21 Free Agents Who May Cost A Draft Pick To Sign

Only one week remains for the Elias Ranking landscape to be altered.  Many players appear locked in as Type A free agents.  If a Type A free agent turns down an arbitration offer from his old club, his new team has to surrender a draft pick as compensation.  MLBTR identified 21 Type As who could be offered arbitration.  The ultimate number on November 23rd will be smaller, but these are the candidates.  The player's specific number can be important, in cases where a team signs multiple Type As who turned down arbitration. 

  • Jayson Werth – 92.118.  Werth will almost certainly be offered arbitration and will turn it down.  It will not matter if his new team signs multiple Type As who turned down arbitration – the Phillies will receive that team's best available draft pick.  At this time the best pick any team can hope for is the Tigers' 19th overall choice.
  • Rafael Soriano – 91.522.  The Rays might prefer a cheaper closing option in 2011, but Soriano is very likely to turn down an arbitration offer this time around.
  • Victor Martinez – 87.946.  He's looking for more than two years, so he won't be accepting arbitration.
  • Cliff Lee – 87.547.  Could a team sign Lee as well as Martinez, Soriano, or Werth?  That'd be the Rangers' least-preferred scenario, assuming they don't re-sign Lee.
  • Carl Crawford – 83.718.  Crawford is another lock to be offered and turn down arbitration, and the Rays have to hope he's not signed by a team that also signs one of the four players ranked above him.
  • Adrian Beltre – 80.714.  Remember when Scott Boras' free agent crop didn't look that great?  He's got Werth and Beltre; will he add Yu Darvish?
  • Vladimir Guerrero – 80.000.  The Rangers have a $9MM mutual option with Vlad.  These are rarely exercised by both sides, though it is possible. 
  • Paul Konerko – 77.143.  Despite his monster season an arbitration for Konerko is no sure thing.  Through arbitration he could get a raise on this year's $12MM salary, and the White Sox might not want to risk that.
  • Carl Pavano – 76.217.  Pavano figures to seek out a multiyear deal.  If he finds that elsewhere, a draft pick will be the added cost.
  • Jorge de la Rosa – 76.144.  De La Rosa also seems likely to turn down arbitration in search of multiple years.
  • Matt Guerrier – 75.978.  The Type A relievers are anyone's guess.  All of these guys know they're best served if an arbitration offer does not come.
  • Scott Downs – 75.145.  The reported July asking price for Downs from the Blue Jays implied they're dead set on offering him arbitration.
  • Adam Dunn – 75.000.  I don't see Dunn accepting an offer from the Nationals – he'll want multiyear security.  With so many Type As ranked higher, the Nationals could receive a second, third, or fourth-round pick as one of the two.
  • Ramon Hernandez – 74.903.  The Reds hold the leverage here.  They know that if they offer arbitration they can have Hernandez back on a one-year deal or else stick him with the draft pick stink.
  • Dan Wheeler – 73.696.  How likely is it for a player to have his option declined and then be offered arbitration?  The Rays did it with Gregg Zaun last year, resulting in supplemental first round pick Drew Vettleson.
  • Frank Francisco – 73.551.  For many of these relievers, both the team and the player probably would have preferred Type B status.
  • Jason Frasor – 73.442.
  • Takashi Saito – 72.310.
  • Arthur Rhodes – 72.217.
  • Grant Balfour – 72.029.
  • Pedro Feliciano – 70.213.
  • There are other projected Type As, including Bronson Arroyo and Ted Lilly, but the players listed above I find more likely to receive arbitration offers.

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