2011 Draft & Rays compensation

As we all know, 2010 is the big "GO FOR IT" year for this set of Rays player since many will be headed into FA.  Luckily the franchise & team won't fall into a state of disrepair due to a loaded farm system.  This farm system which has produced player after player is about to head into one of the most talent-laded drafts in an era and the Rays are lucky to be able to get additional draft picks from their FAs.


But how good of a position may they be in, well lets use the Elias Rankings from MLBTR as a guide for rankings & compensation types.

So, first lets review all the 2010 Rays FA, potential FAs(options), and other interesting players(trade-wise).

These rankings are as of 6/21 and a likely to change a lot before the year ends.



 Carl Crawford


 Rafael Soriano


 Carlos Pena


 Grant Balfour


 Dan Wheeler(option)


 Randy Choate


 Joaquin Benoit


So as we know, A types are a 1st round pick+comp round pick & B type is just the comp round.  The Rays currently are estimated to have 3 A type & 4 B type players.  This will likely change as Wheeler is almost certainly going to be a B-type rather than an A type.  If the Rays are lucky, they'll have 4 relief pitchers @ B-type status & 1 @ A.  This will allow arbitration to be offered without getting boxed in.  So in addition to their 1st Round pick, they can be hopeful to add 2 more currently to have 3.  Then going to Pena & the 4 other RP, there is a good chance to add 3-5 more comp picks.  Best case scenario?  The Rays could have their normal 1st RD pick, +2 other 1st RD picks & 7!!! Comp picks, for a total of 10 picks-wow.

But obviously this is mostly a pipe dream.  Someone may not get offered Arb, or another may fall out of pick status.  Choate is a borderline Type-B and with an average season, may just have no pick attached.  Wheeler(if option is declined) & Pena are risky Arb cases because they may accept it and we're stuck.  Balfour & Benoit are both win-win situations luckily because they make a modest salary & are very good relievers. But there is still a large pool of picks that may get added.

And as we know Crawford & Soriano speak for themselves in terms of talent.  But what if we get Toronto'd(AJ Burnett) and don't get a 1st round pick?  Luckily the 2010-2011 off-season FA market looks like it won't torpedo them into that happening.  The highest rated player is Cliff Lee and he's really the only SP that's a major lock as a player that'll outrank CC or Soriano.  The Rays can go into the off-season knowing they may have the best position player & relief pitcher, both in rating & on-field performance.  Soriano signed a 1yr Arb deal because of the flooded market, but that market is dry this year.  Almost no one is even close to his ability except Riveria(don't think he'll be a FA).  The only other position players near CC's rating are V-Mart & Werth, but V-Mart will likely stay a Red Sox and Werth will unlikely be ahead of CC in the end or be in contention with him for a team.

So what about those interesting players that may be involved in trades?  Well first is obvious, the one & only Cliff Lee mentioned above.  He's the best FA SP & could be acquired for the latter half push toward the playoffs. But I don't anticipate that as some team will want him more & pony up more than the Rays can afford for him.  The other could be Bartlett.  If JB gets a good rating, he may be easier to move and get a good return on his last year.

What does this all mean? We'll be watching plenty of baseball for years to come hopefully.  Not all players pan out or FA goes your way, but they're in a good position for good things to happen.

This post was written by a member of the DRaysBay community and does not necessarily express the views or opinions of DRaysBay staff.

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