ANAHEIM -- The Angels added right-handed reliever Ryan Brasier, left-handed reliever Brandon Sisk and center fielder Travis Witherspoon to the 40-man roster on Tuesday, protecting the trio from the upcoming Rule 5 Draft.
The Angels' 40-man roster now has 34 players, creating room to sign several free-agent pitchers to Major League contracts and still retain some flexibility.
Teams have until 8:59 p.m. PT on Tuesday to decide whether to protect eligible players from the Rule 5 Draft by adding them to the roster. Those who signed after age 18 and have been in the Minors for four years, or those who signed at 18 or younger and have been in the Minors for five years, are eligible to be taken in the Rule 5 Draft -- set for Dec. 6, during the Winter Meetings of Nashville, Tenn. -- if left unprotected.
Witherspoon, who just finished up a stint in the Arizona Fall League, put up a .268/.350/.418 line to go along with 34 steals in high A and Double-A this past season. The 23-year-old is listed by MLB.com as the seventh-best prospect in the Angels' system.
Brasier, 25, notched a 4.37 ERA and 13 saves in 59 2/3 innings for Triple-A Salt Lake, striking out 54 batters, walking 24 and posting a 1.51 WHIP.
The 27-year-old Sisk, acquired in the trade that sent Ervin Santana to the Royals, posted a 2.54 ERA in 67 1/3 innings for Triple-A Omaha in 2012, striking out 73, walking 32 and posting a 1.35 WHIP.
Below are some notables who are now exposed to the Rule 5 Draft and could be snatched up by another team -- though it's very likely that none of them are claimed:
Efren Navarro, a 26-year-old lefty-hitting first baseman who won a Minor League Gold Glove in 2011 and just posted a .294/.336/.403 line in Triple-A.
Matt Long, a 25-year-old lefty-hitting outfielder who posted a .282/.350/.462 line with 23 steals in Double-A and Triple-A.
Ryan Chaffee, 24, notched a 2.60 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP in 65 2/3 innings for high A and Double-A.
Jeremy Berg, 26, posted a 3.75 ERA in 74 1/3 innings at Double-A and Triple-A.
Catcher Carlos Ramirez, 24, who posted a .205/.312/.276 line in 85 Double-A games, then joined Witherspoon in the AFL.
Matt Shoemaker, who's 26 and went 11-10 with a 5.65 ERA in 29 Triple-A starts.
Any player who signs a Minor League deal before the Rule 5 Draft can also be taken, regardless of service time. For the Angels, that means outfielders J.B. Shuck and Trent Oeltjen, lefty starter Jo-Jo Reyes, right-handed starter Billy Buckner and lefty reliever Mitch Stetter, all signed earlier this month, can be snatched up by another team.
Any player taken in the Rule 5 Draft costs his new club $50,000. That player must then remain on the drafting team's active Major League roster for the entirety of the following season, or be offered back to the original club for $25,000.