Red Sox 40-man roster slots: Who goes?

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Oct 2, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Jonathan Aro (65) throws a pitch during the sixth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Red Sox need to protect certain players by moving them to the 40-man roster to prevent any rule 5 losses. Marco Hernandez, acquired as a PTBNL for Felix Doubront, is one such player. An impressive season at Portland and Pawtucket certainly has moved Hernandez up in the eyes of the scouting department.

Trades are always a possibility. The rumor mill is rampant with various scenarios concocted in which the Red Sox acquire an ace or a notable talent and moves have already begun. You need a space in a deal in which more bodies arrive than exit so a personnel shift takes place.

The roster is in constant flux during the season, before the season and certainly after the season. A once can’t miss has done just that – missed – so out the door. The 40-man roster represents players who could be called up during the season since they have major-league contracts. The minor league players are viewed as being on “optional assignment.”

Baseball Almanac provides an excellent summary of the roster process and roster history, but the Red Sox – like every MLB team – is in a mode where slots have to be opened. In the real world, you are essentially fired, dismissed, canned or any other euphemism.

So just who is vulnerable?