The RosterResource Depth Charts and Payroll Pages Are Now in Offseason Mode

The RosterResource Depth Charts and Payroll pages are now officially in offseason mode, meaning that all free agents have been removed from their 2020 teams and a projected 26-man roster for Opening Day 2021 is displayed. As roster moves occur and news is reported, I’ll update these projections almost immediately and announce them on my Twitter account.

As of now, we will operate under the roster rules that were to be in place for the 2020 season prior to the league shutting down in March, meaning these projections assume a 26-man roster with a 13-pitcher limit and no designated hitter in the National League.

If you find yourself scratching your head about a particular projection, it’s very likely that you’ve discovered a team need. If you disagree with a projection, we might just have differing opinions. It’s also possible that I’m overlooking something, and would greatly appreciate hearing your opinion on the matter. Twitter is the easiest way to make a suggestion or report an error.

It’s important to note that these are Opening Day roster projections. Once we incorporate 2021 statistical projections, you will notice that certain players listed in the Minor League section have a significant amount of projected playing time and are expected to play an integral role for the upcoming season.

Since offseason moves do not become official right away, I use my best judgement to decide when a free agent signing or trade will be reflected on the site. There have been a few occasions over the years when I have had to “undo” a reported move (i.e. when Dexter Fowler agreed to a contract with the Orioles on February 23, 2016 before re-signing with Cubs on February 25, 2016 ). For the most part, a roster move will be reflected on a depth chart once enough credible reporters have confirmed that it’s a done deal.

One new feature this offseason is the ability to toggle between 2020 actual stats and 2021 projections, once available, in the columns on the right-hand side of the page.

Options remaining and Rule 5 eligibility have been updated through the 2020 season. These are unofficial and based on my own count. Certain players can be granted a fourth option, which is usually not widely reported. Major league service time will be updated as soon as it’s available.

If a player has an “R5” in the “Options or R5 status” column, they are eligible for the Rule 5 draft on December 10. Players not on the 40-man roster who show that they have options remaining because of previous major league experience are also eligible for the Rule 5 draft. Teams have until November 20 to add players to their 40-man roster, which protects those who would have otherwise been exposed in the Rule 5 draft.

Below the 26-man roster projection is a Projected Injured List, 2021 Contract Options section, and the “Minor Leaguers You Should Know” section, sorted by primary position. The purpose of this section is to identify players who are moving through the farm system toward the majors. Once I determine that a player is no longer making progress, I remove them from the page. Since there was no Minor League season in 2020 and not much reporting on non-impact player moves, I haven’t made too many changes other than removing all those who are expected to become free agents.

Here is an overview of the criteria I have used to determine whether a player is notable enough to be included.

Players are automatically included if they meet any of the following criteria:

  • On the 40-man roster.
  • Is a non-roster invitee (not on the 40-man roster) to major league camp during 2021 spring training.
  • Is a Top 30 prospect in the organization, per the most recent rankings on The Board.
  • Was selected in the 2020 amateur draft.

Players are also included if they’ve met some combination of the following criteria:

  • Had a productive 2019 season:
    • Typically a .700+ OPS or better for position players; could be slightly lower for catchers, second basemen, shortstops and center fielders if speed, on-base ability, and/or defense are strong attributes.
    • Typically a sub-4.00 ERA with average BB/9 rate (4.0 and under) and above-average K/9 rate (8.0 and over), with the caveat that relievers in the low minors must do significantly better to be recognized.
  • If a player did not meet the criteria based on statistical production, other factors such as ceiling, position, age, and level are taken into account.

The features of our Payroll pages are explained in depth here. During the offseason, the salary breakdown for a new contract is spread evenly as an “estimated salary” until official numbers are reported. Estimated salaries will be displayed in italics. Projected salaries for arbitration-eligible players, courtesy of MLB Trade Rumors, are displayed in italics with a light green background.

Feel free to let us know what other information you’d like see while viewing the depth charts in the comments below.





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Long Suffering Tribe Fan
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Long Suffering Tribe Fan

Thank you, Jason!