Carl Crawford is a Type A free agent. This means that if when Crawford signs with another team, the Rays will receive a compensation draft pick in the 2011 draft (between the first and second round) as well as a draft pick from the team that signs Crawford. Where exactly the second pick falls depends on a couple of factors.
First of all, the top 18 picks of the first round (this includes three compensation picks awarded for unsigned 2010 draft picks) are protected. So if a team picks in the top 15 and signs a Type A free agent, they will only give up a second round pick.
Also, things get more complicated if a team signs more than one Type A free agent. In that case, the team that loses the higher-ranked free agent (all players are given a ranking based on certain stats) will get the higher pick. The second team would get the next highest pick.
So what about Crawford? Here are the five teams rumored to be interested in Crawford and what those teams would net the Rays if they sign Crawford (first round draft pick is in parentheses)…
- Angels (17) — The Angels top pick is protected, so the Rays would receive their second-round pick (approx. #64 overall)
- Tigers (19)— The Tigers have the highest unprotected pick, so the Rays would get the 19th overall pick. This is the best-case scenario.
- Yankees (31) — The Rays would receive pick #31
- Red Sox (24) — The Rays would receive pick #24
- Nationals (6) — Pick #6 is protected. The Rays would receive the Nats’ second-round pick (~#56 overall)
While the Tigers are the best-case scenario, the Angels represent the worst-case scenario. And to make matters worse, the Rays are really screwed if the Angels sign both Crawford and Rafael Soriano, as has been rumored.
If the Angels do sign both players, the Rays would get two picks between the first and second round, as well as the Angels second and third round picks. That’s right, the Rays could lose their top two free agents and not get a single first round pick for the troubles.