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.