Mehring Monday: 40 Man Rosters and Free Agents

Shin Soo Choo is one of five former Timber Rattlers who are free agents this offseason. He shouldn't be on the open market much longer.

By Chris Mehring / Wisconsin Timber Rattlers | December 9, 2013 9:53 AM ET

As of Monday morning, there are 41 former Appleton Professional baseball players on 40-man rosters of Major League Baseball teams. That would be forty former Timber Rattlers and one former Appleton Fox.

It won't come as a surprise that the Milwaukee Brewers have the most former Rattlers on their 40-man roster. There are seventeen ex-Rattlers on that list for the big league club: Three - Marco Estrada, Carlos Gomez, and Jonathan Lucroy - who played with Wisconsin on a rehabilitation assignment; thirteen made a stop here as they moved through the system ; one - Johnny Hellweg - made an appearance with the team this past season as part of a way to stay sharp during the MLB All-Star Break.

It also won't come as a surprise that the Seattle Mariners have the second highest number of ex-Timber Rattlers on their 40-man roster. They have four: Felix Hernandez, Carlos Peguero, Michael Saunders, and Carlos Triunfel.

The surprising comes with the team in third place, the New York freaking Yankees. There are three Appleton Pro Baseball alumni on that team. Shawn Kelley, who had a nice season last year out of the bullpen, and Michael Pineda, who was working his way back from an injury, are the ex-Rattlers. Then, there's Alex Rodriguez.

Only three other teams have more than one ex-Rattler on their 40-man roster: Arizona (JJ Putz& Matt Tuiasosopo), Baltimore (Adam Jones & Chris Tillman), and Toronto (Jeremy Jeffress & Brett Lawrie).

Eleven MLB teams have one ex-Rattler and thirteen MLB teams have no former Rattlers. 

I also took a look at the divisional breakdown of the ex-Rattlers. The American League East is the only division that has at least one former Rattler on each team's 40-man roster. The AL West is the only division that has just one team, Seattle, with ex-Rattlers. The other four teams in the AL West - Houston Astros, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Oakland Athletics, and Texas Rangers - have no former Rattlers on their 40-man roster.

There are at least five alumni who spent time in the major leagues in 2013 who are currently free agents: Shin-Soo Choo, Raul Ibanez, Rob Johnson, Eric O'Flaherty, and Matt Thornton.

The Winter Meetings start today and there is a real possibility that all five of those players could be signed by the end of the week. Look for Choo to receive a big deal

Also, the Rule Five draft comes up in a few days. Some former Rattlers not protected by their current teams could be switching organizations.

That means I may have to do this all over in a few days.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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