ESPN’s Buster Olney looks at several free agents who currently reside in "compensation-pick purgatory": Orlando Cabrera, Juan Cruz, Jason Varitek, and Ben Sheets. The cost to sign one of these four includes the loss of a draft pick, causing many teams to avoid them. You can add Orlando Hudson and perhaps Oliver Perez to Olney’s list. Darren Oliver (or his agent) saw this situation coming and chose to accept arbitration. Tony Massarotti says the Red Sox would’ve been more inclined to sign Derek Lowe if they’d also signed Mark Teixeira, but now they don’t want to give up their first-round pick for Lowe.
There are Type As and Bs who would’ve made more money accepting their team’s arbitration offers; Olney names Paul Byrd and Jon Garland. Peter Gammons mentioned Cabrera and Varitek yesterday. Mark Grudzielanek might be another case, though most assume he had a prior arrangement with the Royals to decline. Agents such as Bo McKinnis (Byrd), Craig Landis (Garland), Dan Lozano (Cabrera), and Scott Boras (Varitek) have some explaining to do.
Remember our "Surprisingly Not Offered Arbitration" list from December 2nd? Here it is again:
Aside from Wood and maybe Wolf, we can see now that most GMs made these decisions with excellent foresight.