Projected Type A Free Agents

Eddie will take a final pass-through before signing off on his projected Elias Rankings, but all 2008-09 regular season data is included in the latest update.  Here's a list of the 31 free agents projected to have Type A status (an asterisk denotes an option):

Bobby Abreu
Jason Bay
Rafael Betancourt*
Orlando Cabrera
Johnny Damon
Mark DeRosa
Octavio Dotel
Jermaine Dye*
Brian Giles
Mike Gonzalez
John Grabow
Kevin Gregg
Vladimir Guerrero
LaTroy Hawkins
Matt Holliday
Orlando Hudson
John Lackey
Cliff Lee*
Victor Martinez*
Bengie Molina
Darren Oliver
Placido Polanco
Manny Ramirez*
Marco Scutaro
Rafael Soriano
Miguel Tejada
Jose Valverde
Billy Wagner*
Randy Wolf

We can remove Cabrera because he cannot contractually be offered arbitration, and we can assume the options for Lee and Martinez will be exercised.  That leaves 27 players. 

For the player, Type A status can be dangerous.  If a Type A free agent is offered arbitration and declines, his new team has to give up a draft pick to sign him.  The following teams would have to give up their first-round pick in 2010 if they sign a Type A free agent from another team who was offered and turned down arbitration: the Rays (#17), Mariners, Tigers, Braves, Twins, Rangers, Marlins, Giants, Cardinals, Rockies, Phillies, Dodgers, Red Sox, Angels, and Yankees.  The teams not listed would have to give up their second-round pick. 

If Holliday and Lackey sign with new clubs, those teams will presumably feel that the draft pick cost is acceptable.  Beyond those two, the cost might be prohibitive, as it was with Jason Varitek and others last offseason.  Last year, the Dodgers (Orlando Hudson), Mets (Francisco Rodriguez), Yankees (Mark Teixeira), Phillies (Raul Ibanez), and Angels (Brian Fuentes) were willing to surrender first-round picks.

Last winter's events might lead to a game of cat and mouse between players and teams this time around - teams will be less inclined to offer arbitration to their Type A free agents out of concern that those players will be more inclined to accept.  If a player accepts arbitration, he's under that team's control for 2010 and the two parties will go to a hearing if they can't agree on a salary.

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