Why Most Type A Free Agents Won’t Sign Right Away

Free agents can now negotiate with any team, but it would be a surprise to see more than a few Type As sign in the next two weeks. Clubs forfeit a top draft pick if they sign Type A free agents before the deadline for teams to offer arbitration to departing free agents. That means teams are probably going to wait until after November 23rd to sign Type A free agents who aren't guaranteed offers of arbitration. If the player's former team doesn't offer arbitration he won't cost anything despite his Type A ranking, so the signing team gets to keep its draft pick.

Some Type A free agents – Carl Crawford and Cliff Lee, for example – are definitely getting offers of arbitration from their former clubs. But the group of Type As below won't necessarily see offers of arbitration, so it seems likely that teams will wait until after the 23rd to finalize deals. Their patience could allow them to hold onto picks in the 2011 draft.

Grant Balfour, Frank FranciscoJason FrasorVladimir Guerrero, Matt GuerrierRamon HernandezPaul KonerkoDerrek LeeBengie MolinaMagglio OrdonezCarl PavanoA.J. PierzynskiManny RamirezArthur Rhodes, Takashi SaitoMiguel Tejada and Dan Wheeler could certainly re-sign with their former clubs in the next two weeks, but it seems unlikely that they'll reach deals with new teams before November 23rd.

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