Today is the deadline for teams to offer arbitration to their free agents. Gregg Zaun, Brian Shouse and Russ Springer are the only Rays to receive either Type A or Type B free agent status (all are type B). If any of the three signs with another team, the Rays can potentially receive a compensation draft pick between the first and second round in the 2010 draft.
In order to receive the draft pick, the Rays must first offer the player arbitration. The risk is that the player could choose to accept the arbitration. The Rays would then be stuck with that player.
BRIAN SHOUSE: It is highly unlikely that the Rays will offer Shouse arbitration. The Rays paid Shouse $1.35 million in 2009 and declined his 2010 option for $1.9 million. While there are no restrictions on what a team can offer a player with 6+ years of experience*, there is the risk that Shouse would win an arbitration hearing. Being forced to keep Shouse in 2010 would be an unwelcome sight considering the Rays already have Randy Choate as a lefty-specialist and presumably no room in their bullpen…No
GREGG ZAUN: Zaun is a little more complicated. On the one hand, the Rays would like Zaun back in 2010 to platoon with Dioner Navarro. So having Zaun accept arbitration would not necessarily be a bad thing. However, the Rays already declined their $2.0 million option on Zaun. If the Rays offer arbitration and Zaun accepts, there is a chance that Zaun could actually make more than $2.0 million. If that happened, the Rays would look foolish. It doesn’t seem unreasonable that Zaun would ask for $2.5 million in arbitration. While we would not be surprised if the Rays offered Zaun arbitration, our guess is that they won’t…No
RUSS SPRINGER: At 41 years of age, offering arbitration would be a nice incentive for Springer to not retire…No
So that is a “NO” on all three. Can you make a case for offering arbitration to one or more of the players in the hopes of receiving an extra draft pick(s) in next year’s draft? Let us know in the comments.
* Players with less than 6 years of experience cannot have their salary reduced by more than 20% in arbitration.