ARBITRATION OFFER DEADLINE TONIGHT

There are just a few hours before the midnight ET deadline for clubs to offer salary arbitration to their free agents which would make the clubs eligible for compensation picks in next year’s draft should the free agents sign elsewhere. With the new CBA being announced yesterday, this will be the last year for the Type A/Type B compensation system in effect. So, just for fun, here’s a quick explanation of the Elias rankings, the draft compensation system, etc. still being used this year:

After the first round, the sandwich picks take place for the clubs that offered their free agents arbitration but were declined. When such free agents sign elsewhere, their previous clubs get compensation based on the level of free agent that was lost. The Elias Sports Bureau classifies free agents as Type A, Type B or, previously, Type C. Here’s the lowdown on that:

  • Type A – In the top 20% of players at his position. The team that signs a Type A FA surrenders its first-round pick to the previous club and the previous club also gets a sandwich pick.
  • Type B – Below the top 20% but above the top 40% of players at  his position. A team that loses a Type B free agent receives a sandwich pick.
  • Type C – No longer exists. It covered “everybody else” or represented no classification, i.e. not a Type A or Type B. This class was eliminated in the most recent CBA.

That all goes out the window starting in 2012. What goes into effect is part of a CBA summary by Maury Brown on BizofBaseball.com. Here’s the Draft Pick Compensation portion of Maury’s summary:

1. Starting in 2012, “Type A” and “Type B” free agents and the use of the Elias ranking system will be eliminated.

2. The current system of draft pick compensation will be replaced with the following system:

A. Only Players who have been with their Clubs for the entire season will be subject to compensation.

B. A free agent will be subject to compensation if his former Club offers him aguaranteed one-year contract with a salary equal to the average salary of the 125-highest paid Players from the prior season. The offer must be made at the end of the five-day free agent “quiet period,” and the Player will have seven days to accept the offer.

C. A club that signs a player subject to compensation will forfeit its first round selection, unless it selects in the top 10, in which case it will forfeit its second-highest selection in the draft.

D. The Player’s former Club will receive a selection at the end of the first round beginning after the last regularly scheduled selection in the round. The former Clubs will select based on reverse order of winning percentage from the prior championship season.

That’s a pretty big change. The headlines are going to HGH testing, the signing bonus pools and several other very important features of the new agreement. Meanwhile, most observers are just happy that MLB got a new deal with no stoppage of play.

Follow the arbitration offers in real time on MLBTraderumors.com’s tracking chart.