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MLB Offseason 2017: Rockies add four players before today’s reserves deadline

Sam Howard headlines the 40-man roster additions

The Colorado Rockies added four players to their 40-man roster before the reserves deadline. These additions to the roster mean they will be protected from the Rule 5 draft at the upcoming winter meetings. The Rockies now have three open spots on the 40-man roster.

The complete list of roster additions:

OF Yonathan Daza
LHP Sam Howard
C Chris Rabago
RHP Jesús Tinoco

Sam Howard (No. 11 PuRP) was the top prospect added to the roster. Howard had a strong season for Double-A Hartford and Triple-A Albuquerque and will be among the top pitching prospects providing depth for the Rockies young rotation while starting 2018 in Albuquerque.

Dom Nuñez (No. 14 PuRP) is the only eligible PuRP that wasn’t added. Nuñez struggled offensively for Hartford and may repeat the level; however, his strong defensive skills behind the plate have kept him among the Rockies’ top prospects. Nuñez was over two years younger than league average so there is still time for him to develop.

The Rockies also choose not to protect any of their eligible relief prospects—Shane Broyles, Austin House, and James Farris in particular—which means the Rockies’ farm system might be raided during the Rule 5 draft by teams willing to give a reliever an audition, though they may be returned if it doesn’t work out.

They did protect three names that were not at the top of anyone’s protect list in Daza, Rabago, and Tinoco. Protecting Rabago over Nuñez is a major statement about how the Rockies view their minor league catching depth right now, as Rabago is a year further removed from the big leagues than Nuñez.