The Art of the “Type B Free Agent” Grab.

Don't cry when your team deals for Bruce Chen. He might get you a free draft pick =)

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.

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.

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