Braves Elect To Keep Will Ohman

J.C. Bradbury asks this morning whether the Braves overvalued lefty reliever Will Ohman.  Roughly ten teams had interest in him, but the Braves elected not to trade him.

The Braves’ reason for keeping Ohman is that in their opinion no offer exceeded the value of the draft pick they might receive if he leaves via free agency.  Here’s a refresher on how free agent compensation works.

A couple of things need to happen for Ohman to net the Braves even one supplemental draft pick.  First, he needs to achieve Type B status.  As you know, Eddie Bajek is attempting to reverse-engineer the Elias rankings.  He doesn’t have a good line on Ohman’s projected status yet, but Bajek told me the reliever rankings are ridiculously sensitive to wins.  He expects Ohman to be classified as Type B, but he could also fall below that (in which case there’d be no draft pick compensation).

Furthermore, the Braves would have to offer Ohman arbitration and have him decline and sign elsewhere.  Offering arbitration means the Braves could be stuck paying him $2-3MM for ’09 if he accepts.  We saw several teams take this gamble and lose last year.  The Braves were smart about Andruw Jones, not offering him arbitration for fear he might accept.

Ohman might decide to accept an offer of arbitration.  Maybe he sees a similar lefty like Jeremy Affeldt, who wanted four years and got one from the Reds.  So just keep in mind that a lot of things need to happen for the Braves to get draft pick compensation for Ohman next year.



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