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Red Sox get free draft pick as Felipe Lopez declines arbitration

Nov 30, 2010, 1:48 PM EDT

felipe-lopez-cardinals

At first glance it seemed odd when the Red Sox signed Felipe Lopez for the final week of the season. They were no longer really in the playoff picture and he wouldn’t have been eligible for the postseason roster anyway. He appeared in just four games before becoming a free agent.

So why did they do it? Draft picks.

Lopez has declined the Red Sox’s arbitration offer, which means Boston will be in line for a compensatory draft pick between the first and second rounds if the Type B free agent signs elsewhere.

So for a week’s worth of salary they got 16 plate appearances and a sandwich-round draft pick that, at minimum, is worth several hundred thousand dollars. That’s a pretty great job of working the system by Theo Epstein and company.

  1. Walk - Nov 30, 2010 at 2:04 PM

    Well done both on the gms move and small piece so fans like me who otherwise would have missed the broader story see it.

  2. Andrew - Nov 30, 2010 at 2:08 PM

    It also helped that Lopez declined to join the Padres earlier because he would have been ineligible for the postseason (though once the Padres were eliminated from playoff contention, we see that his argument was moot).

    • ultimatecardinalwarrior - Nov 30, 2010 at 2:33 PM

      Why would he have been ineligible? I don’t know and I’m curious. Would he have been ineligible for the Cardinals had they made the playoffs?

      • mcsnide - Nov 30, 2010 at 3:18 PM

        You have to be on the 25-man roster, the DL, or suspended on Aug 31 to be eligible for a team’s postseason roster. Since Lopez was cut in late September, he wouldn’t have been eligible for the playoffs on any other team.

  3. ultimatecardinalwarrior - Nov 30, 2010 at 4:57 PM

    @mcsnide Oh duh.

  4. Glenn - Dec 1, 2010 at 12:11 AM

    What was in it for Lopez? These shady deals should not be allowed – and I’m a Red Sox fan.

    • mcsnide - Dec 1, 2010 at 7:57 AM

      A week’s worth of pay. I don’t really see anything shady about this. The Cardinals could have simply kept him for another 10 days, then picked up the draft pick. They chose not to, and the Red Sox made a smart move within the rules.

      Now, if you want to argue that the compensation system is stupid and should be reformed, I’m with you. And to save yourself the time of making that argument, check out what Dave Cameron said on the subject yesterday: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/get-rid-of-free-agent-compensation/.

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