Time to take a look at the Rangers' 40 man roster situation...because, as you old-timers know, The 40 Trumps All!
The Rangers' 40 man roster is fill, and there are 3 players on the 60 day d.l., so there are 43 players, basically, on the 40 man roster right now.
Of those 43 players, the following are free agents once the World Series ends:
In addition, the Rangers will decline their 2014 option on Lance Berkman, and Joe Nathan's option for 2014 is expected to be voided by Nathan. That drops the roster down to 36 players.
The Rangers have seven players who are eligible for arbitration. Four of those seven -- Alexi Ogando, Craig Gentry, Neftali Feliz, and Neal Cotts -- are locks to be offered arbitration. Mitch Moreland will almost certainly be offered arbitration, though I guess there's a possibility he could be non-tendered.
That leaves two players -- Travis Blackley and Adam Rosales -- who are possible roster casualties because the Rangers won't want to go to arbitration with them. I think there is little chance that Blackley gets tendered a contract -- the Rangers would probably be interested in bringing him back on a minor league deal, but he's not going to get a major league contract.
Adam Rosales is an interesting case. The Rangers have struggled with their utility infield situation for several years now...they lucked into grabbing Andres Blanco late in the spring of 2010 after Khalil Greene no-showed, but in 2012 had no one Ron Washington trusted, and in 2013 used Leury Garcia (who was awful) and Jurickson Profar (who needed to be in AAA). The Rangers liked Rosales enough to grab him on waivers twice this year, and I suspect they'll try to cut a deal with him for somewhere around $600-750K for 2014.
So, that gets the 40 man roster down to 34 or 35 (depending on if they keep Rosales).
There will probably be 1-3 players added to the 40 man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 draft (I'll do a post about that closer to the Rule 5 draft), as well as players added via free agency or trade, so you have to figure there will be a few guys currently on the 40 man roster whose spots will be in jeopardy.
Ross Wolf is an obvious candidate to be a roster casualty. The 31 year old journeyman put up a 4.15 ERA in 47.2 innings, being used as a swingman, but he doesn't miss bats (4 Ks per 9) and he is the type of guy who is most likely not going to get claimed on waivers. Like Blackley, I suspect the Rangers will have interest in bringing him back on a minor league deal, but I don't see him sticking on the 40 man roster.
Edwar Cabrera was just claimed by the Rangers off of waivers, but he missed all of 2013 with shoulder surgery, and the fact that he made it all the way to Texas on waivers suggests he has a good shot of clearing waivers later in the offseason. I wouldn't be surprised if the Rangers looked to try to outright him in December or January, giving them the luxury of keeping him the system (if he goes unclaimed) without using a 40 man roster spot on him.
Chris McGuiness was added to the 40 man roster when the Rangers needed a first baseman to fill in while Mitch Moreland was on the disabled list. However, he didn't hit in the majors, he turns 26 in April, and he's viewed as a fringe prospect, at best. Cleveland grabbed him in the Rule 5 draft last year, and while he didn't stick, the fact that they had enough interest to snag him (and tried to work out a deal with Texas to keep him in their system) suggests that he likely would be claimed if the Rangers put him on waivers. Still, the Rangers may feel like it doesn't make sense to burn a 40 man spot on him all winter, and so it wouldn't be shocking if he were dropped from the 40 man roster this offseason.
There are a few other guys -- Cory Burns, Michael Kirkman, Josh Lindblom, Roman Mendez, Robinson Chirinos -- who could be potential roster casualties if the Rangers feel they really need a spot, but I think that there should be enough room this offseason, given the above, that those guys should be safe.