Free Agents Who Cost Draft Picks

The Tigers committed $214MM to sign Prince Fielder yesterday afternoon, but that's not all they gave up — the Brewers will obtain Detroit's first round pick in the upcoming amateur draft. Here's the complete list of players who cost their new teams draft picks this offseason:

  • Albert Pujols – Angels lose 19th overall pick to Cardinals, who also obtain a supplementary first rounder
  • Prince Fielder - Tigers lose 27th overall pick to Brewers, who also obtain a supplementary first rounder
  • Jonathan Papelbon - Phillies lose 31st overall pick to Red Sox, who also obtain a supplementary first rounder
  • Jose Reyes – Marlins lose 67th overall pick to Mets, who also obtain a supplementary first rounder
  • C.J. Wilson – Angels lose 78th overall pick to Rangers, who also obtain a supplementary first rounder

In previous years, middle relievers and second-tier free agents such as Juan Cruz cost draft picks. This limited their employment prospects considerably, but the Players Association pushed for changes in negotiations leading up to the collective bargaining agreement, and teams no longer surrender picks for as many free agents. As a result Matt Capps, Octavio Dotel, Darren Oliver and others faced one less obstacle this offseason.

One year ago, under the previous CBA, teams gave up picks to sign Victor Martinez, Adam Dunn, Jayson Werth, Carl Crawford, Scott Downs, Cliff Lee, Adrian Beltre, Grant Balfour and Rafael Soriano. Two years ago, teams gave up picks to sign Jose ValverdeJason Bay, Mike Gonzalez, John Lackey, Chone Figgins, Marco Scutaro and Billy Wagner.

Next offseason, teams will only offer players arbitration if they're prepared to pay a one-year salary that matches or exceeds the average salary of the 125 highest-paid players from the previous season (likely more than $12MM).

Draft order via River Ave. Blues.



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