Something for Nothing: A Brief History of FA Compensation Picks.

As we near the trading deadline, there has been & will be a lot of discussion of "rental" players & free agents-to-be & draft compensation picks for departed free agents (see Sabathia, C.C.).. Type A & Type B free agents will be bandied about with much fanfare & it can all be pretty confusing to figure out. Should a team (like the Brewers) consider taking on a "rental" player for the stretch run? Should the Cardinals go after (insert middle reliever name) who might be a free agent after this year? How do compensation picks work?

First of all, per, here's what qualifies as "Type A" & "Type B" free agents:

"The former Club of a Player who became a free agent and ranks as a Type A or B Player shall be entitled to receive compensation in the form of a draft choice in the First-Year Player Draft succeeding the Player's election of free agency.

A Type A or B shall be a Player who became a free agent and ranks as a Type A or B Player under the statistical system of ranking Players set forth by the Elias Sports Bureau, using statistics based on a two-year average for each respective position group. Type A and Type B players necessitate that the Player's former Club receive a sandwich pick in between rounds one and two. Additional picks in the second, third and fourth rounds are exchanged from one club to another for the losses of Type A free agents.

Type A Players now rank in the upper 20% of his respective position group by the Basic Agreement, instead of the upper 30% as was stipulated in the previous collective bargaining agreement.

Type B Players now rank in the upper 40%, but not in the upper 20%, of his respective position group. Under the previous collective bargaining agreement, Type B Players ranked in the upper 50% not in the upper 30%. Before the most recent collective bargaining agreement took effect for the 2007 season, a Club would receive compensation for losing a Type C free agent. Under the new Basic Agreement, Type C free agents no longer call for a draft pick as compensation."

Now that we have that clear, I thought it would be interesting to look at free agent signings as if they were trades with the team losing the free agent having gained compensation picks for the departed player. This list isn't all inclusive; there were omissions based on how inconsequential the deal turned out for both teams. I did include all Cardinals matters as well as some of the big free agent signings since 2000.

Here goes!


•    Diamondbacks – RHP Russ Springer  (2 years / $3.4 M) / Braves – RHP Adam Wainwright (29th)  & INF Aaron Herr (40th supp.)
•    Mariners – LHP Arthur Rhodes (4 years / $13.5 M) / Orioles – RHP Tripper Johnson (32nd supp.)
•    Expos – LHP Graeme Lloyd (3 years / $9 M) / Blue Jays – RHP Dustin McGowan (33rd supp.) & RHP Peter Bauer (45th)
•    Brewers – INF Jose Hernandez (3 years / $10M) / Braves – SS Kelly Johnson (38th supp.) & RHP Bubba Nelson (51st)

•    Red Sox – LF Manny Ramirez (8 years / $168M) / Indians – RHP Daniel Denham (17th) & RHP J.D. Martin (35th)
•    Rockies – LHP Mike Hampton (8 years / $121M) / Mets – RHP Aaron Heilman (18th) & 3B David Wright (38th)
•    Rangers – RHP Mark Petkovsek (1 year / $5.7M) / Angels – C Jeff Mathis (33rd)
•    Mets – RHP Kevin Appier (4 years / $42 M) / A’s – RHP Jeremy Bonderman (26th) & LHP John Rheinecker  (37th supp.)
•    Rangers – SS Alex Rodriguez (10 years / $252M) / Mariners – SS Michael Garciaparra (36th supp.) & C Rene Rivera

•    Red Sox – CF Johnny Damon (4 years / $31M) / A’s – OF Nick Swisher (16th) & 3B Mark Teahen (39th supp.)
•    Yankees – 1B Jason Giambi (7 years / $120M) / A’s – RHP Joe Blanton (24th) & C Jeremy Brown (35th supp.)
•    Cardinals – RHP Jason Isringhausen (4 years / $27M) / A’s – RHP Ben Frtiz (30th) & RHP Stephen Obenchain (37th supp.)
•    Cardinals – 1B Tino Martinez (3 years / $21M) / Yankees – RHP Brandon Weeden (71st)

•    Cubs – LHP Mike Remlinger (3 years / $11M) / Braves – C Jarrod Saltalamacchia (36th supp.) & LHP Jo-Jo Reyes (43rd)
•    Phillies – 1B Jim Thome (6 years / $85M) / Indians – OF Bradley Snyder (16th) & RHP Adam Miller (31st supp.)
•    Astros – 2B Jeff Kent (2 years / $18.2M) / Giants – RHP David Aardsma (22nd) & RHP Roger Whitaker (34th supp.)
•    Mariners – 1B Greg Colbrunn (1 years / $750K) / Diamondbacks – 1B Conor Jackson (19th)

•    Mariners – LHP Eddie Guardado (3 years / $12M) / Twins – LHP Glen Perkins (22nd) & RHP Matthew Fox (35th supp.)
•    Astros – LHP Andy Pettitte (3 years / $31.5M) / Yankees – RHP Phillip Hughes (23rd) & C Jonathan Poterson (37th supp.)
•    Yankees – RHP Paul Quantrill (2 years / $6.4M) / Dodgers – 2B Blake DeWitt (28th) & RHP Justin Orenduff (33rd supp.)
•    Braves – RHP John Thomson (2 years / $7M) / Rangers – RHP Eric Hurley (30th)
•    Yankees – RHP Tom Gordon (2 years / $7.25M) / White Sox – LHP Gio Gonzalez (38th supp.) & LHP Ray Liotta (69th)
•    Mariners – LF Raul Ibanez (3 years / $13.25M) / Royals – LHP J.P. Howell (31st supp.) & RHP Erik Cordier (63rd)
•    Orioles – SS Miguel Tejada (6 years / $72M) / A’s – RHP Huston Street (40th supp.) & RHP Michael Rogers (49th)

•    Giants – RHP Armando Benitez (3 years / $21M) / Marlins – LHP Aaron Thompson (22nd) & RHP Ryan Tucker (34th supp.)
•    Angels – SS Orlando Cabrera (4 years / $32M) / Red Sox – CF Jacoby Ellsbury (23rd) & SS Jed Lowrie (45th supp.)
•    Dodgers – RHP Derek Lowe (4 years / $36M) / Red Sox – RHP Craig Hansen (26th) & RHP Michael Bowden (47th supp.)
•    Red Sox – SS Edgar Renteria (4 years / $40M) / Cardinals – CF Colby Rasmus & Mark McCormick (25th) & RHP (43rd supp.)
•    Yankees – RHP Carl Pavano (4 years / $40M) / Marlins – RHP Jacob Marceaux (30th) & LHP Sean West (44th supp.)
•    Brewers – C Damian Miller (2 years / $6.75M) / A’s – OF Travis Buck (36th supp.) & RHP Thomas Italiano (53rd)
•    Mets – RHP Pedro Martinez (4 years / $53 M) / Red Sox – RHP Clay Buchholz (42nd supp.) & C Jonathan Egan (57th)
•    Mariners – 3B Adrian Beltre (5 years / $64M) / Dodgers – RHP Luke Hochevar (40th supp. DNS) & SS Ivan DeJesus (51st)
•    Giants – C Mike Matheny (3 years / $10.5M) / Cardinals – RHP Tyler Herron (46th supp.) & RHP Josh Wilson (70th)

•    Phillies – RHP Tom Gordon (3 years / $18M) / Yankees – RHP Ian Kennedy (21st) & RHP Joba Chamberlain (41st)
•    Mets – LHP Billy Wagner (4 years / $43M) / Phillies – RHP Kyle Drabek (18th) & SS Adrian Cardenas (37th supp.)
•    Blue Jays – RHP A.J. Burnett (5 years / $55M) / Marlins – 2B Chris Coghlan (36th supp.)
•    Giants – RHP Matt Morris (3 years / $27M) / Cardinals – RHP Chris Perez (41st supp.) & LHP Brad Furnish (54th)
•    Phillies – IF Abraham Nunez (2 years / $3.35M) / Cardinals – 1B Mark Hamilton (76th supp.)

•    Astros – LF Carlos Lee (6 years / $100M) / Rangers – RHP Blake Beavan (17th) & OF Julio Borbon (35th supp.)
•    Dodgers – RHP Jason Schmidt (3 years / $47M) / Giants – RHP Tim Alderson (23rd) & C Jackson Williams (43rd supp.)
•    Angels – OF Gary Matthews Jr. (5 years / $50M) / Rangers – RHP Michael Main (24th) & RHP Neil Ramirez (44th supp.)
•    Cubs – LF Alfonso Soriano (8 years / $136 M) / Nationals – LHP Josh Smoker (31st supp.) & RHP Jordan Zimmerman (67th)
•    Giants – IF Rich Aurilia (2 years / $8M) / Reds – INF Todd Frazier (34th supp.)
•    Brewers – RHP Jeff Suppan (4 years / $42 M) / Cardinals – RHP Clayton Mortensen (36th supp.) & RHP David Kopp (71st)
•    Angels – RHP Justin Speier (4 years / $18M) / Blue Jays – LHP Brett Cecil (38th supp.) & OF Eric Eiland (88th)
•    Astros – RHP Woody Williams (2 years / $12.5M) / Padres – OF Kellen Kulbacki (40th supp.) & 2B Eric Sogard (81st)
•    Giants – LHP Barry Zito (7 years / $126M) / A’s – 1B Sean Doolittle (41st supp.) & OF Greg Desme (74th)
•    Indians – RHP Roberto Hernandez (1 year / $3.3M) / Mets – RHP Eddie Kunz (42nd supp.) & RHP Scott Moviel (77th)
•    Mariners – RF Jose Guillen (1 year / $5.5M) / Nationals – OF Michael Burgess (49th supp.)
•    Cubs – LHP Ted Lilly (4 years / $40M) / Blue Jays – RHP Trystan Magnuson (56th supp.)
•    Cardinals – 2B Adam Kennedy (3 years / $10M) / Angels – RHP Jonathan Bachanov (58th supp.)
•    Blue Jays – DH Frank Thomas (2 years / $18M) / A’s – OF Corey Brown (59th supp.)

Regardless of whether you can come to a conclusive judgement about the value of losing a free agent for compensation picks, there are some really good stories in there. Would you have made some of these "trades"?

Links from: baseball musings , baseball-reference , , cot's contracts


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