MLB Trade Rumors just posted a link to a list that ranks all of the players as of 7-30-09 as Type A, Type B, or none.
After reviewing the list, there are some surprises and some intriguing decisions for the Front Office based on the current rankings of players (the rankings will change as the season progresses). Let's review some of the decisions and possible outcomes of the pending FA on the Cardinals Roster, their classification, and what the FO should do.
Matt Holliday: Type A Free Agent. This is a no brainer to offer Arbitration to Holliday. This guarantees at least 2 free draft picks if he bolts for another team.
Rick Ankiel: Type B Free Agent. Currently listed at the bottom of the Type B's, so depending on how well he plays the rest of the season could determine his status. If Ankiel remains a Type B throughout the season, I think the Cardinals would offer arbitration for a few reasons: 1) The story of Ankiel and the Cardinals 2) Insurance for injuries or other FA departures (Holliday) 3) Rick could increase his trade value and still be moved next season. By offering Arbitration, the Cardinals would receive a sandwich pick (between 1st and 2nd rounds of the draft) if Ankiel left, and I think with the other reasons with that, the FO would offer Arb because his current salary is 2.85 M and I can't see him being awarded a whole lot more than that.
(an interesting note from this group is that Skip Schumaker would be considered a high Type B 3.18 points away from Type A status and as an infielder he would be just 1.26 points away from Type A status)
2B, 3B, SS
Troy Glaus: Type A Free Agent. This is a difficult decision for a couple of reasons. The Cardinals don't have a definite replacement at 3B, and the injury to Glaus questions his ability to play 3B. One thing you have to look at when offering arbitration is the likelihood that the player will sign somewhere else and the other team knowing they will give up their 1st/2nd round draft pick to make the acquisition. In Glaus' case, I think he will end up in the same situation as Orlando Cabrera did last season where a lot of teams refused to sign him due to his Type A status. Combine that with doubts that he can play 3rd base, and his current salary (11.25M), the Cardinals will decline to offer Arb and search for a 3B replacement.
Mark Derosa: Type A Free Agent. This one also seems to be a no brainer for the Cardinals in my opinion. By offering Arbitration, the Cardinals have a couple of things working for them. The Cardinals would receive two draft picks in return which could help lessen the blow of losing Jess Todd if Derosa were to sign elsewhere. Second, the Cardinals would have someone to put at 3B next season and not have to search the FA market. If Derosa were to decline Arbitration, I can see teams being wary to sign him due to his free agent status and the offseason surgery on the wrist. It wouldn't be as wary as signing Glaus, but it could become an issue. This thought would give the Cardinals some leverage in re-signing Derosa because you never know how the market will shape up, so a known offer may be appealing. Derosa currently makes 5.5M this year.
Khalil Greene: Neither Type A or Type B. The Cardinals should decline to offer Arb to Greene. He is currently vastly overpaid and would net nothing in return for draft picks.
Joel Pineiro: Type B Free Agent. This could be the toughest decision the FO has to make if Pineiro remains a Type B Free Agent (currently 5th from the bottom, but Oliver Perez and Todd Wellemeyer are still Type B's below him). There are some questions about the ability of Pineiro to continue pitching like he has this season, and the cost of re-signing Pineiro makes it difficult as well (currently makes 7.5M). I think that this decision will have a lot to do with the progression of Mitchell Boggs and Blake Hawksworth over the remainder of the season. If both of them show they are able to retire hitters at the major league level and will be solid contributors in the rotation next season, Pineiro will not be offered Arbitration. If there is doubt about 1 or both of them, the FO will offer Arbitration and cross their fingers that Pineiro continues to pitch like he has this season.
Todd Wellemeyer: Type B Free Agent. Todd's recent demotion to the bullpen and his 4M dollar salary this season makes it a no brainer for the Cards to just cut ties. I doubt that by the end of the year Wellemeyer is still a Type B anyway, unless he turns things around quick. As Joe Blanton, Clayton Kershaw, Yovanni Gallardo, and Chris Carpenter continue to pitch well, Wellemeyer will be pushed out of the Type B category.
Ryan Franklin: Type A Free Agent. The Cardinals don't have to worry about arbitration with Fraklin because he has a 2.75M option for next season that the FO will pick up after this season.
Trever Miller: Type B Free Agent. Miller has pitched exceptionally well this year vs. lefties this season. He is getting close to garnering Type A status. Either way, the Cards should definitely offer arbitration to Miller and hope he reaches Type A status by the end of the year to increase his value if he signs elsewhere. He would fall into the Juan Cruz category of last season where teams wanted to sign him but didn't want to lose the draft pick. I think it would increase the Cards' chances of getting a deal done.
This completes the list of Type A and B Free Agents the Cardinals will have at the end of the season. If the Cardinals were to offer Arb and have all of the players sign elsewhere, we would end up with 12 picks in the top rounds of the draft (talk about a way to restock the farm).