It can pay to lose a free agent, if the result is a well-employed draft pick or two. Using players drafted and signed as compensation picks, here's my All-Star team for drafts dating back to 2000.
- Catcher: Kelly Shoppach. Drafted by Red Sox in '01, pick from Phillies for loss of Rheal Cormier. He'll be backed up by Nick Hundley, who was drafted by the Padres in '05 on a pick from the Red Sox for the loss of David Wells. Jeff Mathis and Jarrod Saltalamacchia were also under consideration.
- First Base: Ike Davis. Drafted by Mets in '08, pick from Braves for loss of Tom Glavine. There were surprisingly few choices for my first baseman. Conor Jackson would work, though he's currently being used in left field.
- Second Base: Kelly Johnson. Drafted by Braves in '00 as a supplemental pick for loss of Jose Hernandez to Brewers.
- Shortstop: Tommy Manzella. Drafted by Astros in '05, pick from Mets for loss of Carlos Beltran. Not too many names to choose from here.
- Third Base: David Wright. Drafted by Mets in '01 as a supplemental pick for loss of Mike Hampton to the Rockies. Wright's in the running for the best compensation pick of the decade; he was drafted 38th overall.
- Left Field: Jacoby Ellsbury. Drafted by Red Sox in '05, pick from Angels for loss of Orlando Cabrera. Chris Coghlan and Conor Jackson were also under consideration.
- Center Field: Colby Rasmus. Drafted by Cardinals in '05, pick from Red Sox for loss of Edgar Renteria. Interestingly, Rasmus went five picks after Ellsbury. The Rangers' Julio Borbon is another interesting center field compensation pick.
- Right Field: Nick Swisher. Drafted by Athletics in '02, pick from Red Sox for loss of Johnny Damon. One of two Moneyball draft compensation picks to make the cut.
- Designated Hitter: Adam Lind. Drafted by Blue Jays in '04, pick from Angels for loss of Kelvim Escobar.
- Starting Pitcher: Adam Wainwright. Drafted by Braves in '00, pick from D'Backs for loss of Russ Springer.
- Starting Pitcher: Phil Hughes. Drafted by Yankees in '04, pick from Astros for loss of Andy Pettitte.
- Starting Pitcher: Joe Blanton. Drafted by A's in '02, pick from Yankees for loss of Jason Giambi.
- Starting Pitcher: Clay Buchholz. Drafted by Red Sox in '05 as a supplemental pick for the loss of Pedro Martinez to the Mets.
- Starting Pitcher: Jordan Zimmermann. Drafted by Nationals in '07, pick from Cubs for loss of Alfonso Soriano. If you think Zimmermann should be excluded since he's recovering from Tommy John surgery, consider Jeremy Bonderman, Glen Perkins, Gio Gonzalez, Ian Kennedy, and Tommy Hunter.
- Closer: Huston Street. Drafted by A's in '04 as supplemental pick for the loss of Miguel Tejada to the Orioles.
- Setup Man: J.P. Howell. Drafted by Royals in '04 as supplemental pick for the loss of Raul Ibanez to the Mariners. That was actually Howell's second time as a compensation pick. Three more who belong in our bullpen: David Aardsma, Daniel Bard, and Joba Chamberlain.
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