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A sign-and-trade in baseball?

Jan 11, 2011, 1:05 PM EDT

Tampa Bay Rays v Texas Rangers, Game 4 Getty Images

Neat column from Dustin Parkes today, wondering if — given the obstacle Rafael Soriano‘s type-A status presents for him signing with a good team — he could be signed by a bad one that doesn’t have to surrender a pick, and could then, in turn, be traded to a contender.  Dustin goes back a couple years and quotes Rob Manfred who says that, yeah, that could probably happen.

Neat. At least for now. If it happened, however, it would probably make a lot of people nervous (i.e. the union, agents, teams letting free agents walk). As if they weren’t already nervous about free agent compensation anyway.

And if it did happen with Soriano, it would be the second time in as many years that he’d take his new contract with him to a new team, as you’ll recall that he unexpectedly accepted arbitration from the Braves last year, necessitating a trade to Tampa Bay.  Not quite the same as a sign-and-trade, but it kinda rhymes.

  1. spudchukar - Jan 11, 2011 at 1:21 PM

    If nothing else resounds from this years off-season and the free agency market at least some new insight and transparency into a player’s free-agent grading process is warranted. I think it is done by Stats Inc or somebody, with little or no disclosure as to the process. Can we not establish some meaningful criteria? The current compensation arrangement doesn’t seem to be working. It is taking the free out of free agency.

    • professorperry - Jan 11, 2011 at 1:26 PM

      It’s Elias and it’s over-rating of relief pitchers is a known issue, one that allegedly will be solved in the next CBA (probably by scrapping the whole compensation thing).

      • spudchukar - Jan 11, 2011 at 1:36 PM

        Thanks Prof, couldn’t bring it to mind. When is the next CBA?

  2. ohioblues12 - Jan 11, 2011 at 1:24 PM

    Am I missing something here? I though newly signed FA couldn’t be traded by the team that signs them until June.

  3. dodger88 - Jan 11, 2011 at 1:25 PM

    If I am not mistaken a team signing a free agent is prohibited from trading that player until June or so; don’t know if the player can waive such a prohibition or not but it is a potential roadblaock to a sign & trade scenario.

    • Kevin S. - Jan 11, 2011 at 1:46 PM

      Can’t be traded without his consent before April 15.

      • scottp9 - Jan 11, 2011 at 2:14 PM

        June 15, actually.

      • Chris K - Jan 11, 2011 at 11:15 PM

        They talked about this last year in The Globe. If the player consents, they can do it before June 15.

  4. aaronmoreno - Jan 11, 2011 at 1:58 PM

    If the free agent compensation scheme is scrapped, won’t the union lose its ability to negotiate regarding the amateur draft?

  5. arrabin56 - Jan 11, 2011 at 8:22 PM

    They would have to give up a draft pick, it would just be a 2nd rounder instead of a first. So presumably they would need to get a prospect who they equate with the value of at least a second round draft pick.

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