Editor's Note: Now that the season has ended, it's sadly time for us to start turning our minds towards the off-season and our free-agents-to-be. Mr Negative did a great job of that here, so enjoy our FanPost of the Week!
In an effort to escape the doom and gloom on the end of the 2010 season, I would like to take a moment of your time to spotlight one possible very encouraging scenario that could develop in June, 2011.
The Rays have several possible/probable free agents that if offered arbitration will result in compensatory picks awarded from the team that signs the player and/or awarded compensatory picks from MLB. If the concept of receiving draft compensation for Type A or Type B free agents seems a little foreign to the Rays organization, it is because in its history the Rays have been awarded only one compensation pick. That was a Type B pick for the loss of Greg Zaun (Drew Vettleson). The following players are free agents in 2010 and their Type A or Type B status is only reversed engineered by Eddie Bajek prior to the official Elias Sports Bureau:
Carl Crawford = Type A
Rafael Soriano = Type A
Dan Wheeler = Type A
Grant Balfour = Type A
Carlos Pena = Type B
Chad Qualls = Type B
Joaquin Benoit = Type B
Brad Hawpe = Type B
Randy Choate = Type B (Thanks to Vin for pointing this one out)
As any baseball fan knows, the major league amateur draft is a crapshoot. Not only does an organization have to recognize good talent but the ownership has to be committed to signing the players. If the Rays play their cards right in the 2011 amateur draft, they could add a significant amount of talent to their system. Of course, we could look back on the 2011 draft as a wasted opportunity if the players don’t pan out.
The two ends of the spectrum that I’ll use to describe the possible scenarios above are the Cleveland Indians and the Boston Red Sox. In reality, the Rays will most likely end up somewhere in between the two ends of the spectrum. I’ll be focusing on 1997-2006 compensation picks for each organization, since they both lost star power to free agency. (For more details on the 1998-2006 AL Draft visit http://tribetalk365.blogspot.com/ Please excuse the apparent self promotion of my blog on this post, I hope it doesn’t detract from what follows as it isn’t an opinion based blog, more of a docking station for data. I feel that it is a good collection of W-L, Attendance Data, Payroll Data, and Draft Results for the AL teams all in one place, all information for topics that have been debated here previously).
First the scenario that Ray’s fans do not want to see (Cleveland Indians):
Albert Belle (1997) – Jason Fitzgerald and Edgar Cruz
Manny Ramirez (2001) – Daniel Denham and JD Martin
The scenario that Ray’s fans would most like to see (Boston Red Sox):
Roger Clemens (1997) – Mark Fischer and Aaron Capista
Bill Mueller (2006) – Caleb Clay