Can you explain how the free-agent compensation process works?
Every offseason, the Elias Sports Bureau compiles rankings of all major league players, based on the previous two year's stats. The players are ranked by position, so first basemen are not compared to second basemen, etc. The players are then broken down into Type A, Type B and Type C (and the rest).
Type A players are players rated in the top 30 percent of all players at their position. Type B players are players rated in the 31-50 percent bracket at their position. Type C players are players rated in the 51-60 percent bracket at their position. Because the players are only compared to others at their position, some players might be a Type B but seem to be not as good as some Type C players, etc., but thatís how the system works.
When a team loses a free agent who is ranked in one of the three categories, they receive compensation as follows (if and only if they offered that player arbitration before he signed with his new team):
Type A. Team losing player gets signing teamís first-round pick as well as a supplemental first-round pick. If the signing team is picking in the first half of the first round, they lose their second-rounder instead of their first-rounder.
Type B. Team losing player gets signing teamís first-round pick. If the signing team is picking in the first half of the first round, they lose their second-rounder instead of their first-rounder.
Type C. Team losing player gets a supplemental pick after the second round.
If a team doesn't offer arbitration to their free agent, they get nothing when he signs with another team. This brings up the next question of why don't the teams always offer arbitration? The answer is, they might simply be afraid he'll accept it. It's a gamble some teams aren't willing to take, even if it seems likely the player is heading out of town.