Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Why it matters who signs AJ

I know that readers of this blog are, from the feedback we get, well informed fans. But I notice that not all baseball fans who voice their opinion on-line are so well informed. One of the examples of this I note from time to time is the occasional reference to where AJ will sign and what difference it will make to us (for instance, "I hope he signs with the Yankees and then breaks down like Pavano did")

So I thought I'd do a small educational moment here and walk through, for those who don't know, why it matters where AJ signs.

The conditions which prevail are these:
1. A team which finished with one of the 15 worst records CANNOT lose their first round pick
2. If a team signs more than one Type A player who was offered arbitration, the first round pick goes to the team with the higher ranked player.
3. Three players ranked higher than AJ in the Elias rankings - CC Sabathia, Mark Texeria, and Manny Ramirez.
4. Six teams have been mentioned prominently as potential destinations: the Yankees, Phillies, Red Sox, Orioles, Nationals, and Braves

Now, with that said, here's the draft order - with the blank numbers being compensation sandwich picks for free agents signed. This is an estimate on my part because some undetermined amount of the offered players will re-sign with their former team. I have assumed here that 15 of the 24 offered players change teams. That may of course not be accurate.

Protected First-Round Picks
1. Nationals (59-102)
2. Mariners (61-101)
3. Padres (63-99)
4. Pirates (67-95)
5. Orioles (68-93)
6. Giants (72-90)
7. Braves (72-90)
8. Reds (74-88)
9. Tigers (74-88)
10. Nationals (compensation for failure to sign 2008 first-rounder Aaron Crow)
11. Rockies (74-88)
12. Royals (75-87)
13. Athletics (75-86)
14. Rangers (79-83)
15. Indians (81-81)
16. Diamondbacks (82-80)
Unprotected First-Round Picks
17. Dodgers (84-78)
18. Marlins (84-77)
19. Cardinals (86-76)
20. Blue Jays (86-76)
21. Mariners (compensaton for failure to sign 2008 first-rounder Joshua Fields)
22. Astros (86-75)
23. Twins (88-75)
24. White Sox (89-74)
25. Mets (89-73)
26. Yankees (89-73)
27. Brewers (90-72)
28. Phillies (92-70)
29. Yankees (compensation for failure to sign 2008 first-rounder Gerrit Cole)
30. Red Sox (95-67)
31. Rays (97-65)
32. Cubs (97-64)
33. Angels (100-62)
37. Sandwich pick for AJ
49. Nationals
50. Mariners
51. Padres
52. Pirates
53. Orioles
54. Giants
55. Braves
56. Reds
57. Tigers
58. Rockies
59. Royals
60. Athletics
61. Rangers
62. Indians
63. Diamondbacks
64. Dodgers
65. Marlins
66. Cardinals
67. Blue Jays
68. Astros
69. Twins
70. White Sox
71. Mets
72. Yankees
73. Brewers
74. Phillies
75. Red Sox

Now, watch what happens - Because the Nat's, O's and Braves finished in the top 15 picks, they would lose a second round pick regardless. So if one of those three signed him our picks would fall like this:
Nats: 20 - 37 - 49 - 67
O's: 20 - 37 - 53 - 67
Braves: 20 - 37 - 55 - 87

Whereas, if AJ was signed by the Yankkes, Phillies, or Red Sox - and the signing team did not sign CC, Tex, or Manny - then the picks would be:

Yankees: 20 - 26 - 37 - 67
Phillies: 20 - 28 - 37 - 67
Red Sox: 20 - 30 - 37 - 67

So, we can see right away that we have a vested interest in where AJ signs. This is further compounded by the legitimate possibility that the Yankees would sign both AJ and one of the players ranked higher than him. In that unfortunate circumstance our picks would become:
20 - 37 - 67 - 72
The worst possible outcome for our draft prospects (well, technically the Red Sox could sign both AJ and Tex but Lowe is such a natural fit there and has such an interest that I discount that as a real possibility).

MLBTR is reporting a story that the Braves are ready to meet AJ's five-year demand. This is bad news, from where I sit. I'm rooting for the Phillies to step up to the plate and match the offer. Seeing as how I prefer the 28th pick to the 55th.

Stay tuned.



Clint said...

With Atlanta adding that 5th year it's hard to see him not signing there. At least the Jays won't have to face him.

I wish the Jays would have offered Zaun arbitration, with the bad blood between him and JP I couldn’t have seen him accepting.

Did you happen to see the National Post article which has one Jay's insider/source speculating that Rogers may sell the team in a couple of years?

The Southpaw said...

Interesting. If JP somehow survives the new President being hired...there might be a natural break point to market the team in 2010 so that the new ownership can decide how to proceed with spending - or not - as those veteran deals end.

Anonymous said...

It looks like the Cards may have picked up Khalil Greene for a couple of relief prospects. I hope they're better than Davis Romero and Zach Dials.

The Southpaw said...

yeah, i'm pretty pissed about that