Who says the Milwaukee Brewers aren't nice guys?
On behalf of Cubs fans everywhere, allow me to extend deepest thanks to Brewers GM Doug Melvin, who just couldn't wait until after December 1st to sign Cubs FA catcher Jason Kendall
Not that signing Kendall prior to December 1st will cost the Brewers a draft pick, but by the Brew Crew signing Kendall prior to December 1st, the Cubs automatically will receive a compensation pick in the Supplemental 1st Round (between the 1st and 2nd round) in next June's Rule 4 Draft. If the Brewers had waited to sign Kendall until after the December 1st deadline for clubs to offer salary arbitration to their Article XX free-gents, it's unlikely that the Cubs would have offered arbitration to Kendall, and thus they would not have received a compensation draft pick.
The same thing happened a year ago, when Dodger GM Ned Colletti signed Type "B" FA Juan Pierre
prior to December 1st, automatically giving the Cubs a pick in the Supplemental 1st round of this past June's draft, a pick the Cubs used to select catcher Josh Donaldson
(Auburn), who is now considered to be one of the Cubs Top 10 Prospects (and I rate him #1). Just as with Kendall this year, it's extremely unlikely that the Cubs would have offered salary arbitration to Pierre on 12-1-06.
This Saturday (December 1st) is the deadline for MLB clubs to offer salary arbitration to their unsigned Article XX Type "A" and Type "B" free-agents in order to be eligible to receive a Rule 4 Draft (First-Year Player Draft) compensation draft pick or draft picks. (If a Type "A" or Type "B" FA signs with a new club prior to December 1st, the player's former club does not need to offer salary arbitration to the player in order to get a compensation pick, it's automatic). Type "A" and Type "B" free-agents who are offered salary arbitration by their old clubs have until December 7th to accept the offer. The 20% maximum permissible salary cut that normally applies to salary arbitration offers does NOT apply to salary arbitation offered to Type "A" or Type "B" free-agents.
Under the previous CBA, if a club did not offer salary arbitration to one of its own Article XX free-agents by the deadline, the club could not re-sign the player until May 1st of the following year. But that is no longer the case. Under the new CBA, if an Article XX free-agent is not offered salary arbitration by the deadline (12/1), the club can continue to negotiate with the player and can re-sign the player at any time.
Of course, the problem with offering salary arbitration to a Type "A" or a Type "B" free-agent on December 1st just to get a Rule 4 draft pick (or picks) is that the player might pull a fast one and (egads!) actually accept the offer, and the club might not really want the player back. Last year, Tony Graffanino
(MIL) and Todd Walker
(SD) were the only two Type "A" or Type "B" free-agents to accept 12/1 salary arbitration offers (Walker subsequently won in a hearing), but then the Padres ended up releasing Walker during Spring Training, creating an ugly situation where Walk threatened to file a grievance (but he backed-down and signed with OAK instead).
For Type "A" free-agents, a club eligible to receive compensation for losing an Article XX FA gets the new club's 1st or 2nd round draft pick (the new club's 1st round pick if the player's new club is ranked 16-30 in the draft order, or the new club's 2nd round pick if the player's new club is ranked 1-15 in the draft order) as well as a pick in the Supplemental 1st Round (sometimes called a "sandwich pick") between the 1st and 2nd round. (For clubs selecting 1-15 in the draft order who sign a Type "A" FA where the player's former club is eligible to receive compensation, their 1st round pick is always "protected").
If a club signs more than one Type "A" FA where more than one of the former clubs are eligible to receive compensation, the new club would surrender its 2nd Round, 3rd Round, 4th Round, et al picks (as many rounds as Type "A" FAs signed where compensation is required) to the players' former clubs. In this case, which club gets which pick (in which round) is determined by ranking the FA players involved according to their statistical numerical rating as determined by the Elias Sports Bureau, with the former club of the higher statistically-ranked player getting the higher pick and so on down the line.
For Type "B" free-agents, a club eligible to receive compensation receives only a selection in the Supplemental 1st Round.
The picks in the Supplemental 1st round (the "sandwich picks") are allocated this way:
All Type "A" picks get assigned first, and they are allocated in the same draft order as the rest of the draft. In other words, teams eligible to receive a compensation pick for losing a Type "A" FA select in the exact same order they would pick in any other round of the draft. If a club gets more than one Type "A" compensation pick in the Supplemental 1st round, additional picks are allocated only after all teams eligible to select a player in the Type "A" section of the Supplemental 1st Round have made a selection (in draft order).
After all Type "A" compensation picks are allocated, the Type "B" compensation picks are assigned, and (as is the case with the Type "A" compensation picks), they are allocated in draft order. And if a club gets more than one Type "B" compensation pick, the additional pick or picks are made only after all teams eligible to receive a Type "B" compensation pick make their initial selection (which are made in draft order).
Right now, the following Article XX free-agents are rated as Type "A" or Type "B," and the players' former clubs could be eligible to receive compensation picks if the Type "A" or Type "B" player signs with a new club prior to December 1st, or if the player signs with a new team after December 1st where the FA is offered salary arbitration by his former club on December 1st.
* bats or throws left
# bats both
* Tom Glavine
(NYM) - signed with ATL
* Andy Pettitte
(MIL) - signed with CIN
(MIL) - signed with CHW
(SD) - signed with HOU
* Ron Mahay
* Trever Miller
(STL) - signed with TB
) - signed with MIL
* Barry Bonds
# Milton Bradley
(MIN) - signed with LAA
* Luis Gonzalez
* Shawn Green
* Kenny Lofton
So at present (and this is subject to change if additional Type "A" and Type "B" free-agents sign with new clubs prior to December 1st, or are offered salary arbitration by their old club on 12/1), the Cubs will get three picks in the first 56 (overall) in next June's Rule 4 Draft, selecting at #19, #37, and #56.
The Braves and Red Sox get compensation picks for failing to sign 2nd round picks last year, but because the Braves were picking at #69 and the Red Sox were picking at #84 when they made the selections, at present their 2008 Rule 4 compensation picks will be 3rd round selections (even though the unsigned players were selected in the 2nd round), because clubs have to select one slot below (overall) where the selected the player they failed to sign in the previous draft was picked, and pending additional FA Type "A" and Type "B" compensation picks being allocated, as of right now, those slots (after #69 and after #84) will be 3rd round slots.
2008 RULE 4 DRAFT ORDER
(as of 11/29/07)
18. NYM (from ATL - Tom Glavine)
27. MIN (from LAA - Torii Hunter)
SUPPLEMENTAL 1st ROUND
31. MIN (TYPE "A" - Torii Hunter)
32. MIL (TYPE "A" - Francisco Cordero)
33. NYM (TYPE "A" - Tom Glavine)
34. MIL (TYPE "A" - Scott Linebrink)
35. STL (TYPE "B" - Troy Percival)
(TYPE "B" - Jason Kendall)
37. SD (TYPE "B" - Doug Brocail)
44. MIL (from CIN - Francisco Cordero)
45. MIL (from CHW - Scott Linebrink)