Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Speaking of Orlando Cabrera

I found this interesting nugget on mlbtraderumors:

Waiting until after the June draft could make sense for Cabrera - he'd wipe out the draft pick problem, probably still get $2MM, and won't get Type A status again.

It's an interesting thought. Cabrera could wait until June and lose two months of stats in an attempt to lose Type A Status, but would it work? Before digging in, let's take a look at the shortstop rankings from last season:

Michael Young (A)
88.000
Orlando Cabrera (A)
86.000
Derek Jeter (A)
84.000
Jhonny Peralta (A)
82.286
Edgar Renteria (A)
79.429
Carlos Guillen (B)
68.000


To check, I will remove Cabrera's 2008 numbers from Opening Day through June 15 to see how his ranking looks.

Michael Young (A)

88.571
Derek Jeter (A)

85.714
Jhonny Peralta (A)

83.429
Edgar Renteria (A)

81.143
Orlando Cabrera (A)

75.429
Carlos Guillen (B)

68.000

Wow. The two months would not have done the trick for Cabrera, as he still would have been a Type A free agent.

What if Cabrera, with his actual stats, had been in the National League?

Jimmy Rollins (A)
85.185
Troy Tulowitzki (A)
81.481
Hanley Ramirez (A)
79.894
Jose Reyes (A)
78.307
Orlando Cabrera (A)
78.307
Miguel Tejada (A)
75.132
J.J. Hardy (B)
67.725

He would have had a much weaker hold on a Type A spot, but would have retained it. What about with his numbers through June 15 removed?

Jimmy Rollins (A)
85.185
Troy Tulowitzki (A)
82.011
Hanley Ramirez (A)
80.952
Jose Reyes (A)
79.365
Miguel Tejada (A)
76.190
J.J. Hardy (B)
68.783
Orlando Cabrera (B)
68.254

He becomes a Type B. There is no doubt that there is a disparity between the shortstops in the American League and National League. It is also likely that this will grow. With Rollins, Tulowitzki, Ramirez, and Reyes in their prime and other young starters like Stephen Drew, J.J. Hardy, and Yunel Escobar coming on, the National League figures to have stronger shortstops for the foreseeable future. Also, with almost all of the projected starters for 2009 putting up solid and full 2008 seasons, a player like Cabrera would have a very hard time rising to the Type A's.

In addition, the American League 2009 crop of shortstops could be even weaker than 2008 as far as the Elias rankings go. In Boston, Anaheim, Seattle, Minnesota, Detroit, Texas, Toronto, and Baltimore, there are competitions for jobs or non contributors from 2008 slated to play in 2009. What does this mean to these rankings? Quite simply, no shortstops will be racking up counting stats. In addition, Carlos Guillen is off the position for good, while Michael Young is confirmed to be leaving the position and Johnny Peralta could be right behind him. While Young and Peralta will still be in next year's rankings, they would be missing out on total chances at shortstop, killing their Elias Ranking like what happened to Carlos Guillen in 2008. Finally, the core group of American League shortstops, Jeter and Young, are in a state of decline and could see their numbers continue to drop in 2009. In short, it would not be unlikely to see a very average to below average player who plays almost every game in 2008-2009 rise to Type A status among American League shortstops. This means somebody like Jason Bartlett or Yuniesky Betancourt could be Type A, and Orlando Cabrera would almost assuredly be as well even after signing late.

So, my advice for Orlando Cabrera: If you want to avoid Type A status next offseason, sign with a National League team. Obviously, this is easier said than done, given that there aren't any openings in the senior circuit.

1 comment:

Patrick said...

It has become increasingly clear that something has to be done to address the problems created by Type A designation for certain free agents.
There are essentially two problems. 1. Some players such as Orlando Hudson, Orlando Cabrera, and Juan Cruz, who are saddled with the albatross of Type A designation, meaning that any team signing them has to give up a first or second round pick, (this is also a problem for a club wanting to sign such a player) and 2. a team like the Yankees that hoards Type A free agents, actually gains an advantage and pays lower compensation for signing multiple Type A free agents. The team receiving compensation also receives a lower pick if they are unfortunate enough to have the hoarding team sign their player.

I would suggest the following solution. I suggest that MLB schedule two compensation rounds, Round A between the first and second rounds, and Round B between the second and third rounds of each draft. Teams that lose a Type A free agent would receive a pick in Round A. Teams that lose a Type B free agent would receive a pick in Round B.

Granted, this is less compensation than under the existing scheme, where a team losing a Type A free agent receives a sandwich (Round A) pick AND a first or second round pick from the signing team. In addition, a club that signs a player would not PAY any compensation. Theoretically, the system is not designed to PUNISH teams for signing free agents, but it does have that impact, and players are affected.
This scheme would benefit players and hurt teams losing free agents, so there would likely be some sort of offset required to get it done. Maybe clubs would require an A and B pick as compensation for a Type A player. Maybe players have to give up the "super two" arbitration status in exchange for helping this small group of free agents.
If MLB wants to limit the number of Type A free agents that a team can sign, just do it. No more than three in a year. Done.