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Elias Sports Bureau releases free agent rankings

Nov 9, 2009, 4:12 PM EDT

This afternoon Elias Sports Bureau released the 2010 free agent rankings, which determine draft pick compensation received by teams losing players.
Type A free agents require the signing team to send the old team their first draft pick after the 15th overall selection, with the old team also receiving a “sandwich” pick between the first and second rounds.
Type B free agents don’t result in the loss of a draft pick by the signing team, but do compensate the old team with a “sandwich” pick.
In other words, teams may shy away from signing some Type A free agents because it involves giving up a draft pick, whereas there’s no penalty for signing Type B free agents. Also of note is that a team must offer a departing free agent salary arbitration in order to receive compensation when they sign elsewhere. Here’s the full list of Type A free agents, some of whom (Cliff Lee, Victor Martinez, etc.) are already off the market:
Jason Bay, Red Sox
Rafael Betancourt, Rockies
Orlando Cabrera, Twins
Johnny Damon, Yankees
Octavio Dotel, White Sox
Jermaine Dye, White Sox
Chone Figgins, Angels
Mike Gonzalez, Braves
John Grabow, Cubs
Kevin Gregg, Cubs
LaTroy Hawkins, Astros
Matt Holliday, Cardinals
Orlando Hudson, Dodgers
John Lackey, Angels
Cliff Lee, Phillies
Victor Martinez, Red Sox
Bengie Molina, Giants
Melvin Mora, Orioles
Darren Oliver, Angels
Placido Polanco, Tigers
Manny Ramirez, Dodgers
Marco Scutaro, Blue Jays
Rafael Soriano, Braves
Miguel Tejada, Astros
Jose Valverde, Astros
Billy Wagner, Red Sox
Randy Wolf, Dodgers
That’s a long list, but it’s important to note many of those players won’t be offered salary arbitration because teams will be afraid of them accepting.
Some notable players who were classified as Type B rather than Type A: Erik Bedard, Adrian Beltre, Carlos Delgado, Mark DeRosa, Vladimir Guerrero, Rich Harden, Nick Johnson, Felipe Lopez, Xavier Nady, Vicente Padilla, Joel Pineiro, Fernando Rodney.

  1. Mo Green - Nov 9, 2009 at 4:22 PM

    Every year when these things come out I scratch my head and say to meself – who is this Elias character anyway, and does he know anything at all about baseball?
    So Billy Wagner and Orlando Hudson are Type A’s, and Joel Pineiro and Felipe Lopez are B’s? Hunnnhh? Darren Oliver an A? Really?
    My 2 remaining questions: Why don’t they let someone like Baseball Prospectus do the ratings, and how long before some adversely effected player sues over their preposterous and contract-killing rating?

  2. Dan - Nov 9, 2009 at 4:35 PM

    @Mo Green: A player wouldn’t have a cause of action, as the use of the rankings are agreed upon in the CBA.
    @Aaron Gleeman The more redonkulous part is that teams with a type A free agent who can be replaced by another type A are oddly incentivized to let their guy walk and sign the other; see Red Sox w/Bay and Holliday. If the Sox offer arb to Bay, who declines, and sign Holliday, they net a sandwich pick and swap first rounders (or an early second) with the team which signs Bay. That’s the exact *opposite* outcome which compensation (key word! “compensation”!) is supposed to further.

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