julio Rodriguez, Kyle Schwarber, and all but 13 players with at least 400 PA.
Clearly, he’s done.
(Yes, that’s sarcasm.)
You Can Put It In The Books .
This isn’t a new injury for Harper. It’s the same elbow issue he had last year he just put off surgery until after the season
The broken thumb did hinder him when he first came back but he did alright in the World Series.
Wow, there’s like two exceptions to this list but every other player had TJS. Insane.
Cashman has his ready-made excuse for losing if Montas doesn’t come back. Ah yes, that must’ve been why we lost to the Astros again…..Montas, this time.
Not many injuries that will keep you out 8 months or longer and still be able to play baseball. TJ and cancer. Unless you get hurt in off-season.
It’s what happens when pitchers both sell out for velocity and tweak their mechanics to increase spin. There’s a limit to what the human body is meant to be capable of. After that point, injury risks are much higher. Pitchers also open themselves up to getting hit with a ball or, at best, poorly defending their position. Look at all the pitchers who have won multiple GG’s; how many of them are throwing 98+? Making balanced throws allows you to land in a good fielding position. Pitchers are largely bringing this on themselves.
No, baseball is bringing it upon itself. Heck, Greg Maddux wouldn’t even get drafted in the Velocity is King baseball era.
Sorry to mix sports, but is this procedure that Story is getting similar to what Brock Purdy might be looking at?
Yeah, but Purdy might need the actual TJ surgery
Imagine picking Strasburg over Harper…
deGrom Texas Ranger
The Nats picked both. Are you talking about fantasy drafts?
And Trea Turner. Phillies end up with both. Oof
Harper was drafted #1 overall in 2010, Strasburg in 2009. Strasburg has fallen off the last few years, but was pitching well through 2019, despite injuries. From 2012 when he had his first full season to 2019, he averaged 4.15fWAR/yr. Maybe you want more from a #1 overall pick, but most teams have done a lot worse with it.
deGrom Texas Ranger
Looking back, I think he means they choose to extend Strasburg over Harper instead.
Ah, that makes some sense. I thought Strasburg was wildly overpaid at the time, but the idea, in a vacuum, of choosing him over Harper made some sense. Harper was coming off a 3.1WAR year, while Strasburg was coming off a 5.6WAR year. Harper had the higher ceiling, but Strasburg seemed to have the higher floor and more consistency. Obviously, that gamble backfired badly.
Harper would’ve cost a lot more. That has to be factored in.
In years, he signed an AAV of 25 million which is lower than Stras.
Personally I’d have gone Harper. Once a guy has one TJ, I always feel like he’s due for another. The Nats had gotten a lot of use out of that arm already.
I agree on Harper but also, Harper left a year before Strasburg was re-signed. The two big free agents after the Nationals World Series was Rendon and Strasburg.
deGrom Texas Ranger
Do realize that Harper himself had TJS.
Means is slated to return around July. Not sure who thinks it’ll be earlier than that.
Eguy Rosario will surely be put on 60 day with a broken ankle
Bearded Texas Hulk
This is a life saver for fantasy baseball drafts!
Perhaps even sooner than moving John Means to the 60-day IL, the O’s will move Seth Johnson there since his UCL surgery did not take place until August. This all but guarantees he doesn’t step onto a mound in a game throughout the 2023 season.
Yeah they left out some guys. Canario for the Cubs broke his ankle jumping on a base in the Dominican Winter League, And then when he fell separated his shoulder so I doubt he’ll be ready until late season at best. Had to have both operated on at different times. Probably not a full list just mostly Pitchers and the TJ list.
Here’s hoping Liam makes a quick and full recovery. Beat that cancer!
In cases like Max Meyer where the player has debuted but not really yet fully established himself as a major leaguer; was placed on the major league IL last year and finished the season there; and has minor league options, is there an obligation for the team to place him on the major league IL where he’ll be earning major league service time? Or can the team simply option him and place him on the MiL IL? It seems like the off-season resetting of the IL puts moves like the latter back on the table. They couldn’t have optioned Meyer last year while he was on the major league IL, but the fact he’s technically been reinstated seems like a reset. Whether they feel they have a moral obligation or not, the pre-arb years of a player are so valuable. Especially for smaller market/budget teams like the Marlins. I could see them valuing a pre arb year of Meyer and managing a functional 39 man roster over using the year of service on an injured player (when he might otherwise have spent some or a good amount of that time on minor league option anyway) and having that 40th roster spot.
I don’t know the rule for certain, but I’d imagine there’s something against it, especially for baseball-related injuries. It not only delays their FA, but MiLB players get so much less that there has to be a rule against it for any baseball injuries occurred while on the MLB team.
Yeah, mostly 40 man players who are injured before the start of the season are put on the big league IL. But I’m mostly aware of the way Toronto has handled it and less so with smaller market teams. In Toronto, Nate Pearson has racked up enough service time to be in sight of arbitration eligibility despite only throwing a handful of innings and still being defined as a prospect in BA’s qualifications.
This is an interesting idea. I feel pretty confident it would not be against the rules, but Meyer could have a case for a grievance against the Marlins. Though, the Marlins could just agree to pay him a major league salary in the minors while he rehabs, since he isn’t under contract for 2023 yet. If I had to guess, most teams will value the 40 man spot over preventing Meyer from accruing service time. If you really believe Meyer is going to be an ace, then maybe sacrificing the 40 man spot for a year would be worth it. But it is a risk.
Seems like most of these guys went down earlier than the article said. I wouldn’t have thought they’d practically miss the whole season! Except for Mize, Skubal and Boyd, for Detroit.
Random unrelated question: so if infielders have to stay on the infield surface, can they not play in for bunts?
Most Major League Parks have cutouts for the 1st and 3rd Baseman so they would still be on the dirt.
There is absolutely no reason as to why a player needs to hold a 40 man roster spot in the off-season when they are going to miss 60 plus days going into the following season. MLB needs to tweak that rule.
Drascoo- I’m sure the reason is to stop Big Market teams like the Yankees and Dodgers from hoarding a bunch of injured guys because they have the money and resources to do it. That being said I agree that there could be a better way to do it , Like maybe putting a limit on how many guys you can have on the list in the off season. I don’t know. I see the problems with it from both sides.
You Can Put It In The Books .