Olney On Rodriguez, Ibanez, Lee, Yankees

Last night’s arbitration decisions included some particularly interesting cases, and ESPN.com’s Buster Olney offers insight into a few of them:

  • At times “winks and nods” are involved when it comes to Type B free agents. The free agents have been known to agree in advance to decline arbitration offers, since doing so doesn’t hurt their free agent value. 
  • However, GM Doug Melvin says the Brewers did not ask agent Scott Boras to decline the team’s offer to Francisco Rodriguez. "We felt that with us trading some players the last few years that this was a chance to recover with some high picks,” Melvin told Olney. The GM explained that he’s not expecting to obtain many compensation picks in the next couple of years.
  • As Olney points out, Rodriguez faces a similar decision to the one another Boras client, Rafael Soriano, faced last offseason: “take more money to be a setup man, or less to be a closer.”
  • Olney notes that Raul Ibanez’s agents have a good relationship with the Phillies and suggests it’s likely Ibanez has agreed to turn down the team’s offer.
  • There's no understanding that Derrek Lee will reject the Pirates' offer, according to Olney (on Twitter).
  • Olney suggests gentlemen's agreements are likely in place with Aaron Harang, Jose Molina and David DeJesus and that the three players will decline arbitration(Twitter link).
  • The Yankees are quietly confident that Phil Hughes will start Spring Training in improved physical condition and have a bounce-back season in 2012. They will continue to discuss available starting pitchers, even after agreeing to terms with Freddy Garcia.