With the season now complete and free agent period set to begin, I thought it might be important to take a look at the process as a whole, which affects the June draft.

 

 
  Felix Pie – General manager Jim Hendry said Tuesday that manager Lou Piniella will give Felix Pie a chance to claim the starting job in center field during spring training. This is good news in my opinion because it means Hendry understands the importance of giving the farm a chance to produce Major League talent, which ultimately frees up the funds to patch holes in the off-season and via trade near the deadline.

Ryan Dempster – Cubs manager Lou Piniella has gotten clearance to move Ryan Dempster into the rotation next season. Dempster would battle Jason Marquis and Sean Marshall for one of the final two spots in the Cubs’ rotation. If this is the way the team wants to play it, then it’d seem to rule out a Hiroki Kuroda signing and maybe open the door for a run at Francisco Cordero. Both Carlos Marmol and Bobby Howry could handle closing duties, but the Cubs have the money to upgrade if they want. It’s also possible that they’ll bypass those two and use the closer’s role to entice free agent Kerry Wood to stick around.

~ For more player news, visit Rotoworld.com

 

Each year the Elias Sports Bureau ranks the players in the AL and the NL by groups and assigns the top 20% as type A free agents and the next 20% as type B. Not all of the players ranked are actually free agents, but the ones that are come with a compensation type system for the team that loses them. Here is a look at the rankings for the AL / NL for this year.

If a team loses a type A free agent via free agency, they receive the first round pick of the signing team, provided they offer the player they are losing arbitration before December 1st as well as a sandwich pick (described later). There are a couple of exceptions to the rule, though:

1. If the team that signs the type A free agent selects in the top 15 of the amateur draft in June, the compensated team receives their 2nd round pick instead.

2. If the team that signs the type A free agent has a draft pick in the first round of draft due to failing to sign their first round pick the previous year, that pick cannot be lost.

3. If a team signs two type A free agents from different teams, the team that lost the higher ranked free agent receives the signing teams first round pick.

In the event that a team signs a type B free agent, the team that loses that player receives a “special” pick, which is known as a sandwich pick. It basically precedes the second round and extends the first round. It begins with pick number 31 and goes for as long as needed due to signings.

Special Draft Choices – This comes right from the Collective Bargaining Agreement of MLB.

The Special Draft Choices described in subparagraph (c) above shall be additional draft choices to be made immediately following the first complete round of the draft and preceding the commencement of the second round. Clubs that have lost a Type A Player shall receive the first selections, in reverse order of their won-lost percentage in the preceding season. Following these selections, Clubs that have lose a Type B Player shall receive selections, in reverse order of their won-lost percentage in the preceding season. Ties shall be broken by lot.

Now, that being said, what is the draft order for this upcoming draft, and who are some appealing Type A and Type B free agents?

2008 Draft Order
1. Devil Rays
2. Pirates
3. Royals
4. Orioles
5. Giants
6. Marlins
7. Reds
8. White Sox
9. Nationals
10. Astros
11. Rangers
12. Athletics
13. Cardinals
14. Twins
15. Dodgers
____________

16. Brewers
17. Blue Jays
18. Braves
19. Cubs
20. Mariners
21. Tigers
22. Mets
23. Padres
24. Phillies
25. Rockies
26. Diamondbacks
27. Angels
28. Yankees
29. Indians
30. Red Sox

That means teams like the Rays and even the Dodgers can’t lose their first round pick, while teams like the Cubs, Yankees and Red Sox can.

Interesting Free Agents of Note (Type in Parenthesis)

  • Michael Barrett – (A)
  • Jason Kendall – (B)
  • Jorge Posada – (A)
  • Alex Rodriguez – (A)
  • Barry Bonds – (A)
  • Andruw Jones – (B) – Don’t ask me how he’s a type B and not an A.
  • Francisco Cordero (A)Hopefully that helps a little with understanding why a club might do the things they do when it comes to offering arbitration or signing free agents this off-season.
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    Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers as well as host of VFTB Radio. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail