Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Arbitration domination

As a "modified Type B" free agent, Matt Capps
does not have to be offered arbitration to bring the
Twins a compensatory draft pick if he signs elsewhere.
Wednesday was the deadline for teams to offer arbitration to their ranked free agents.

The Twins have three ranked free agents: Michael Cuddyer, a "modified" Type A; Jason Kubel, Type B; and Matt Capps, "modified" Type B. These designations, as I understand it, are useful for this offseason only.

A straight Type A -- Albert Pujols, for example -- offered arbitration will cost a signing team draft picks. Six of the free agents originally listed as Type A -- including Cuddyer -- are now in a new category. If they are offered arbitration and sign elsewhere, the jilted team gets two picks, but the signing team doesn't lose picks.

This figures to greatly enhance interest in Cuddyer. Under last winter's rules, a team signing Cuddyer was essentially trading a high draft pick to the Twins. Now the Twins would still get the picks, but the new team isn't losing anything.

The Twins continue to voice interest in retaining Cuddyer, but this development makes it more likely that he'll sign elsewhere.

The Capps situation is better for the Twins. Capps was originally a Type A, and as with Matt Guerrier last winter, the Twins would probably have declined to offer him arbitration rather than risk having him accept. But the new labor deal decouples arbitration from the five modified Type Bs. The Twins will collect a compensatory pick if Capps signs elsewhere without risking arbitration. (Capps is one of five in the new category.)

Bottom line for the Twins: They offered arbitration to Cuddyer and Kubel, did not to Capps. If all three sign elsewhere, the Twins will reap four extra draft picks in June, giving them six of the first 40 or so picks in the draft.


The Ryan Doumit signing became official Wednesday.

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