Brewers Face Interesting Roster Decisions To Clear Space For DL'ed Pitchers

At some point in the coming days, the Brewers are going to have to make a couple of moves to make things work on their 40 man roster. The roster is currently full, and space will have to be made to reinstate Manny Parra and Mitch Stetter, who finished the season on the 60-day DL.

Here's what The Biz of Baseball says on the subject:

Once the season ends, a player on the 60-day disabled list must be reinstated to the 40-man roster or designated for assignment.

Depending on how things go over the next few days, the season could be over as early as the middle of next week. Prince Fielder and others won't have filed for free agency yet, meaning the Brewers need to find another way to clear roster spots for Parra and Stetter or risk losing them on waivers or via minor league free agency. Here are a few players that could be let go to make room:

Mark DiFelice

After spending an entire season rehabbing following shoulder surgery, DiFelice made it all the way back to the big leagues in 2011 but his stay was brief: After three relief appearances in June he was sent back to the minors. Five days later he was placed on the DL and was done for the season. DiFelice would be eligible for minor league free agency this winter if taken off the roster.

Josh Wilson

Being left off the postseason roster has to be considered a pretty solid indication that the team doesn't have much planned for Wilson, who hit .227/.266/.360 in 54 games (but only 82 plate appearances) as a Brewer. Wilson's versatility is nice and you could certainly do worse with the 25th spot on a roster, but seeing him go wouldn't be heartbreaking.

Eric Farris

Farris entered the season as a relatively hot prospect in the Brewer organization (BCB Community Prospect #13), but had a disappointing campaign in his first full season in AAA. Farris hit .271/.317/.372 with 21 steals in 28 attempts for Nashville, putting up surprisingly low numbers in a hitter-friendly league. He was called up to the majors briefly when Rickie Weeks got hurt, but made just one plate appearance (which I missed because Cub fans couldn't sit down) before being replaced on the roster by Felipe Lopez.

Farris' only defensive position is second base (he played 25 games at short this season, but that's it), and the Brewers are covered at that position both short and long term.

Amaury Rivas

Rivas has been one of the top pitching prospects in the Brewer organization for some time now (he was BCB Community Prospect #8 this season), but he's coming off of a pretty rough year in his first season in AAA. He posted a 4.72 ERA in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, walking nearly five batters per nine innings.

With that said, he's only 25 and would be a minor league free agent if removed from the 40 man roster, so it's unlikely he'll be the one to go.

Craig Counsell

The 2011 season is most likely the end of the road for Counsell, as he hit .178/.280/.223 yet still appeared in 107 games in his 16th major league season. He turned 41 in August and will almost certainly retire this winter: He could do the Brewers a favor by announcing those plans early and freeing up his roster spot.

Mark Kotsay

Despite a rough start and finish, 2011 was actually one of Kotsay's best seasons in quite a while: He posted a 91 OPS+, his best in a full season since 2008. With that said, he's due to become a free agent and I'm not convinced he has any long term value to offer this team. The only reason he's not a top candidate to be released is because he's apparently a very nice guy.

Yuniesky Betancourt

This would be probably the most popular potential move on this list, but it's also probably the least likely to happen. The Brewers have a $6 million club option on Betancourt's deal for next season with a $2 million buyout. I'm going to be very angry but not necessarily surprised if the organization decries the lack of freely available talent and exercises that option.

With that said, if the Brewers have decided to part ways with one of their least valuable players they could cut him a check for $2 million and he could be gone today.

What do you think? How would you handle this situation? How do you expect the Brewers to do it?

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