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.

Full Story | 34 Comments | Categories: Uncategorized

34 Responses to 21 Free Agents Who May Cost A Draft Pick To Sign Leave a Reply

  1. coachofall 5 years ago

    Looking at the names on this list, there are very few worth giving up draft compensation from a GM’s point of view. From a players point of view it would be smart for most of these guys to accept arbitration (like soriano did last season) to get their money and force the Organizations hand. Sadly for the later part of this group this years draft is loaded and i would have a hard time foreiting a high draft pick for a relief arm.

  2. If draft picks could be traded this wouldn’t be a problem.

    • I will sign Grant Balfour and forfeit my first round draft pick, then trade “a player to be named later or cash considerations” for my first round draft pick back. Pretty sure the Rays would go for that too.

  3. rwdavis22461 5 years ago

    i would take a Scott Downs for our bullpen for the MEts next year.

    • CitizenSnips 5 years ago

      Giving up a high round pick for a reliever has got to be one of the dumbest things any team can do.

      • rwdavis22461 5 years ago

        and question this don’t you win with pitching. also forget that K-Rod is suspended and most likely will never pitch again for the Mets. Not all draft choices make it. I am not going for G-Mota type i am talking about a good reliever. I respect what you say. But sometimes you need to be a gambler. You can’t have enough pitching and quality pitcher who is established and young.

      • As of today, the Mets 1st round pick is 16th. If they lose a few more games than they win their pick would be protected…. just sayin’

        • JohnLucarelli 5 years ago

          Does that include the picks from last year that didnt sign like the Dbacks? That would technically put the Mets in the top 15 wouldn’t it?

  4. Doesn’t Manny project as a Type A?

  5. At least the Big Donkey is consistent. I think that’s worth a pick to some teams

  6. money941 5 years ago

    2 of them will be going to the Yankees. My guess would be Lee & Crawford.

    • Lee and Dunn or even Lee and Konerko seem like more likely options. That is, of course, assuming that the Big Puma isn’t back.

      They’ll grab a reliever or two but I don’t see anyone on this list being a high priority for them.

      • adlenon 5 years ago

        Dunn, maybe. Konerko, no way. There is nowhere for either of them to play. They haven’t had a designated DH since Jason Giambi (and Matsui to some extent), and that was only because they were already under long-term contracts. Yankees typically use DH under rotation to get bats into the lineup while resting them defensively, or using a 4 man OF with 1 guy in DH every night. I can almost guarantee the yankees won’t sign a first baseman to be DH. They are counting on Tex to play 150 games which would make any first baseman nothing other than a DH. That is why Crawford is the more likely sign with the yanks.

        • I think Cliff Lee is the main reason that Crawford is unlikely to sign with the Yankees.

        • 0bsessions 5 years ago

          Ummm…the Yankees JUST signed Nick Johnson (A first baseman) as a full time DH this season and subsequently brought in Lance Berkman (Another first baseman) as a full time DH after that. The only reason they didn’t have a full time DH most of the season is because the one they signed was exactly the injury risk everyone said he’d be. There is absolutely no precedent indicating that the Yankees wouldn’t sign a full time DH, first baseman or otherwise.

  7. start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

    Rays may like cheap, but I’d be surprised if they didn’t do everything they could to keep Soriano. They need a great closer.

    • JohnPaulP 5 years ago

      The Rays payroll is at $72mm this year, and the owner Sternberg has said that the payroll will fall to about the $50mm range “no matter what happens between now and April” (ie, even if they win the World Series, and this quote was from like the past week.)

      Currently their four biggest contracts are all coming off the books (Pena at 10.125, Crawford at 10, Burrel at 9, and Soriano at 7.25) This drops them down to about 36mm in payroll, but players like Garza (if he isn’t traded), Shields, Upton, Longoria and Bartlett will all be getting more money somehow. That probably leaves like 7mm, and they have multiple positions to fill so they can’t afford to give it all to a closer.

      Even though Soriano is likely to turn down arbitration, I’d be surprised if they didn’t even offer, because if he accepts they are boned.

      • 0bsessions 5 years ago

        I just don’t trust the idea that Soriano would decline arbitration. I can’t imagine a team that would give up a first rounder AND pay upwards of $10 million for a reliever not named Rivera. Relievers in general just show way too much potential to fall off the table out of nowhere.

        • moonraker45 5 years ago

          do you not understand that the first 15 picks are protected? Plus if a team like the yankees sign lee and another type A, they would be giving up a 3rd rounder to sign him and he may not command 10 million based on 1 good year, he’ll probably be looking at a 3-4 year deal and it will be certainly less then 30 million.. i’d say a 3/22 mil deal with a mutual option for a 4th year worth 8 mil.

          • 0bsessions 5 years ago

            I understand that, but at the same time, most teams who generally pick in the top fifteen are lower market and have to work within a strict budget. That means they both rely on the draft heavily (Meaning giving up a high pick for a reliever is a no-no) and are budget conscious.

            Budget conscious teams simply don’t drop eight figure annual contracts on relievers. Sure, someone like the Mets or Cubs, a high payroll team on the garbage end of the spectrum could snag him, but both teams should know that a $10 million a year closer is far from the solution to what ails them.

            As forn your second scenario: not possible. You need to reread the article. He’s the second highest ranked free agent on the market, meaning unless the same team signs him AND Werth, he’s going to take a top pick. Sure, it’s a push in the end for the signing team, but I find it unlikely that any of the suitors for any of the big ticket free agents will go after Soriano. Most of the big teams likely to make splashes in free agency already have a closer. Do you think the Yankees, borderline limitless budget or not, will honestly tie up close to $25 million on TWO bullpen arms?

            Everything you said is POSSIBLE, but I wouldn’t call most of them likely. Soriano’s had a great season, but he’s not historically a top three closer and he’s on the wrong side of thirty. A smart GM wouldn’t give up the salary he could get in arbitration AND give up a high draft pick for him in what is considered one of the best draft classes in years. My money says he accepts arbitration if offered.

  8. grafe 5 years ago

    No way Saito will get an offer now, he just got a shoulder injury recently and the Braves know he’d probably accept

  9. baseballz 5 years ago

    I could definetly see Downs on the Mets. With their great infield D and his ability to get key K’s he could be a cheaper and better investment then K-Rod was. Also the Mets will prob have a protected first round pick so were really talking about their second round pick that they would be giving up.

  10. $2902172 5 years ago

    Downs has been one of the best relievers in the game for several years. If any reliever is worth the pick, he has to be considered.

  11. Wouldn’t Aubrey Huff qualify as a Type A???

  12. i think tampa should seriously consider keeping soriano if it means extra money or trading garza or shields or even upton to keep him.sorry but you cant trade draft picks so thats out of the question.i hope though we see more teams try to pick up good free agents there is alot of power guys available and some decent starters and loads of relievers so teams really need to do what they can there is more power DH/1B types than teams that would need them.Im getting the feeling the philies will pick an outfielder up to platoon with dominic brown same with the rays with desmond jennings as both still are still playoff teams

  13. RazorShines 5 years ago

    Soriano would fit in nicely as a Met….assuming Frankie is handed his walking papers

  14. cardzfanbub 5 years ago

    ” At this time the best pick any team can hope for is the Tigers’ 19th overall choice.”

    Can you clarify this? Is it because the teams with picks 16-18 aren’t likely to sign a type-A?

    • IHateJoeBuck 5 years ago

      D-Backs (#7), Padres (#10), and Brewers (#15) each get an additional pick for not signing their first rounder this year, so there will be 33 first round picks. Picks 19-33 (the top 15 teams) are not protected.

  15. YanksFanSince78 5 years ago

    I know that in reality a Type A is a Type A regardless of how many points they’ve racked up. But how absurd is it that Cliff Lee ranks behind Soriano and Adam Dunn ranks behind Matt Gueirerr?

    • Cliff Lee has the disadvantage of playing in two leagues. Adam Dunn has the disadvantage of having statistics that are not as valuable in the parabolic Elias scale and fitting into the toughest positional group.

  16. YanksFanSince78 5 years ago

    Too bad for the Tigers. They suck, but just not enough. They have the 16th worst record in baseball and that means their picks wouldn’t be protected. With almost $50 mil coming off the books and some obvious holes that need to be filled they could’ve splurged on at least two top Type A’s w/o losing a 1st rnd pick. But in the end…playing in a weak division you should gladly give up the pick and improve your team.

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