I wrote a somewhat detailed analysis about this, and then my computer crashed and I lost everything. It made me angry. Hulk smash and all that. Anyway, I don't want to type it all out again, so here are the conclusions I came to.
These players are locks: Rios, Wells, Snider, Hill, Lind, Encarnacion, Scutaro, Barajas, Chavez (the last 3 are subject to change since they're free agents, but for our purposes we'll assume they're replaced with corresponding players).
That leaves 4 roster spots, and I believe they should be filled by: Brian Dopirak, who becomes either the starting first basemen or DH, depending on who shows more defensive prowess between him and Lind, Jose Bautista, Randy Ruiz, who can play against left-handers, alternately giving Snider, Lind and Dopirak days off, and a middle infield back-up. This middle infielder could be John McDonald, but Johnny Mac has been used so sparingly this year (since Scutaro and Hill have been so good, offensively and defensively), that it might not be a bad idea to find a MI back-up with a better bat, possibly sacrificing some defense.
If you're paying attention, this scenario means Lyle Overbay is the odd man out. I believe the Jays should be trying to trade him - he's having a good year, and he profiles as a type B free agent after 2010, so his trade value is at a peak right now. Would he make it through waivers? I'll admit I don't have a great handle on the waiver trading period, so feel free to chime in.
This scenario also means that Kevin Millar should be cut and Joe Inglett sent back to AAA. Jose Bautista and Inglett are very similar players, and I don't think there's any need to carry both of them. I wish Inglett could stay based on his AAA numbers, but there isn't room. I do think you could make the argument for Inglett over Bautista - Inglett is left-handed, so he could platoon with Encarnacion if Eddie struggles. Furthermore, Inglett can play second base, and if the Jays really want to get creative, they could make Inglett the primary second base back-up, Hill the primary back-up at short, and not carry a dedicated MI back-up, leaving another roster spot open for a bat. I think I'd rather stick with the Bautista-and-MI set up, but I can see it the other way around too.
Though Dopirak and Ruiz have mashed at their respective levels this year, we don't really know they're major league hitters - so, if you ask me, that's what the next 2 months are for. I'd like to see those guys called up now - September isn't long enough to get a handle on what a guy can do at the major league level. August and September isn't either, but it's a little better I guess. However, if either of these guys doesn't work out, the big club might want to keep Overbay. Perhaps it would be better to wait until after the season to try to trade him in case they actually decide to keep him. So many decisions...
Okay, I ended up writing almost as much as I did in the first place, I guess. So, what do you think Bauxites? It seems like Rogers wants to cut costs, so it's unlikely the Jays will make any big free agent splashes, meaning the holes will have to be filled from within. Does my suggestion make any sense? What would you do?