Ok, sadly, I think it is time to conclude that O’Brien made the wrong move by trading Joe Randa. No, I’m not advocating that they should’ve kept him and dealt Edwin. Rather, they should have kept him, offered him arbitration with the understanding that he wouldn’t be the starter if he accepted it, and then let him leave for draft pick compensation.
The reason I say this is that the talent that we could’ve gotten in this year’s draft would be MUCH more likely to be impact talent then Travis Chick and Justin Germano. Here is a quick breakdown from Baseball America of how the draft pick compensation process works and a list of this past off-season’s free agents with their respective classification.
“The Elias Sports Bureau compiles rankings of all major leaguers by position, based on their performance over the previous two seasons. If teams offer arbitration to a free agent and lose him to another club, they'll receive compensation if he's classified as a Type A (top 30 percent at his position), Type B (31-50 percent) or Type C (51-60 percent) player.
For a Type A player, the compensation is the signing team's first-round pick plus a supplemental first-rounder. For a Type B, it's the signing team's first-round choice. For a Type C, it's a supplemental second-rounder.
However, if the signing team picks in the upper half of the first round, that choice is protected and it loses its second-round selection instead. If a club signs multiple free agents within the same category, its earlier pick goes to the team which lost the higher-rated player. Also, Type C players who have been free agents in the past don't yield any compensation.
Here's your list:
Wilson Alvarez (LAD), Brad Ausmus (Hou), A.J. Burnett (Fla), Jeromy Burnitz (ChC), Royce Clayton (Ari), Roger Clemens (Hou), Jeff Conine (Fla), Johnny Damon (Bos), Octavio Dotel (Oak), Erubiel Durazo (Oak), Scott Eyre (SF), Kyle Farnsworth (Atl), Rafael Furcal (Atl), Brian Giles (SD), Tom Gordon (NYY), Tony Graffanino (Bos), Mark Grudzielanek (StL), Ramon Hernandez (SD), Trevor Hoffman (SD), Bob Howry (Cle), Todd Jones (Fla), Paul Konerko (CWS), Matt Lawton (NYY), Braden Looper (NYM), Kevin Millar (Bos), Bengie Molina (LAA), Matt Morris (StL), Bill Mueller (Bos), Mike Piazza (NYM), Joe Randa (SD), Al Reyes (StL), Kenny Rogers (Tex), B.J. Ryan (Bal), Rudy Seanez (SD), Julian Tavarez (StL), Ugueth Urbina (Phi), Billy Wagner (Phi), Larry Walker (StL), Jeff Weaver (LAD), Rondell White (Det), Bob Wickman (Cle), Tim Worrell (Ari).
Antonio Alfonseca (Fla), Rich Aurilia (Cin), Paul Byrd (LAA), Hector Carrasco (Was), Elmer Dessens (LAD), Cal Eldred (StL), Juan Encarnacion (Fla), Shawn Estes (Ari), Carl Everett (CWS), Julio Franco (Atl), Nomar Garciaparra (ChC), Alex Gonzalez (Fla), Todd Greene (Col), Chris Hammond (SD), Scott Hatteberg (Oak), Rick Helling (Mil), Roberto Hernandez (NYM), Jason Johnson (Det), Jacque Jones (Min), Al Leiter (NYY), Esteban Loaiza (Was), Kenny Lofton (Phi), Brian Meadows (Pit), Jim Mecir (Fla), Jose Mesa (Pit), Dan Miceli (Col), Kevin Millwood (Cle), Jamie Moyer (Sea), Mike Myers (Bos), Rafael Palmeiro (Bal), Todd Pratt (Phi), Felix Rodriguez (NYY), Reggie Sanders (StL), J.T. Snow (SF), Sammy Sosa (Bal), Russ Springer (Hou), Frank Thomas (CWS), Brett Tomko (SF), Michael Tucker (Phi), Daryle Ward (Pit), Jarrod Washburn (LAA), Bernie Williams (NYY), Preston Wilson (Was), Eric Young (SD).
Type C (first-time free agents only)
Joey Eischen (Was), Scott Elarton (Cle), Abraham Nunez (StL). “
And, also from Baseball America, here is the 2006 draft order adjusted for compensatory picks.
2006 Draft Order
“The Dodgers will reap two extra picks for the loss of Type A free agent Jeff Weaver (Angels), getting one late in the first round and another at the start of the supplemental first round. The Braves, with two supplemental picks and two extra second-round picks, and Red Sox, with two supplemental picks and an extra third-rounder, also will come out ahead in this year’s draft.
On the flip side, the Cubs will forfeit their second-, third- and fourth-round picks after signing free agents Bobby Howry, Scott Eyre and Jacque Jones. The Giants, after surrendering their first three picks a year ago, won’t pick in the second or third rounds.”
3. Devil Rays
14. Blue Jays
18. Phillies (from Mets for Type A Billy Wagner)
21. Yankees (from Phillies for Type A Tom Gordon)
22. Nationals (from Athletics for Type B Esteban Loaiza)
25. Angels (from Indians for Type B Paul Byrd)
26. Dodgers (from Angels for Type A Jeff Weaver)
27. Red Sox
28. Red Sox (from Yankees for Type A Johnny Damon)
29. White Sox
Supplemental First Round
31. Dodgers (for Weaver)
32. Orioles (for Type A B.J. Ryan)
33. Giants (for Type A Scott Eyre)
34. Diamondbacks (for Type A Tim Worrell)
35. Padres (for Type A Ramon Hernandez)
36. Marlins (for Type A A.J. Burnett)
37. Phillies (for Wagner)
38. Braves (for Type A Kyle Farnsworth)
39. Indians (for Type A Bob Howry)
40. Red Sox (for Damon)
41. Yankees (for Gordon)
42. Cardinals (for Type A Matt Morris)
43. Braves (for Type A Rafael Furcal)
44. Red Sox (for Type A Bill Mueller)
51. Braves (from Dodgers for Furcal)
53. Padres (from Orioles for Hernandez)
54. Cardinals (from Giants for Morris)
56. Indians (from Rangers for Type B Kevin Millwood)
57. Indians (from Cubs for Howry)
58. Orioles (from Blue Jays for Ryan)
70. Nationals (from Angels for Type B Hector Carrasco)
72. Braves (from Yankees for Farnsworth)
Supplemental Second Round
75. Indians (for Type C Scott Elarton)
76. Cardinals (for Type C Abraham Nunez)
83. Red Sox (from Dodgers for Mueller)
86. Diamondbacks (from Giants for Worrell)
89. Giants (from Cubs for Eyre)
90. Marlins (from Blue Jays for Burnett)
119. Twins (from Cubs for Type B Jacque Jones)
If we assume for a minute that the Pirates still would’ve signed Joe Randa (who may have been even more desirable with a FULL season of numbers from GABP), which it’s likely that they would have, then we would have gotten a supplemental first rounder and the Pirates second round pick. Since the Pirates are in the top 15 draft picks this year, that pick is protected and they would have forfeited their second round pick instead.
A good comparison for Randa is Bill Mueller for whom the Red Sox received a supplemental first rounder and the Dodgers’ third round pick. The Red Sox would’ve received the Dodgers’ second round pick (as their first pick was protected like the Pirates’ pick), but the Dodgers forfeited that one to the Braves by signing Furcal, who was more highly rated by Elias than Mueller.
In the Elias ranking, Joe Randa is ranked number 18 in the NL at 69.951. Bill Mueller is ranked number 19 in the AL at 68.452. Randa is more highly rated than Type A Mueller, so Randa would’ve been classified a Type A free agent as well.
Given the lackluster performances of Travis Chick and Justin Germano, I would much rather have an additional first/second round pick and a supplemental first round pick. I think that those two draft picks would have given us two prospects with true IMPACT potential, rather than the low ceiling, struggling Chick and Germano.
I was a proponent of the Randa trade, which made sense at the time, but in hindsight it wasn’t a good deal. The Reds would’ve been much better offer with the draft picks, than Chick and Germano. Remember, Travis Wood was our second rounder last year and I don’t think many would rather have Chick/Germano than another Wood.
One wonders if O’Brian made this trade in an attempt to save his job or if he just poorly evaluated Chick and Germano. Regardless, this is another in a long line of poor decisions made by O’Brien. Once again, the Reds didn't maximize value from their assets. Hopefully, this one won't come back to haunt us in the upcoming draft, but two additional early picks could've REALLY helped out our struggling farm system by adding impact talent.