Thursday, December 02, 2004

So How Much Is That Free Agent In The Window?

One thing that always drives me bonkers every year is that when the Elias Sports Bureau releases its player rankings (which in turn determine the free agent compensation), they always list them by league and position (you can find the lists here for both the American and National League). Furthermore they release the rankings for all the major league players rather than just the free agents for this year. Therefore, in order to determine what compensation a team gets you have to sort through multiple lists and non-free agent players which takes time and patience that I don't really possess.

Therefore as a public service to all, I put together complete lists for the Type A, B, and C free agents. They're listed by their Elias Ranking and the number next to their name is their respective ranking at their position. If you want a review of the player compensation rules, I've listed them here.

Why am I interested in this? Well, next Tuesday, the Mets have to decide whether to offer Al Leiter (if he doesn't sign beforehand), Richard Hidalgo, Mike DeJean, and Ricky Bottalico arbitration. If the Mets were to offer all four arbitration and all four ended up signing elsewhere, the Mets could end up with a draft pick bonanza. This, however, is contingent on several things:

1) If a team picks in the first half of the first round, they can't lose their first round pick. In this case, the team gets the second round pick instead. The Mets, with the ninth pick overall this year (scroll way down for the draft order), can't lose their pick no matter who they sign.

2) If a team signs more than one free agent (and loses more than one draft pick), the team with the higher ranked player gets the higher draft pick. Ask BA has a good example of this:

The chronology of the transactions doesn't matter. The Giants signed Omar Vizquel 16 days before they grabbed Armando Benitez. Both are Type A free agents, with Benitez (85.478) outranking Vizquel (66.234). So the Marlins wind up with San Francisco's first-rounder (No. 22 overall) and the Indians got bumped down to the Giants' second-rounder. Florida and Cleveland also receive supplemental first-round choices.

So let's say Florida signs Leiter away from the Mets with the Mets getting compensation. With no other signings, the Mets will then get the Marlins first rounder (16th overall, the highest first rounder they can get) and a supplemental pick.

However let's say that then the Marlins decide to sign Rheal Cormier for the bullpen. Since Cormier (82.431) has a higher ranking than Leiter (82.333), Philadelphia would get the first rounder instead and the Mets would only get their second rounder. Remember these rankings take the past two years and position into consideration. Positions with less depth generally produce higher rankings.

From the first list, you can see all the players ranked above Leiter. Looking at the list, you can see it would much better for the Marlins to sign Leiter rather than the Phillies or the Yankees simply because they are much less likely to sign any of the players listed above him. Richard Hidalgo, who finds himself towards the bottom of the A list, has a much greater chance of producing only a second round pick.

The last thing these lists tell us is the order of the compensation picks at the end of their respective rounds. Therefore, should both teams offer compensation, the Blue Jays would get pick #31 for losing Carlos Delgado while Boston would get pick #32 should the Mets sign Pedro (Boston would also get the Mets second round pick).

So what's the best the Mets can do with draft picks next year? If they offer arbitration to all their free agents, they all end up signing elsewhere, and the Mets get the best possible compensation from their new teams, the Mets could end up with four first round picks (three plus their own), two first round supplementals, and a second round supplemental. Even if the Mets sign two additional Type A free agents (say Carlos Beltran and Richie Sexson), they will still only lose their normal second and third rounders. We're talking Moneyball draft territory here.

In reality, it will probably be a happy medium, with the Mets picking up a first rounder and giving away at least one of their lower rounders. This is what the Hot Stove is all about and it all starts next Tuesday. Woohoo!

2004 Type A Free Agent Rankings

1. Carlos Delgado 98.333
3. Pedro Martinez 94.444
3. Roger Clemens 92.25
6. Carlos Beltran 91.011
4. Edgar Renteria 89.655
5. Adrian Beltre 86.772
5. Russ Ortiz 86.667
8. Magglio Ordonez 85.75
7. Nomar Garciaparra 85.714
8. Armando Benitez 85.478
3. Jason Varitek 85.294
11. Moises Alou 84.719
9. Jeff Kent 83.673
12. J.D. Drew 83.371
10. Placido Polanco 82.653
10. Rheal Cormier 82.431
11. Al Leiter 82.333
13. Brad Radke 80.754
14. Esteban Loaiza 79.861
14. Carl Pavano 78.917
15. David Wells 78.667
16. Woody Williams 78.5
16. Vinny Castilla 76.72
14. Wilson Alvarez 76.693
15. Ugueth Urbina 76.366
20. Steve Finley 75.73
17. Dan Miceli 75.599
13. Orlando Cabrera 75.325
7. Damian Miller 74.79
18. Matt Morris 74.167
20. Kevin Millwood 73.833
7. Mike Matheny 72.973
15. Corey Koskie 72.222
26. Richard Hidalgo 72.135
20. Troy Percival 71.46
22. Scott Williamson 70.754
30. Edgar Martinez 70
26. Steve Kline 69.684
28. Odalis Perez 69
31. Matt Mantei 68.678
33. Jeromy Burnitz 68.315
25. Derek Lowe 68.254
26. Chris Hammond 68.19
34. Richie Sexson 68.148
37. Cal Eldred 67.14
22. Royce Clayton 66.502
21. Omar Vizquel 66.234
38. Kent Mercker 66.223
24. M. Grudzielanek 65.306
25. Tony Batista 64.815
22. Miguel Cairo 64.532
40. Jaret Wright 63.946
43. D. Hermanson 62.94
44. Paul Shuey 62.762
35. Jeff Nelson 62.282

2004 Type B Free Agent Rankings

34. Cory Lidle 65.333
35. Matt Clement 65.083
40. Tino Martinez 64.167
27. Barry Larkin 64.039
29. Rich Aurilia 63.054
32. Todd Walker 62.245
43. B.J. Surhoff 62
36. Ron Villone 61.315
34. Deivi Cruz 60.837
38. Terry Adams 60.089
27. Roberto Alomar 59.606
47. A. Alfonseca 59.184
48. Mike DeJean 59.154
28. Cristian Guzman 59.091
30. Eric Young 58.374
41. Chris Carpenter 58.333
52. Antonio Osuna 57.616
43. Curtis Leskanic 57.414
53. Steve Reed 57.025
51. John Olerud 56.667
12. Dan Wilson 55.882
33. Jose Valentin 55.844
44. Paul Wilson 55.833
44. Hideo Nomo 55.833
53. Juan Gonzalez 55.75
37. Alex Gonzalez 55.665
55. Danny Bautista 55.506
13. Greg Myers 55.462
38. Jon Lieber 54.563
59. Elmer Dessens 54.333
52. Esteban Yan 54.143
16. Todd Pratt 54.054
38. Jose Hernandez 53.695
17. Brent Mayne 53.668
51. Jose Lima 53.667
42. O. Hernandez 53.571
61. Gabe White 53.327
14. Doug Mirabelli 53.151
41. Robin Ventura 52.381
42. Craig Counsell 52.217
55. Ismael Valdez 52.167
64. Dave Burba 51.878
66. Chad Fox 51.464
16. Gregg Zaun 51.05
69. Jose Mesa 49.926
71. Todd Jones 49.364
18. Brook Fordyce 48.319

2004 Type C Free Agent Rankings

53. Eric Milton 53.083
38. Desi Relaford 52.709
61. Julio Franco 51.852
56. Shawn Estes 51.417
57. Kris Benson 51.167
63. T. Hollandsworth 50.112
61. Jim Mecir 49.238
62. John Halama 48.867
75. Ricky Bottalico 48.388
65. John Mabry 48.315
76. R. Hernandez 48.24
63. Al Levine 47.938
65. Bob Wickman 47.306
19. Sandy Alomar Jr. 47.059
68. Ben Grieve 46.742
22. Todd Greene 46.332
41. Troy Glaus 46.032
47. R. E. Martinez 45.813
72. Jermaine Dye 45.75
23. Mike Redmond 44.981
83. Todd Van Poppel 44.928
48. Tony Womack 44.898
86. Rudy Seanez 44.366
75. Travis Lee 43.333
49. Aaron Sele 43.254
71. Carlos Baerga 42.963
20. Henry Blanco 40.546


At 10:59 PM, Blogger a2d said...

Wow, Pedro and Delgado are listed over Beltran? Although I believe the Blue Jays don't plan on offering him arbitration, so maybe he'd be the better choice over Sexson afterall.

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