The Rays have nine potential free agents at the end of the year. The Elias rankings will determine whether the Rays will receive any compensation should these players sign with another team (see below for a detailed explanation of free agency compensation).
The Rays have three potential Type A free agents. They also have four potential Type B free agents with Joaquin Benoit jumping up into Type B status. With only 49 games to go, this classifications are not likely to change much unless Grant Balfour comes back strong in September.
If the season ended today and all seven of the classified free agents were offered compensation by the Rays and signed with a new team, the Rays would receive a whopping 10 compensation draft picks (2 for each Type A and 1 for each Type B). In addition, with five days before the deadline to sign draft picks, the Rays have yet to sign their top pick, Josh Sale. If he goes unsigned, the Rays would receive yet another compensation pick in the 2011 draft.
Including their own first-round pick, the Rays could have as many as 12 picks in the top 70 of next year’s draft. Yeah, the 2011 draft is going to be fun to watch.
Free agency compensation…
- All players are ranked in one of five groups depending on their primary position. The rankings are based on stats from 2009 and 2010. Players ranked in the top 20% of their group are classified “Type A.” Players in the next 20% are classified “Type B.”
- If a Type A player signs with another team via free agency, the original team will receive 2 draft picks. One will be a compensation pick between the first and second round. The other will come from the team that signed the player. If that team’s first round pick is 16th or later, the former team will get that pick. If the free agent’s new team picks in the top 15, the former team will receive their second round pick. It gets a bit more complicated if a team signs more than one type A free agent.
- If a Type B player signs with another team via free agency, the original team will only receive the compensation pick between the first and second round. The free agent’s new team does not surrender any picks.
- A team does not receive any compensation if a free agent that is neither A nor B signs with a new team.
- A player’s former team only receives compensation if they first offer the free agent arbitration. The danger in offering arbitration is that the player could accept and receive a 1-year contract through arbitration. The Rays may then be stuck with a player they no longer want.