With the Nationals recent acquisition of Jonny Gomes from the Reds, it be came apparent that another interesting facet of MLB‘s trade deadline gamesmanship had already kicked in.
The art of the “draft pick grab”.
For starters, you need to understand the basics of Type A & Type B free agent classifications. A lot goes into it, which you can read in detail here, but in simple terms:
Type A – Top 20 percent in their positional group.
Type B – Top 21-40 percent in their positional group.
No Compensation – 41-100 percent in their positional group.
Gomes is no lock to receive and turn down an arbitration offer. Still, we saw plenty of apparent handshake deals where Type Bs turned down arbitration offers last offseason. A Type B free agent has nothing to lose by agreeing to such an arrangement.
Let’s take a look at players who currently project as Type Bs free agents and play for teams expected to sell.
- Blue Jays: The Jays will probably be trying to add Type Bs, but Jose Molina, Aaron Hill, Octavio Dotel, Jason Frasor, Jon Rauch, Frank Francisco, and Shawn Campqualify.
- Orioles: Vladimir Guerrero
- Twins: Jason Kubel
- Royals: Bruce Chen
- Athletics: David DeJesus
- Mariners: None
- Mets: None
- Marlins: Omar Infante
- Nationals: Ivan Rodriguez, Jonny Gomes
- Cubs: Aramis Ramirez, Ryan Dempster, Kerry Wood
- Astros: None
- Rockies: Mark Ellis
- Dodgers: Rod Barajas, Casey Blake, Hiroki Kuroda
- Padres: Ryan Ludwick
The most transparent instance of trading for a draft pick came last offseason, when the Jays acquired catcher Miguel Olivo from the Rockies with the intent of declining his option and offering arbitration. The ploy worked, and Toronto drafted Dwight Smith Jr. 53rd overall in June as a direct result.
So if the Jays or some other draft pick-obsessed team makes a run at Bruce Chen this month, you’ll know why.