2010 Elias Rankings and Tampa Bay Rays Free Agents | The Process Report

2010 Elias Rankings and Tampa Bay Rays Free Agents

By Tommy Rancel //

MLBTraderumors.com released the official Elias free agent rankings for the upcoming free agent class. As you know by now, a team that has a Type A or B free agent, and offers them arbitration, is entitled to draft pick compensation if that player declines the arbitration and signs elsewhere.

Teams who sign a Type A player surrender their first-round pick (second-round pick if draft pick is in top half of draft) to the player’s former club. The former club also receives an additional pick in the supplemental round. Teams who sign Type B free agents do not surrender any picks, but the former club gets a supplemental pick when he signs.

With that said, the Tampa Bay Rays had nine players who made the rankings.

Type A
Carl Crawford
Grant Balfour
Rafael Soriano
Dan Wheeler (team option)

Type B
Carlos Pena
Joaquin Benoit
Randy Choate
Brad Hawpe
Chad Qualls

Those players could potentially net the Rays 13 additional picks in the first two rounds of the upcoming draft. Of course, the Rays will not offer arbitration to all nine players which means they will not hit that number. To see what they may get, let’s look at the individual cases.

Rafael Soriano: will be offered arbitration and will decline. Soriano is the best non-Mariano Rivera closer on the market and Scott Boras is his new agent. There will plenty of contenders willing to surrender a first-round pick for him.

Carl Crawford: likely to fetch the top compensation, but there is a non-zero chance the Rays miss out on a first-rounder for CC. If he signs with a team like the Tigers, Red Sox, or Yankees, Tampa Bay would get that first-round pick. However, if he signs with the Angels, then the Rays would get a second-round selection (go Tigers! I guess).

Grant Balfour: an interesting case because he is one of the more attractive relief free agents with an affordable price tag; however, would a team like the Red Sox really give up a first-round pick to a division rival for a middle reliever? Balfour may find his options limited which means he might accept the offer of arbitration.

Dan Wheeler: also Type A eligible, and unlikely to have his option picked up. At the same time, the team won’t offer arbitration because he is not worth upwards of $4 million for next year. Could re-sign at a reduced price or sign elsewhere for no picks.

Carlos Pena: once thought of as a Type A player, Los fell into B status. Because of that, the Rays probably won’t risk offering him arbitration where he could accept and make around $10 million. The non-A status helps Pena on the open market as suitors won’t be worried about losing a pick.

Brad Hawpe: similar to Pena, the Rays are not likely to risk paying Hawpe millions of dollars for supplemental pick.

Chad Qualls: not likely to get offered arbitration for the same reason as Hawpe. Could be a guy the Rays re-sign at a reduced rate.

Randy Choate: he’ll get offered arbitration and probably accept.

Joaquin Benoit: the Rays will certainly offer Benoit arbitration and gladly risk him accepting. Unfortunately, he’s a lock to decline and hit the open market. The Rays will make the effort to sign him, but a deeper pocketed team might snag him which snags the Rays a pick.

In conclusion, the Rays will likely receive between 5-7 picks for their free agents which is very nice for a team looking to re-stock their shelves through the draft.

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