Type B Free Agents Rumors

Discussion: Rich Harden

Rich Harden carries a lot of upside for a Type B free agent.  His well-documented injury history will prevent any club from risking offering the right-hander a long-term contract, but a one or two-year deal (perhaps with the second year as a club option, that could become guaranteed if Harden reaches certain performance levels) in the high seven-figure range per season could prove to be a relative bargain.  Harden might be amenable to such a deal since it would allow him to cash in on an even bigger contract after the 2011 season when he's just 29 years old.

Harden only pitched past the sixth inning in five of his 26 starts last season as the Cubs wanted to keep him as fresh as possible.  The Canadian was skipped for two September starts and spent a month on the disabled list with a strained back, but given the major arm problems that have plagued his career, this actually counts as a fairly healthy showing for the right-hander.  Harden recorded an impressive 10.9 K/9 last season, and posted a 2.07 ERA in 25 starts with Chicago and Oakland in 2008.

The Cubs aren't likely to try and re-sign Harden themselves, thus leaving the door open for suitors who are willing to take the risk — and, probably more importantly, also have the financial resources to absorb the loss should Harden not pan out.  The Red Sox fit this description to a tee, and unlike last winter's similar buy-low signings of Brad Penny or John Smoltz, Harden has experience pitching in the American League.

What teams do you think will make a play for Harden, and, if your favorite team was the one making the offer, what would be the sort of contract and dollar figure you'd be comfortable seeing Harden in the fold for?

Carlos Silva: Type B Free Agent?

The Twins will most certainly offer arbitration to pitcher Carlos Silva, and he will decline (since he can easily get a three or four-year deal on the open market).  This will entitle the Twins to receive a draft pick or two as compensation.

If Silva ranks in the upper 20% of starting pitchers, he’s a Type A free agent.  If he ranks in the upper 40% but not in the upper 20%, he’s a Type B.  Charley Walters of the St. Paul Pioneer Press says Silva will be classified as a Type B based on his work in the 2006-07 seasons (he had a 5.01 ERA and 24 wins over that time period).  That means the Twins will gain just a supplemental draft pick for him but the signing team will not lose any picks.

Walters also gives us this gem:

If the Twins can’t re-sign free agent Torii Hunter, plans are to trade, sign a free agent or go in-house to find his center field replacement.

As opposed to what?