Ask BA

Since we last checked in two weeks ago, 11 potential compensation free agents signed new contracts and two others agreed to arbitration. Type A free agents Carl Crawford (Rays to Red Sox), Scott Downs (Blue Jays to Angels), Adam Dunn (Nationals to White Sox) and Jayson Werth (Phillies to Nationals) found new addresses, so their former clubs get a draft pick from their new teams as well as a supplemental first-rounder.

In other Type A news, Jorge de la Rosa (Rockies) and Paul Konerko (White Sox) returned to their old clubs, while Frank Francisco (Rangers) and Jason Frasor (Blue Jays) accepted arbitration, moves that won’t affect the 2011 draft order. Type B free agents Kevin Correia (Padres to Pirates), Miguel Olivo (Blue Jays to Mariners), J.J. Putz (White Sox to Diamondbacks), Yorvit Torrealba (Padres to Rangers) and Juan Uribe (Giants to Dodgers) moved on to new teams, so their former clubs will receive a supplemental first-rounder.

Below is the updated draft order:

First Round
1. Pirates
2. Mariners
3. Diamondbacks
4. Orioles
5. Royals
6. Nationals
7. Diamondbacks (for failure to sign 2010 first-rounder Barret Loux)
8. Indians
9. Cubs
10. Padres (for failure to sign 2010 first-rounder Karsten Whitson)
11. Astros
12. Brewers
13. Mets
14. Marlins
15. Brewers (for failure to sign 2010 first-rounder Dylan Covey)
16. Dodgers
17. Angels
18. Athletics
19. Red Sox (from Tigers for Victor Martinez, Type A)
20. Rockies
21. Blue Jays
22. Cardinals
23. Nationals (from White Sox for Adam Dunn, Type A)
24. Rays (from Red Sox for Carl Crawford, Type A)
25. Padres
26. Rangers
27. Reds
28. Braves
29. Giants
30. Twins
31. Yankees
32. Rays
33. Phillies
Supplemental First Round
34. Nationals (Dunn)
35. Blue Jays (for Scott Downs, Type A, to Angels)
36. Red Sox (Martinez)
37. Rays (Crawford)
38. Phillies (for Jayson Werth, Type A, to Nationals)
39. Blue Jays (for John Buck, Type B, to Marlins)
40. White Sox (for J.J. Putz, Type B, to Diamondbacks)
41. Padres (for Jon Garland, Type B, to Dodgers)
42. Giants (for Juan Uribe, Type B, to Dodgers)
43. Yankees (for Javier Vazquez, Type B, to Marlins)
44. Rays (for Joaquin Benoit, Type B, to Tigers)
45. Blue Jays (for Miguel Olivo, Type B, to Mariners)
46. Padres (for Yorvit Torrealba, Type B, to Rangers)
47. Padres (for Kevin Correia, Type B, to Pirates)
Second-Round Changes
53. Phillies (from Nationals for Werth)
61. Blue Jays (from Angels for Downs)
Third-Round Changes
Supplemental Third Round
108. Mariners (for failure to sign 2010 third-rounder Ryne Stanek)
Remaining Type A Compensation Free Agents
Third Basemen: Adrian Beltre (Bos).
Starting Pitchers: Cliff Lee (Tex), Carl Pavano (Min).
Relief Pitchers: Rafael Soriano (TB), Grant Balfour (TB).
Remaining Type B Compensation Free Agents
First Basemen: Adam LaRoche (Ari).
Second Basemen: Orlando Hudson (Min).
Third Basemen: Felipe Lopez (Bos).
Outfielders: Brad Hawpe (TB).
Relief Pitchers: Kevin Gregg (Tor), Pedro Feliciano (NYM), Octavio Dotel (Col), Trevor Hoffman (Mil), Randy Choate (TB), Jesse Crain (Min), Aaron Heilman (Ari), Chad Qualls (TB).

This will be the last Ask BA of 2010, because I’ll be finishing the 2011 Prospect Handbook and then recovering for the rest of the year. Happy holidays to everyone.

    Where would second baseman Brett Lawrie fit on Baseball America's Blue Jays Top 10 Prospects list? Do you see him cracking the infield in Toronto or moving to an outfield corner? I really hope they don't end up flipping a combo of Lawrie, Kyle Drabek and Travis Snider to the Royals for Zack Greinke.

    Darryl Stiver

    I read that Brett Lawrie would have been the No. 1 prospect on Baseball America's Brewers Top 10 Prospects list. Where will he fit on the Blue Jays Top 10? Also, what type of package would Toronto have to surrender in order to obtain Zack Greinke?

    Byron Alexander
    Regina, Sask.

    Where would Brett Lawrie rank on the Blue Jays Top 10? Also, what is his ETA, the odds he sticks at second base and the most likely destination if he can't?

    Scott Upson
    Norwalk, Conn.

Every year, there’s usually at least one prospect who gets caught in Top 10 limbo, and this year it’s Lawrie. He would have been our No. 1 Brewers prospect, but he got traded to the Blue Jays for Shaun Marcum before our Milwaukee Top 10 came out—and after our Toronto Top 10 was published. So Lawrie won’t make a Top 10 in our magazine or on our website, though he will appear in the 2011 Prospect Handbook.

Here’s the scouting report that would have appeared with our Brewers Top 10 had Lawrie stayed put:

The Brewers put Lawrie on the fast track in 2010 by assigning him to Double-A Huntsville at age 20, making him the second-youngest regular in the Southern League. Very confident to the point of cockiness, he was anything but intimidated and got better as the season progressed and he adjusted to the higher level of competition. He led the league in runs (90), hits (158), triples (16) and total bases (250). Lawrie has very strong hands and a quick bat, allowing him to wait on pitches and drive the ball to all fields. He’s not a prolific home run hitter but piles up extra-base hits by shooting the ball into the gaps. Lawrie needs to balance his aggressiveness with more plate discipline, however. Though he stole 30 bases, he was caught 13 times and his speed is just average. Lawrie has smoothed out some of his rough edges in the field but still must work on making his hands softer, as evidenced by the 25 errors he committed in 131 games at second base in 2010. He has solid arm strength but may not have the first-step quickness to remain at second. He won’t have to be a Gold Glove defender because his bat will get him to the big leagues and keep him there. If he has to move to an outfield corner, he’ll still provide enough offense to profile as a quality regular.

Lawrie will rank No. 2 on our Blue Jays list, between righthanders Drabek and Deck McGuire. I don’t think Lawrie will stay at second base and think his big league home will be right field. He should join Toronto at some point in 2012.

The Blue Jays may be the team best equipped to make a trade for Greinke. The Royals’ biggest need is up-the-middle talent, which Toronto has. Though the Jays reportedly won’t include Drabek in any deal, they could build an offer around a combination of Lawrie, a catcher (Travis d’Arnaud, who might be the best catching prospect in the minors, or J.P. Arencibia) and a toosly albeit raw center fielder (Anthony Gose or Jake Marisnick). I still don’t see why Kansas City has to trade Greinke with two years remaining on his contract, however.

    How would you revise Baseball America's Red Sox Top 10 Prospects list in the aftermath of the Adrian Gonzalez trade? Boston gave up the Nos. 1, 3 and 6 prospects on your list in righthander Casey Kelly, first baseman Anthony Rizzo and outfielder Reymond Fuentes. Who slides into the last three spots on the Red Sox Top 10, and where might the new additions rank on BA's Padres Top 10 when it comes out in January?

    Dale Brunelle
    Wayland, Mass.

    Which of the Padres' three new prospects—Casey Kelly, Anthony Rizzo and Reymond Fuentes—will appear on Baseball America's overall Top 100 Prospects list? Where might they fall on the Top 100?

    Brian Koke
    San Diego

I wrote the entire Red Sox Top 30 (now a Red Sox Top 27) for the Prospect Handbook about a month before the trade, so the first question is simple to answer. Prospects 11-13—first baseman Lars Anderson, third baseman Kolbrin Vitek and second basemen Oscar Tejeda— become Prospects 8-10. Incidentally, all three made my team of the best prospects who couldn’t quite make American League Top 10s in my most recent magazine column Premium.

Kelly was the Red Sox’ best prospect, while Rizzo was the top offensive player and Fuentes was the best athlete in the Boston system. They’ll all earn the same superlatives with their new organization. Matt Eddy is still fine-tuning our Padres list, but I suspect Kelly will rank No. 1, Rizzo will check in at No. 3 behind him and righthander Simon Castro, and Fuentes could make a push for No. 4 but probably will settle a little bit lower. It’s possible that all three will fall in the exact same positions that they did on our Red Sox list.

As for the Top 100, Kelly is a lock and should fit in the 20-40 range. Rizzo probably will make it somewhere toward the bottom, but it’s too early for Fuentes.

    In the last Ask BA, you mentioned that a team losing a Type A free agent will get the signing club's first-round pick (unless it finished with one of the 15 worst records in baseball in 2010, in which case the choice becomes a second-rounder) as well as a supplemental first-rounder. What happens if a team signs multiple Type A free agents? If a club both adds and loses Type A free agents, how is this handled?

    Tom Bober
    Rochester, N.Y.

If a team signs more than one Type A free agent, the statistical rankings that are used to classify free agents also determine which former club gets which draft pick. The choices are doled out in the order of how the free agents were rated. For instance, the Yankees signed Type A free agents A.J. Burnett, C.C. Sabathia and Mark Teixeira after the 2008 season. Teixeira had the highest ranking, so the Angels got New York’s first-round pick, followed by Sabathia (the Brewers received the Yankees’ second-rounder) and Burnett (the Blue Jays landed New York’s third-rounder).

The supplemental first-rounders follow the draft order, with all of the Type A sandwich picks coming before all of the Type B sandwich picks. If a team has multiple losses in either group, every club in the group gets one selection before any team gets a second. Check out the Blue Jays’ and Padres’ Type B sandwich picks in the 2011 draft order above for an example.

If a club signs and loses an equal amount of Type A free agents, it still comes out ahead with a supplemental first-rounder for each pair of players. Right now, the net effect of the Red Sox grabbing Carl Crawford from the Rays and having Victor Martinez depart for the Tigers is that Boston moves up five spots in the first round (from No. 24 to No. 19) and gains the No. 36 choice as additional compensation for Martinez.

" Nov. 29 Ask BA