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View Full Version : Free Agent Compensation Could Be in Jeopardy



Gallen5862
09-16-2006, 06:48 PM
LINK: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/14/AR2006091401492.html
Free Agent Compensation Could Be in Jeopardy
By Barry Svrluga
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, September 15, 2006; E06

Once Washington Nationals left fielder Alfonso Soriano becomes the fourth player to hit 40 home runs and steal 40 bases in the same season -- he needs just one more stolen base -- the attention will likely turn to Soriano's future. The 30-year-old is enjoying a career season, is a free agent at its conclusion and has said repeatedly that he would like to remain in Washington.

The Nationals, in turn, said when they failed to trade Soriano by the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline that they intended to try to sign him to a long-term contract. But they also said that, should they fail to sign him, they felt the two draft picks they would receive as compensation should Soriano leave via free agency would be worth more than any of the prospects they were offered in trade.

Now, though, there's a chance that plan could be in jeopardy. Major League Baseball's collective bargaining agreement expires Dec. 19, and one element of the agreement that could be on the table is the system by which teams are rewarded compensatory draft picks when they lose free agents.

Nationals President Stan Kasten has refused to discuss this possibility, and MLB officials also declined to discuss the likelihood that such a scenario would affect this winter's free agent class. Soriano will be one of the top players available on the market, and under the current agreement would be classified as a "Type A" free agent, meaning he would bring two picks -- one in the first round and one sandwiched between the first and second rounds.

The Nationals also hope to receive compensatory picks should pitchers Ramon Ortiz and Tony Armas Jr. -- and perhaps even Pedro Astacio -- sign elsewhere. They would be classified as Type B or, more likely, Type C free agents, and the choices Washington would receive in return would be sandwiched between lower rounds.

The Nationals received compensatory picks for losing free agent pitchers Esteban Loaiza and Hector Carrasco this past offseason, the reason they had four picks in the first two rounds.

Gallen5862
09-16-2006, 06:55 PM
They need to allow trading draft picks if the compensation system is done away with.

Gallen5862
09-16-2006, 07:10 PM
http://www.sportingnews.com/yourturn/viewtopic.php?t=124172
Teams holding Type A free agents are bracing for the potential elimination of draft-pick compensation, which could occur as soon as next June. The issue is being discussed with the Basic Agreement set to expire December 19. The Nationals (OF Alfonso Soriano) and Rangers (OF Carlos Lee) won't be happy about the possibility of losing two draft picks apiece. Both have been banking on the picks as a fallback. "To drop that on everybody all of a sudden would be really, really unfair," one G.M. says. "In fairness to the game, you have to give everybody a year's notice on something like that." If such compensation is eliminated, it will encourage more mid- and small-market clubs to wade into free-agent waters, G.M.s say. That could be offset, however, by the increased dollars agents will demand if clubs can sign stars without losing picks.

mth123
09-16-2006, 07:34 PM
I don't think its that big a deal. Most teams can't afford to offer arbitration to get compensation anyway. This ends up as rule that was intended to help the poor franchises that were losing players and now primariliy helps the rich ones anyway.

IslandRed
09-17-2006, 02:15 AM
I don't think its that big a deal. Most teams can't afford to offer arbitration to get compensation anyway. This ends up as rule that was intended to help the poor franchises that were losing players and now primariliy helps the rich ones anyway.

There's some truth to that. The idea was that the poor clubs would lose the free agents, the rich clubs would be signing them... but the rich clubs lose plenty of free agents, too. I always thought they should tweak the rules so you couldn't get compensation picks unless the player had been in your organization the entire previous season, i.e. no compensation for losing a rent-a-player.

Patrick Bateman
09-17-2006, 02:54 AM
The Nationals also hope to receive compensatory picks should pitchers Ramon Ortiz and Tony Armas Jr. -- and perhaps even Pedro Astacio -- sign elsewhere. They would be classified as Type B or, more likely, Type C free agents, and the choices Washington would receive in return would be sandwiched between lower rounds.




This is rather silly. The chances of Washington offering guys like Astacio and Ortiz arbitration is none. Ortiz could 5M in arbitration (and there is no logical reason why he would reject it). If Bowden really thinks he will get compensation for him, he's dreaming.


This whole change doesn't make much sense either. The anonomys GM is right. There needs to be fair warning if a change of this magnitude is going to be made. It would completely diminish that Soriano had to Washington. They were always baninking that if they couldn't get a fair return they could just take the picks. The whole thought to do this the spur of the moment is absurd. There is way too much at stake.

REDREAD
09-18-2006, 09:22 AM
I can see why the player's associtation wants to change this. For example, a team like the Reds this year will be disinclined to sign a FA if it costs them their #1 pick. (maybe that's how the current system helps small markets, it gives them an excuse not to sign FA).

However, I would hope that they could reach some kind of compromise. At least let clubs keep the sandwhich picks as compensation, since those are just extra picks stuffed in there.

The player's union should also consider that the compensation draft picks have sometimes helped their members. For example, Maddux got a nice arb award when the Braves offered him arb and hoped he'd turn it down. A couple other players also benefited.

It's too bad the union wants to change this though from a fan's point of view. I always thought it was interesting to watch which clubs offered arb to particular FAs.

puca
09-18-2006, 12:37 PM
I think getting rid of the compensation would be a good thing.

As pointed out, with the current arbitration system, small market teams can't afford to offer arbitration to most of their free agents anyhow. And are reluctant to sign middle of the road free agents themselves because of the compensation. Teams that benefit from the current method are the teams that can sign a lot of other team's type A free agents (only lose 1 1st rd pick) and can afford to offer arbitration to their own.

Here is my idea: free-agent compensation is in $$$ and is based on the value of their new contract and the number of years spent in the previous organization. I know the players union would never go for it though.

Patrick Bateman
09-18-2006, 02:28 PM
I don't think getting rid of compensation is a bad idea, I just find it unfair to make the decision without notice.

In the Nats' case they relied on the looming compensation to gauge Soriano's trade value. If they knew that they would not get compensation for Soriano when he left via Free Agency, they would have been able to deal him at the deadline for some good prospects. If the compensation is suddenly taken away, the Nats get nothing for a player that they should have in some format. Based on the current rules, they are entilted to compensation regardless if you agree with it or not. It would be extremely unfair for them to lose Soriano without getting something in return when they were entilted it.

Anyways, I don't see this rule being implemented without notice. Doing that would not make sense since there are so many loopholes in the idea. A more logical way to do it, would be to announce that next year there will no longer be any compensation. There has to be some amount of warning so teams can decide how they can best handle their acquisitions.

paulrichjr
09-18-2006, 02:58 PM
Maybe this is an example of Bowden reaping what he has sown.

REDREAD
09-18-2006, 03:13 PM
Maybe this is an example of Bowden reaping what he has sown.

What did he sow? He figured that draft picks and/or a chance to resign Soraino was more valuable than whatever he was offered in trade. How is it right that baseball might now change the rules on him?

If the Reds made a similiar decision with one of their impending FAs and MLB changed the rules, you can bet everyone on this board would be furious.

puca
09-18-2006, 03:18 PM
I don't think getting rid of compensation is a bad idea, I just find it unfair to make the decision without notice.

In the Nats' case they relied on the looming compensation to gauge Soriano's trade value. If they knew that they would not get compensation for Soriano when he left via Free Agency, they would have been able to deal him at the deadline for some good prospects. If the compensation is suddenly taken away, the Nats get nothing for a player that they should have in some format. Based on the current rules, they are entilted to compensation regardless if you agree with it or not. It would be extremely unfair for them to lose Soriano without getting something in return when they were entilted it.

Anyways, I don't see this rule being implemented without notice. Doing that would not make sense since there are so many loopholes in the idea. A more logical way to do it, would be to announce that next year there will no longer be any compensation. There has to be some amount of warning so teams can decide how they can best handle their acquisitions.

Surely Jimbo should have known the collective bargining agreement was expiring, and since free-agent compensation is part of that agreement, he should have known it could change. Or maybe he should have asked the right questions. :)

puca
09-18-2006, 03:20 PM
I actually don't see a new collective bargining agreement being approved in such a short amount of time, unless it is "status quo".

paulrichjr
09-18-2006, 03:28 PM
What did he sow? He figured that draft picks and/or a chance to resign Soraino was more valuable than whatever he was offered in trade. How is it right that baseball might now change the rules on him?

If the Reds made a similiar decision with one of their impending FAs and MLB changed the rules, you can bet everyone on this board would be furious.

I was just joking. He hasn't been known for being upfront with everyone of his past dealings. Maybe he is getting paid back for them. Again though I meant it as a joke considering his Majewski deal.

REDREAD
09-18-2006, 03:39 PM
I was just joking. He hasn't been known for being upfront with everyone of his past dealings. Maybe he is getting paid back for them. Again though I meant it as a joke considering his Majewski deal.

Ok, I didn't know you meant joking and in a "karma" way.. Sorry for taking it literally.

bradmu
09-18-2006, 03:57 PM
They need to allow trading draft picks if the compensation system is done away with.


I think this would only help the Big Market Teams. Small Market Teams often shy away from or are less inclined to take a chance on signing a a draftee to a huge signing bonus because they don't have the money or would rather spend it on something that is not so risky.

Sort of Reminds me of the Reds drafting Jeremy Sowers. They knew he wasn't going to sign, but that meant they could pocket the $2-3 million signing bonus money. Without a salary cap, the trading of draft picks wouldn't work in our advantage.

dfs
09-18-2006, 04:35 PM
I'm not so sure that's the case BradMu.

The reds could have traded that pick away for something they valued instead of wasting the draft choice.

Patrick Bateman
09-18-2006, 04:55 PM
Surely Jimbo should have known the collective bargining agreement was expiring, and since free-agent compensation is part of that agreement, he should have known it could change. Or maybe he should have asked the right questions. :)

Haha...

There's still too much doubt in the whole situation.

Some teams would benefit, some would be punished purely out of luck.