Cruz can play in the major leagues defensively today. That value could be enough to warrant protection. His bat has been inconsistent at times but he has shown some pop and can drive the ball into the gaps. His ability to play multiple positions on the infield, coupled with his youth and experience has the Padres poised to place him on the 40-man.
Rosales, as a reliever, should be a near lock to make the 40-man. Young, inexpensive relievers in a market that has proven to be outrageously lucrative for setup men put Rosales' services in high demand. He gets outs and the prospect of another club nabbing him to pitch an inning here and there through the season seems quite high. The Padres want to protect that asset, especially given general manager Kevin Towers' propensity for finding cheap relievers who can excel.
On the other side, there are a few prospects that have value but there are questions about whether they are ready for primetime.
Catcher Colt Morton has the power in his inconsistent bat and could be an interesting option for a team looking to add a third catcher that can mash in the late innings.
Also, catcher Luke Carlin could prove to be a defensive wizard and late inning replacement for a MLB team that owns a hitting catcher that lacks fielding prowess – ala Mike Piazza of the Padres 2006 squad.
Right-handed pitcher Jose Oyervidez has electric stuff but has also been very wild. If a team could "hide" him for a year and afford the roster spot he could pay big dividends in the future.
Right-handed pitcher Joakim Soria has surprised some people with his effectiveness. He had Tommy John surgery in 2003 and spent a year in Mexico before the Padres signed him. In 2006, the Padres loaned him to Mexico so there may not be enough information on him for a team to take that leap of faith.
By November 20, the Padres must decide who will be named to the 40-man roster. Just two days shy of that date they continue to mull those options. It would not be a surprise to see Cruz and Rosales see their names in lights and perhaps a third player will so be named.
Rule V Draft rules:
Players who were 18 or younger on June 5 preceding the signing of their first contract must be protected after five minor league seasons. Players 19 and older must be protected after four seasons.
Arnie Beyeler, originally slated to be the hitting coach for the San Antonio Missions in 2007 after occupying the same role for the Mobile BayBears in 2006, has taken a job as a manager in the Boston Red Sox minor league system. No word was available on who will replace him in San Antonio.