Today marks the deadline for teams to submit to Major League Baseball their initial spring training player pools, which can comprise up to 60 players. Players are not eligible to participate in either a spring training or regular season game until they are included in the pool. Teams are free to change the makeup of the pools as they see fit. However, players removed from a team’s 60-man (for reasons unrelated to injury, suspension, etc.) must be exposed to other organizations via trade or waivers.
Not all players within a team’s pool are ticketed for MLB playing time, of course. Most teams will include well-regarded but still far-off prospects as a means of getting them training reps with no intention of running them onto a major league diamond this season. A comprehensive review of 2020’s unique set of rules can be found here.
The Rays are the first team to announce their 60-player pool, and they’ve opted to fill all 60 spots—30 pitchers and 30 position players. We’ll see how many teams choose to leave some slots open; clubs aren’t required to use all 60 roster spots. There aren’t many surprises for the Rays, who will essentially carry their 40-man roster alongside many of the same non-roster veterans and prospects who were relevant in the first iteration of Spring Training. Wander Franco, regarded as the top prospect in baseball, will train with the club thanks to his inclusion in the player pool, though that’s far from an indication that he’ll appear at the MLB level this year. The only 40-man player who isn’t included here is Brett Honeywell, who is still recovering from an ulnar nerve procedure.