Santa Selig Could Be Good To Tigers
By Chris Hannum
I’ll tell you one thing: I hadn’t been following the ongoing CBA discussions with what you’d call exactly rapt attention. Hard slotting, soft slotting and what have you seem like issues that affect the lining of owners wallets without really meaning much to a fan. I had heard that as part a peripheral part of the deal we could see a realization of the double Wild Card and a move to the AL for Houston – both beginning in 2013.
Now I hear what – to me – seems like more of a bombshell. As a result of the CBA agreement MLB may be doing away with draft pick compensation for ‘non-elite free agents’. Teams losing type B’s would no longer get compensation. Teams losing ‘marginal type A’s’ might get only a sandwich pick – and the signing team might lose nothing. Now this is nothing set in stone, this is just a whiff of rumor coming from officials involved in the discussions via Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Now here’s the kicker: they aren’t talking about something that would kick in in 2013, they’re talking about something that would start immediately.
The loss of the whole ‘Type B’ class wouldn’t excite much of anyone in fandom or the blogosphere, it would mean a lot to teams that stand to lose guys like Aramis Ramirez to get nothing whatsoever in return. I don’t care about that, you probably don’t either. What I do care about is the potential transformation of marginal type A’s into what we now call type B’s. The fact that a team would lose it’s first round pick to sign them is undoubtedly snuffing out the market for guys like Darren Oliver, Octavio Dotel or Matt Capps entirely, and perhaps Kelly Johnson as well. Those that stand to benefit most from such a change would, of course, be those players themselves. And coming in a close second, teams like the Tigers who would love to sign a player like Kelly Johnson but couldn’t stomach the loss of yet another first round pick.
We may see, at the very least, a holding pattern in these particular free agent markets as teams wait to find out the new lay of the land. It could well be that once this deal is done, if Kelly Johnson no longer costs a pick, we see another deal done in rapid succession.