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Playing With the Tigers' 40-Man Roster

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With major league teams having to finalize their 40-man rosters by Friday, the Detroit Tigers have some decisions to make about which players they want to protect and which to leave exposed for the Rule 5 Draft that takes place at the end of next month's Winter Meetings.

If you look at Detroit's current 40-man roster, you'll notice 42 names are listed. However, six of those names will be free agents as of Friday. That leaves four openings. But at least two of them are already spoken for, as Scott Sizemore and Ryan Strieby will need to be added.

(Jason Beck and Lynn Henning seem to be high on Brennan Boesch, who hit 28 homers for Double-A Erie this year. Me, I think he looks a bit like Number Two's son on The Prisoner. He could take up a third opening.)

So the Tigers will probably have to make some moves to create more room on the roster. Who else should go? And which prospects need to be protected?

At Mack Avenue Tigers, Kurt Mensching listed the players he thinks should go, and the ones that could stay. In his article on the subject, Beck also suggested a couple of other players Detroit could protect. (Just to clarify, players generally don't have to be protected until they've played four minor league seasons, which is why prospects such as Casey Crosby, Cody Satterwhite, or Brett Jacobsen Scott Green aren't being mentioned.)

[EDIT: Take 75 North's Matt Wallace reminds me that Jacobson was traded to Baltimore in the Aubrey Huff deal. My mistake. I keep trying to forget that trade ever took place.]

Almost two weeks ago, demondeaconsbaseball requested that we have a 40-man roster discussion thread, so this is probably the best time to do it. I know some are more familiar with the Tigers' minor league system than others. (I'm probably not as familiar with some prospects as I should be, either.) But I think plenty of you have an opinion on this.

Just to get the thread started, four names immediately stood out as players who could be cut when I looked over the roster. I'd send off Freddy Dolsi, Clay Rapada, Don Kelly, and Dontrelle Willis. (All but Willis have minor league options remaining, however, and could stay in the organization. As Kurt pointed out in his post, Eddie Bajek has listed who still has options at his blog, Detroit Tigers Thoughts.)

So what moves would you make? Is there anybody else you'd cut loose? Who's an important player for the Tigers to protect? Play with the 40-man roster!