MLB Teams Offer 24 Players Arbitration

Manny Ramirez

All in all, 24 players were offered arbitration by last night's midnight deadline, including 15 Type A free agents and nine Type B. Players are classified using a rating system created by Elias Sports Bureau to determine the level of compensation a team receives if a player refuses arbitration and signs elsewhere.

Most of the time, Type A free agents are elite players who are all but certain to refuse the offer in anticipation of receiving multiyear offers on the open market. This year's Type A free agents to receive offers include: A.J. Burnett, Orlando Cabrera, Juan Cruz, Brian Fuentes, Orlando Hudson, Raul Ibanez, Derek Lowe, Darren Oliver, Oliver Perez, Manny Ramirez, Francisco Rodriguez, CC Sabathia, Ben Sheets, Mark Teixeira and Jason Varitek.

If any of those players refuse arbitration to sign elsewhere, their new teams will have to cough up two draft picks as compensation. That said, most of them are so talented that the prospect of losing a draft pick or two won't intimidate interested suitors. In other words, if you're favorite team is committed to signing Manny, losing a measly draft pick or two won't stop it. But for older players who only have one or two productive seasons left (Oliver, Varitek: I'm looking at you), losing draft picks is something worth thinking twice about.

The nine Type B free agents to receive offers include: Casey Blake, Milton Bradley, Paul Byrd, Jon Garland, Mark Grudzielanek, Brandon Lyon, Dennys Reyes, Brian Shouse and David Weathers. Stealing away one of these players is less risky -- they only cost one draft pick as compensation.

This year, the biggest surprises weren't among those who were offered arbitration but rather who wasn't. We talked about Bobby Abreu, Andy Pettitte, Kerry Wood and Edgar Renteria earlier today, but there were other notable players who weren't offered, including Adam Dunn, Pat Burrell, Trevor Hoffman, John Smotlz, Garret Anderson, Jeff Kent and Randy Wolf.

It's a near certainty that Dunn and Burrell will both receive monster contracts this winter, but the D'Backs and Phillies were apparently worried they'd pass up on long-term security in favor of a one-year contract. If you think about it, it's not quite as far-fetched as it sounds: had they accepted arbitration, they likely would have received a modest raise from last year's salary, and if the economy turned out to be in better shape next winter, they'd be able to command a bigger contract than what they could get this year. It would have been a risky decision for the players to leave so much money on the table, but it was obviously something the D'Backs and Phillies thought might happen.

MLB Teams Offer 24 Players Arbitration originally appeared on MLB FanHouse on Tue, 02 Dec 2008 18:15:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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