Ask BA

We’ve had our first three signings that require draft compensation. The Red Sox were involved in two moves with Type A free agents, losing Billy Wagner to the Braves and signing Marco Scutaro away from the Jays. The Brewers also signed Type B free agent Gregg Zaun, formerly of the Rays.

The Mariners reportedly are on the verge of signing Type A free agent Chone Figgins, but the deal hasn’t been finalized and isn’t reflected below. In return for Figgins, the Angels would get the 18th overall pick from Seattle as well as a sandwich pick (currently No. 36 but sure to move down in the wake of more signings).

A quick primer: Type A free agents (rated in the top 20 percent of their position group, according to Elias Sports Bureau calculations outlined in the Collective Bargaining Agreement) bring back the signing team’s first-round pick and a supplemental first-rounder, while Type B free agents (in the 21-40 percent range of their position group) yield only the sandwich pick. The free agent’s former club must offer him arbitration in order to receive compensation.

First-rounders belonging to teams that finished in the bottom half of the major league standings are protected from compensation, as are consolation choices for failing to sign draftees from the previous years. If a club signs multiple Type A free agents, the team that lost the higher-ranking player gets the better selection. Sandwich picks are awarded in the regular draft order (rather than in order by their ranking), with all of the Type A choices coming ahead of the Type B selections.

Below is the current 2010 draft order, which I’ll update in Ask BA throughout the offseason, and the remaining compensation free agents.

First-Round Picks
1. Nationals
2. Pirates
3. Orioles
4. Royals
5. Indians
6. Diamondbacks
7. Mets
8. Astros
9. Padres
10. Athletics
11. Blue Jays
12. Reds
13. White Sox
14. Brewers
15. Rangers (for failure to sign 2009 first-rounder Matt Purke)
16. Cubs
17. Rays
18. Mariners
19. Tigers
20. Red Sox (from Braves for Billy Wagner, A)
21. Twins
22. Rangers
23. Marlins
24. Giants
25. Cardinals
26. Rockies
27. Phillies
28. Dodgers
29. Blue Jays (from Red Sox for Marco Scutaro, A)
30. Angels
31. Rays (for failure to sign 2009 first-rounder LeVon Washington)
32. Yankees
Supplemental First-Round Picks
33. Blue Jays (Scutaro)
34. Red Sox (Wagner)
35. Rays (Gregg Zaun, B, to Brewers)
Second-Round Changes
38. Blue Jays (for failure to sign 2009 sandwich-rounder James Paxton)
Third-Round Changes
69. Blue Jays (for failure to sign 2009 second-rounder Jake Eliopoulos)
79. Rays (for failure to sign 2009 second-rounder Kenny Diekroeger)
Supplemental Third-Round Picks
99. Blue Jays (for failure to sign 2009 third-rounder Jake Barrett)
100. White Sox (for failure to sign 2009 third-rounder Bryan Morgado)
101. Angels (for failure to sign 2009 third-rounder Josh Spence)
Remaining Type A Compensation Free Agents
(listed in order of Elias ranking)
Matt Holliday, of, Cardinals
Jose Valverde, rhp, Astros
Jason Bay, of, Red Sox
Mike Gonzalez, lhp, Braves
John Lackey, rhp, Angels
Rafael Soriano, rhp, Braves
Rafael Betancourt, rhp, Rockies
Chone Figgins, 3b, Angels
Remaining Type B Compensation Free Agents
(listed in order of team’s draft position)
Justin Duchscherer, rhp, Athletics
Rod Barajas, c, Blue Jays
Brian Shouse, lhp, Rays
Adrian Beltre, 3b, Mariners
Brandon Lyon, rhp, Tigers
Fernando Rodney, rhp, Tigers
Carl Pavano, rhp, Twins
Marlon Byrd, of, Rangers
Ivan Rodriguez, c, Rangers
Mark DeRosa, 3b, Cardinals
Joel Pineiro, rhp, Cardinals
Jason Marquis, rhp, Rockies
    Did anyone from the 2009 draft make it to the big leagues this season? Which guys from the 2008 draft joined Conor Gillaspie in the majors in 2009?

    John Botelho
    Rockland, Mass.

No 2009 draftee has appeared in the majors yet. No. 1 overall pick Stephen Strasburg may very well make his pro debut in Washington next April, but there was no reason for the Nationals to put him in the big leagues last season. When he signed at the Aug. 17 deadline, he hadn’t pitched in a real game in more than two months.

Gillaspie was the first 2008 draft pick to reach the majors, though that didn’t happen on merit. In return for Gillaspie agreeing to sign for a slot $970,000 bonus as the 37th overall choice, the Giants guaranteed him a September callup. He spent the entire 2009 season in high Class A.

Seven 2008 draftees appeared in the big leagues last season, starting with first-rounder Ryan Perry, who made the Tigers’ Opening Day roster. The others were first-rounders Brian Matusz (Orioles), Buster Posey (Giants), Gordon Beckham (White Sox) and Daniel Schlereth (Diamondbacks); and fifth-rounders Dan Hudson (White Sox) and Al Avila (Tigers).

The 2008 draft featured one of the best hitting crops of the decade, and currently has sent more position players to the majors than the 2007 draft. The only 2007 hitters to make it to the top so far are first-rounders Matt Wieters (Orioles) and Matt LaPorta (Brewers/since traded to Indians) and sandwich pick Julio Borbon. Nineteen 2007 draftees have appeared in the big leagues, ranging from No. 1 overall choice David Price (Rays) to 13th-rounder Shawn Kelley (Mariners).

    I have a question about the return policy in the major league Rule 5 draft. I thought if a team selected a player and he wasn't going to stick on its big league roster, it had to offer him back to his original club. But this year, the Giants traded Luis Perdomo to the Padres instead of asking the Cardinals if they wanted Perdomo back. What's the rule?

    Greg Pryor
    Norman, Okla.

This is a timely question, with the Rule 5 draft set to take place three days from now. Stay tuned to this website for Rule 5 preview and recap coverage.

A team must offer a major league Rule 5 pick back to his original club for half the $50,000 draft price before it can send him to the minor leagues. Before that, however, the selecting club can deal him to another team willing to accept the strings attached to a Rule 5 choice

Furthermore, a Rule 5 player has to clear waivers before his original team gets the chance to take him back. If he gets claimed on waivers, the Rule 5 conditions continue to apply.

    In scouting lingo, what does "fringe" mean? Is it better or worse than "below average"?

    Brian Blake
    Vero Beach, Fla.

A fringe or fringe-average tool is one that is close to but not at major league average, whereas a below-average tool would be a full grade below. On the 20-80 scouting scale, average would be 50, fringe would be 45 and below average would be 40.

For example, on our Astros Top 10 list, we describe No. 1 prospect Jason Castro as having fringe to average power and below-average speed. That’s another way of saying that he has more pop than quickness.

" Nov. 23 Ask BA