Free Agent Quotas

Readers often ask whether teams will face quotas if they want to sign multiple Type A or B free agents.  So tonight I busted out the Basic Agreement and tried to translate it into English.  The relevant section:

Quota

(a) Clubs shall be limited in the number of Type A and B Players, as defined below, they may subsequently sign to contracts. The number of signings permitted shall be related to the number of Players electing free agency under this Section B. If there are 14 or less such Players, no Club may sign more than one Type A or B Player. If there are from 15 to 38 such Players, no Club may sign more than two Type A or B Players. If there are from 39 to 62 such Players, no Club may sign more than three Type A or B Players. If there are more than 62 such Players, the Club quotas shall be increased accordingly. There shall be no restrictions on the number of unranked Players that a Club may sign to contracts.

(b) Irrespective of the provisions of subparagraph (a) above, a Club shall be eligible to sign at least as many Type A and B Players as it may have lost through Players having become free agents under this Section at the close of the season just concluded.

Got all that?  There will be many more than 62 players electing free agency, so the exact number of Type A/Bs allowed per team is unknown.  It is certain that each team will be allowed to sign at least three.  191 players are potentially eligible for free agency.  It seems that if 131+ players file, each club could be allotted up to six Type A/B signings (more than enough for most).

The above-quoted section b lets certain teams sign even more than the normal allotment.  Say every team is allowed to sign six.  Two teams, the Dodgers (8) and Angels (7), could potentially lose more than six Type A/Bs.  So if the Dodgers somehow lost all eight of their A/B free agents (Kent, Furcal Blake, Ramirez, Lowe, Maddux, Penny, Beimel), they would be allowed to sign eight to make up for it.

To sum it up, I don’t see any team running up against the Type A/B quota.  Comments and questions are welcome – I am not certain my interpretation of the Basic Agreement is correct.


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