I know this is probably best saved for the "A Realictic View at 2014: part I", but with the deadline approaching, it may effect what we do this summer...
The Sox will surely lose a quality player or two to rule 5, unless we get proactive and make some 2 and 3 for 1 deals soon. It's not easy to make those type of trades in winter, since, as hill pointed out, every team is facing a roster crunch at that time.
(I added the BOLD for those players of most importance. Red is a must keeper.)
The following players will be eligible for the 2013 Rule 5 Draft if they are not added to the 40-man roster by November 20, 2013:
Mario Alcantara, Michael Almanzar, Chris Balcom-Miller, Carson Blair,Xander Bogaerts, Bryce Brentz, Chris Carpenter, Garin Cecchini,Keith Couch, William Cuevas, Keury De La Cruz, Luis Diaz, Leonel Escobar, Derrik Gibson, Dreily Guerrero, Jeremy Hazelbaker, Jayson Hernandez, Chris Hernandez, Peter Hissey, Brandon Jacobs, Jeremy Kehrt, Aaron King, Aaron Kurcz, Juan Carlos Linares, Mario Martinez, Heiker Meneses, Boss Moanaroa, Nefi Ogando, Gerardo Olivares, Yunior Ortega, Oscar Perez, Rafael Perez, Mathew Price, Anthony Ranaudo, David Renfroe, Pete Ruiz, Felix Sanchez, Brandon Snyder, Alfredo Soto, Kyle Stroup, Francisco Taveras, Raynel Velette, Jose Vinicio, Kolbrin Vitek, Stefan Welch, Shannon Wilkerson, Brandon Workman, Madison Younginer
I see it this way: The players not in red could be packages to get a better prospect or prospects not in need of being protected from rule 5, or a useful 2 month rental.
Here's how our roster shapes up next year, assuming no re-signings, FA signings, or trades (assume Lester is back at $13M option):
12 pitchers: Buch, Lest, Lack, Demp, Doub, Ace, Mora, Bail, Ueh, Taz, Miller, Bres, Wils
13 position: Lava, Ross, Papi, Midd, Ped, Iggy, Bog, Nava, JBJ, SV, Gomes,Carp, Holt
The other 15:
1- 8: Bogaerts, Webster, de la Rosa, Cecchini, Ranaudo, Vazquez, Brentz, Workman
9 de la Torre
13 Diaz (?)
14 Hassan (?)
15 Wright (?)
16 Kalish (?)
17 Bard (?)
18 Butler (?)
19- 24: Almanzar, Hazelbaker, de la Cruz, Jacobs, Vinicio, Capenter
Now, we almost certainly will add a Catcher, OF'er and corner IF'er, plus maybe a pitcher or two. Let's say we sign 5 including Lester or 4 with Lester.
That means everyone listed under Beato is open to rule 5. My guess is we make some 2 or 3 for one deals this deadline in order to avoid losing quality depth. It might mean we trade some guys above the Beato line to make room for some below while strengthening other areas on the 25 man roster or on the farm.
We could also trade some players above the line to make room for players below the line.
Some players that may be moved this winter: Lester (refuse option or trade), Bailey, Morales, Miller, Wilson, Ross (depends on salty's return), Lava, Aceves, Holt, Gomes, Brentz, de la Torre, or Beato