Trade Targets Who Could Bring Draft Pick Compensation

Recently, Joel Sherman of the New York Post talked to an NL GM who said he does not expect a robust market for rental players this summer.  Under the previous collective bargaining agreement, players acquired in their contract years could still be more than rentals due to draft pick compensation.  But due to a rule in the new CBA, a rental is truly a rental for the 2012 trade deadline: traded players are not eligible for draft pick compensation.  As Sherman notes, that adds extra appeal for someone like Matt Garza — a team acquiring Garza can enjoy him for the rest of 2012 and all of 2013 and then receive a draft pick as compensation if he departs as a free agent.

Keep in mind that for a team to receive draft pick compensation for a departing free agent after the 2012 season, a qualifying offer in the $12.5MM range must be tendered.  Since that amount represents an average of the top 125 salaries, it will increase every year.  It could be dangerous to surrender quality prospects for Garza now partly due to the assumption that he'll be worthy of a $13-14MM qualifying offer after the 2013 season.

Still, take a look at our list of players who, like Garza, project to be eligible for free agency after the 2013 season.  Which could be acquired with a partial eye on draft pick compensation after '13?  Chase Utley has a good amount of no-trade protection, and given time missed due to injury and reduced production, it'd be optimistic to expect a qualifying offer.  Hunter Pence, on the other hand, is a decent bet for such an offer.  Among position players, Corey Hart also has a shot.  Both outfielders figure to be part of their team's 2013 plans, however.

Aside from Garza, Josh Johnson is a starting pitcher to consider.  Johnson has been uncharacteristically hittable this year, but he has been healthy and stands as a candidate for a qualifying offer after '13, should the Marlins decline to extend him again.  Despite their all-in offseason, the Marlins appear a long shot for the playoffs, it is possible they could move Johnson for MLB-ready players.  Jason Vargas has been a hot name on the trade market.  While I think GMs would find it appealing to control Vargas for 2013, I doubt they would have any expectation of making him a qualifying offer afterward.

We haven't discussed Justin Upton types, players who are under control beyond 2013 and seem to be reasonable candidates for future draft pick compensation.  Those are rare players.  Looking only at trade targets eligible for free agency after 2013, the qualifying offer will be a pretty high bar, and future draft pick compensation can't be a primary consideration for an acquiring team. 

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19 Responses to Trade Targets Who Could Bring Draft Pick Compensation Leave a Reply

  1. ThinkBlue10 3 years ago

    Send Josh Johnson over to Chavez Ravine

    • johnsilver 3 years ago

      I am a Marlins fan 1st of all before another here says anything..But..

      Chances are JJ would get injured on the flight to LA..

      • ThinkBlue10 3 years ago

        You’re probably right but I think it’ll be worth the risk.

  2. Players that I expect to get qualifying offers if they aren’t extended first:
    Cole Hamels, Mike Napoli, Josh Hamilton, David Ortiz, Ryan Dempster, Zach Greinke, Edwin Jackson, Sean Marcum,
    maybe Nick Swisher, maybe Carlos Lee, maybe Torii Hunter, maybe Carlos Quentin, possibly BJ Upton.
    If I had to wager, I’d bet against most of the maybes above.  There may be some that figure to get multi year deals who are sure to decline a one year offer, and a GM might take the calculated risk, but that’s pretty much the list of players that fit in the top 125 average.  

    • lefty177 3 years ago

      Lee & Quentin can’t get qualifying offers because they were traded during the season

  3. Zachery Burr 3 years ago

    First off, every team who is a World Series contender this year, already have an ace in place. They want to trade for a guy that is going to make them that much better down the stretch and in the playoffs. With that logic, if I am the GM of that team I would without a doubt trade for Ryan Dempster before any of the other three options since he would cost way less, and give you almost as much. He wouldn’t give you as much as Hamels or Grienke possibly would, but close enough where he is a much better option than giving up the entire farm for Hamels or Grienke.
    Now secondly, Grienke is a stud #1 yet Garza is a decent #2 or great #3?? I beg to differ. Lets look at their stats since 2008, when they both started putting up their consistent numbers year in and year out.
    Grienke: WHIP 1.21, ERA 3.44, SO/9 8.9, BB/9 2.3
    Garza: WHIP 1.24, ERA 3.84, SO/9 7.7, BB/9 2.9
    I think the numbers support that although Garza might not be Grienke, he is definitely better than a decent #2, he is a top #2, right below the top tier of pitchers. But to me, I would find it more likely that any team that trades for Garza, would be planning on signing him long term, assuming they already have an ace. I don’t see Garza getting Matt Cain money. I see him getting a 5 year deal for around 100 million dollars, which to me, is fair since it is right below the ace level contracts.

    • Kev 3 years ago

      Garza has a 4.16 FIP (3.56 xFIP)
      Greinke has a 2.55 FIP (2.80 xFIP) with a BABIP that’s due to come down some.

      Garza is not a top #2. He is a #3 on a contending team. You could argue that he could be a meh #2 if he was in a park that was giving up fewer homers, because that seems to be Garza’s problem this year. However, Wrigley is actually right around the middle for home run factor this season, so he would have to go to a team that plays in a friendly pitcher’s haven to extract benefit. Aside from one standout year, (not coincidentally, the year he moved from the AL East to the NL Central) he has been very uninspiring.

      Also, even though I think Dempster would be a nice get for a contending team if they can get him on the cheap, he is due for some serious regression. Through nearly 100 innings, he’s got a ridiculous .242 BABIP against, an 85% LOB and he’s giving up far, far fewer home runs than he normally does. This is not sustainable at all. I would be careful with him.

      • Zachery Burr 3 years ago

        For a contender like the Rangers who have to go all in this year with Hamilton and Napoli possibly leaving in the offseason, I agree Dempster is to risky, it has be Cole or Grienke. But for a contender like the Angels, Dodgers and especially the Orioles, Dempster is worth the risk. Angels have a weak system as it is, Dodgers always need depth, and the Orioles obviously aren’t gonna trade away their future. Regarding Garza, that is a valid point, but I was never comparing Garza to Grienke. Grienke is a legit ace and Garza isn’t, I was trying to show that their numbers aren’t as far off as some make them seem. Also, as we have seen the past couple years, World Series Champions seem to have at least two legit aces in their rotation. Any World Series contender that trades for Garza isn’t looking for him to be their #2 starter. They are looking for him to be a #3 or #4 for them in the playoffs, which would give them the advantage over whoever they face. The Giants won in 2010 against the Rangers because Cain, Sanchez, and
        Bumgarner pitched like #1 and #2 starters up against legit #3 and #4
        starters for the Rangers. Which would be the idea with Garza. But even though Matt Cain has been the #2 starter for the Giants, everybody around baseball would agree that he is legit ace for any team. Matt Garza in most legit contenders rotations would be a #3 strictly because great teams seem to have at least two #1 starters unless you have the offense of the Rangers or Yankees. You are right that he might not be a top #2 but he is still not a #3. He is somewhere in-between a #2 and #3. There are 1a and 1b starters, well he is a 2b. I would put Garza ahead of a Shaun Marcum who I think is the definition of a legit #3, below Yovani Gallardo, who I think is a legit 2a and equal with Gio Gonzalez who I think is also a 2b.

  4. sdsuphilip 3 years ago

    if an al gm has the guts to go all the way for a world series title they would be better off going after grienke or hamels.

  5. Bigj48 3 years ago

    why trade for garza? all u have to do to beat him is keep bunting the ball right back to him, he can not throw to first. its hilarious.

  6. Crucisnh 3 years ago

    I don’t see why Garza should fetch that much.  He’s not that good.  3 top notch prospects is what you might get for a real stud, which Garza is not.  Garza’s a decent #2 or #3 with about 1.5 yrs left on his deal.  That doesn’t sound like 3 top notch prospects to me.

  7. stl_cards16 3 years ago

    So now that he has 2 less years of control and is basically the same pitcher, he should cost MORE than when the Cubs traded for him? 

  8. Kev 3 years ago

    1 1/2 years of a #3 pitcher does not get you three premium prospects. It gets you one premium, plus one or two guys with some interesting projection and a filler.

  9. sdsuphilip 3 years ago

    I’d rather give up 3 top prospects for an ace that you have a chance to keep than give up top prospects for a number 3. Garza is a significantly worse pitcher and isn’t putting any team over the top.

  10. Crucisnh 3 years ago

    Yeah, but I wouldn’t give it to them… because they’re free agents at the end of the season, and because of the new CBA, no comp draft picks go with them, thus reducing their trade value.

  11. sdsuphilip 3 years ago

    because they are 3 times better

  12. The players are not only arrogant, and greedy, they do not have
    the fan’s best interest! Two blue chip prospects for a star player
    (assuming hes given a qualified offer) is acceptable, for all the
    time and development a team invested. Nope, the union
    (backed by the players) demanded only one, assuming the
    traded player was with the receiving team the entire year. And,
    the dim-wit-owners caved in. Additionally, they over pay for the
    player, as they’re afraid the competition will sign him. The
    Rangers should trade for Dempster (he has the lowest ERA in
    the NL, his price will be the least is and a VETERAN, he will
    be easier to re-sign at season’s end, will serve as coach and
    guru for the young players, and will be a return to his
    original organization, A TRUE FIT!). To the union and rest of
    U. S. STEEL! And remember, after signing for all the loot, the
    only road is down. I do not know many players that know how
    to turn a profit, except for their agents. BAD START! Trade that
    Bum Hamilton now!

  13. sdsuphilip 3 years ago

    The Rangers have enough middle rotation arms as is and don’t need to add a flyball pitcher to their bandbox, ERA is largely inconsequential to future success and his periphals suggest regression is coming.

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